Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'll Bake You a Cake

Ombre Cake

If you are feeling sick, let me make you some soup. Feeling sad? I’ll make you something warm and comforting. Watching your weight? Well you look great to me, but I’ll make you something really healthy. Are you celebrating? I’ll bake you a cake.
  Ombre Cake

I am terrible at small talk, but really good with food. I’ll probably have a hard time explaining myself so let me make something with my own two hands to show you.
 

When you are away, I’ll send you a care package full of things to nourish you and make you smile. I'll wrap everything in newsprint and tissue paper and include a little note, but the love is in the treats.
 

I sent my brother and his wife a package today. For their new little ones, I’ll make birthday cakes like this one every year even if I am not with them because that's what I do. I know first impressions are everything so I made this one tall and pink and carefully constructed to make sure they know their aunt is no slouch.

To see how I put this cake together Check out this set of photos on flickr to accompany the instructions below

Almond Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/2c, 3 sticks, softened butter
9oz almond paste, room temperature
1 1/2c sugar
6 eggs
1/2t vanilla extract
1 1/2c cake flour
3/4t baking powder
1/2t salt

Preheat oven to 350º and butter and flour 2, 8'' cake pans (3'' tall works best here) If you have shorter pans, I suggest you divide it into 3 pans to prevent overflow.

1. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix the almond paste and sugar until the almond paste is broken up into very small pieces. Add in the butter and beat until light and fluffy, 5min.
3. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients.
4. Divide the batter between the two pans, smooth the tops and slide into the oven. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30min. Cool the cakes in the pan for 10min, then carefully invert on a cooling rack and cool completely.
5. Once cool, trim each cake flat on the top, then in half horizontally. You will have 4 layers of cake when you are finished. If you baked the cake in 3 pans, just trim the tops flat.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream

1 lb softened butter
2 lbs sifted confectioner's sugar
1T vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup room temp milk
big pinch salt

In the bowl of a standing mixer or with a hand mixer cream the butter until it is well mixed, about 1 min. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 min. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Slowly stream in the milk until the frosting is soft, smooth and spreadable. If you plan on finishing the cake with an ombre design it is helpful if the frosting is very soft, but not runny at all. 

To Assemble the Cake

Trimmed Cake Layers
Vanilla Buttercream
12oz of cherry jam (raspberry or apricot would be great too)
Cake Turntable (not necessary, but SO helpful)
1. Anchor the first layer of cake to the turntable with a bit of buttercream. Spread a thin layer (about 1/3c) of buttercream on the cake, taking care to leave the frosting a little thicker on the edges to make a dam to hold the jam. Top the buttercream with a few tablespoons of jam and top with the next cake layer. Repeat until you use all of the cake layers finishing with the flat bottom of the last cake layer facing upward.
2. Crumbcoat the cake with a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides and refrigerate for at least 30min.
3. While the cake is chilling, prepare the colored frosting. Split the remaining frosting into 4 bowls, tint three of the bowls dark, medium, and very light pink using food coloring. I use gel food coloring and use VERY little even for the darkest frosting. Leave one of the bowls white for the top of the cake.
4. Starting at the bottom of the cake with the darkest color, use a small offset spatula to apply frosting to the bottom 3rd of the cake, then follow with the medium color in the center of the cake and the lightest color towards the top. Top the cake with white frosting to finish. Using a tall spatula, smooth the frosting on the sides as much as possible, don't worry if the colors mix together a little bit, but try not to smoosh them together. Smooth the top.
5. Finish the cake by holding the tip your offset spatula horizontally, pressing gently on the frosting at the bottom of the cake. Smoothly spin the cake turntable while simultaneously dragging the spatula up the side of the cake, stop when you get to the top. Wipe the spatula clean, then gently press the tip of the spatula into the middle of the top of the cake and spin the turntable while simultaneously dragging the spatula towards the outside of the cake. 

40 comments:

  1. This is the most beautiful cake ever. The end.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where is your cake stand from????? I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elle- The turn table is ATECO and the ceramic stand is from Fish's Eddy. I love them both.

      Delete
  3. I agree with Amelie. Ever, ever. You are for sure a no-slouch Auntie! And you are really good a sending care packages. Like more than really good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh how I understand that.I express all that I fell with food.It is my way to care about others also.Great cake!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yossy, you are incredible. You totally blow my mind. You are an artist. FANTASTIC!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How lovely! What a sweet way to celebrate those new little ones!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, this is gorgeous! And sounds delicious to boot--I do love almond + cherry. I must get my hands on an offset spatula first, but I can't wait to try something like this!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So darn beautiful.

    BTW, I love your blog. It makes me smile. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a beautiful cake and so thoughtful to send it to your brother. Really amazing work with the ombre technique. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have made such a wonderful cake! Your nieces will be proud to have you as an aunt!

    ReplyDelete
  11. i have to be honest, i was really hoping that you were going to bake me a cake. :( your food is so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow Yossy! Such a gorgeous, gorgeous cake. I'm sure there will be squeals of JOY when they open the box.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a beautiful cake! Baking and frosting one of these is quite a feat - so congratulations on this! xo n

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow - that is super beautiful looking. and I love the flikr pictures with instructions. Thans for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is the most amazing cake I've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is the sweetest post, and the most beautiful cake I have ever seen! These girls are so lucky to have you as their aunt. We love you!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is so beautiful! ps- I came across your blog via Molly Dembner's sister, Emma, who I grew up with - love your blog and all the recipes you've filled it with.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just a lovely post! From the heartfelt writing to your delightful cake, just delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful, gorgeous. This cake is a dream and I hope someone sends me one someday!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's truly looking one of the best recipe and direction to make the magnificent and delicious cake. The authentic features and contents of this source are really looking just exceptional about it. It's truly one of precious experienced source for me. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Most beautiful ombre cake ever!

    I featured it on my ombre blog post last Friday
    http://blog.shopdirtylaundry.com/posts/2012/3/2/48-the-dirty.html

    Then your cake inspired me to do a whole ombre cake blog post!!!
    http://blog.shopdirtylaundry.com/posts/2012/3/6/106-too-cute-tuesday.html

    Thanks for the inspiration :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Can the cake flour be replace with a unbleached flour? Do they make cake flour unbleached? Also can I use organic can sugar rather than confectioner? I want to make my son a birthday cake but the house is on a cleanse and can not have white flour or sugar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there - I used King Arthur brand unbleached cake flour for this exact recipe and it worked great. I haven't tried it with a non-cake flour, so I can't say whether that substitution would work. Unfortunately, granulated organic cane sugar and confectioner's sugar are not interchangeable for this type of frosting recipe.

      Delete
  23. That may be the prettiest cake I have ever seen! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. How on earth did you mail this cake?! It's beautiful and I have been looking for an almond cake recipe, so thank you..but I'm amazed that you were able to send it to your family!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you so much for this recipe! It turned out so well! (:

    ReplyDelete
  26. WOW! This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing the instructions with us, I have to attempt this soon.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I haven't seen a cake frosted that way, how beautiful is that??!! Love it, thank you so much for sharing....hmmmm.....who can I bake for this weekend.....gotta be someone ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  28. That cake was beautifully made. If I can receive this kind of cake, you can make my weekend so exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Yossy, I've tried so many of your recipes already and they've all turned out wonderfully. You've truly been an amazing inspiration to me!

    I'd like to bake this cake for my boyfriend's birthday which is on Friday (though with manlier colors), but I know I won't have the time to make it all on that day between work and the party. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on making the layers a few days ahead of time and freezing them. Do you think it would work well? Or would it make it too dry? Thanks! -Annie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank so much Annie! It's always nice to hear that people are inspired to get in the kitchen after reading the blog. You can definitely make the cake layers in advance and freeze them. Just make sure to cool the layers completely before wrapping them in a few layers of plastic wrap.

      Delete
  30. Did you just start with Red Gel Food coloring?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think I used rose pink, definitely not red though.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is so pretty! It inspired me to make a similar one in shades of purple for a 30th birthday party this weekend. :)
    http://www.curlygirlkitchen.com/2013/04/ombre-birthday-cake.html

    ReplyDelete
  33. Una Musica Brutal, by Gotan Project: from Buddha Bar IV.
    If you own a Black - Berry 9550 Storm 2, Black - Berry Curve 8530, Black - Berry Tour 9630, Black - Berry Storm 9530, Black - Berry Curve 8330, Black
    - Berry World 8830, Black - Berry Pearl Flip 8230,
    or Black - Berry Pearl Flip 8130, then you can listen to nearly a thousand songs on
    a single micro - SD card. It was the perfect place to meet friends after work, have a few drinks, and unwind.



    my web-site - chillout

    ReplyDelete
  34. Can I do this with cream cheese frosting to top a carrot/passion cake? It's stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi, lovely looking ccake - did you use marzipan as you "almond paste"?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by!