I had the privilege of baking a cake last week for a special bunch of kids. I was asked by the kindergarten teachers at the school where my wife works to make a cake to celebrate “100 days of kindy”. This coincided with them learning to count to 100 and have been counting up the days to the big party.
The classes are designate by B & Y for Blue and Yellow, the school colours. It seemed only natural to make a blue and yellow marble cake. The teachers thought that would be a great idea so that’s what I did and here’s how I did it.
Lets Make a Cake !
I went to my favourite pound/ yellow cake recipe which I found years ago from Jenni Field “pastry chef online” it has never let me down. It uses the creaming method of beating the butter then adding the sugar till it’s light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs 1 at a time mixing in between. In her recipe she says to add an extra yoke to make it extra velvety but I never have. I don’t have a use for one egg white and it feels wrong to throw it away. I know, I know, I could freeze it or add it to the icing but it’s just easier if I leave it out.
Next add half the flour till it is just combined, then half the milk. Once that is mixed in do the opposite the last of the milk then the last of the flour. So If I just confused you (cause I’m feeling a bit that way too), it’s flour, milk, milk, flour. Got it? Got It! should end up looking something like this.
Now to make the marble just split the recipe in half; you can do this by eye or an easy way is by weighing your mixer bowl when its empty then weigh it again after you’ve made the batter. Take the bowl weight away and that’s the weight of the batter then divide that number by the no. of colours you want, in this case 2. Now you know what half the batter weighs measure it into another bowl. That was a really long-winded explanation sorry.
Now add the food colour you want into each bowl. I wanted mine to be really vibrant so I used a tablespoon of liquid colour in each.
Randomly dollop each colour into the tin and then using a knife or a spatula create swirls through the mix and whack it in the oven at 180C / 350F for 30 – 35 minutes. Once they’re cooked allow them to cool in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack.
Now we’ve baked, lets create!
Now the cakes are cooled time to builds and ice. I trimmed the tops of the cakes to get them level then started the icing. I used my old faithful buttercream recipe which is 1 part butter to 2 parts icing sugar and a dash of vanilla extract and a splash of milk if it’s too firm. I normally have no issues with the icing consistency but for this cake it was a nightmare and I think it had to do with the cold. It was freezing outside and the kitchen didn’t seem much better.
After fighting with the base coat for a while I moved out to the dining table where the warmth from the fire helped soften the mix to pipe the boarders and do the writing. While I would love to be able to freehand pipe words with craftsmanship of a 16th century scholar and his quill, I worked with a toothpick and a palate knife (if you look close at the picture you can see the marks under the icing) until I fit everything in, then fumbled through the piping process.
I really need to work on this every time I have some leftover icing because practice makes perfect and OH BOY! I need a lot of practice. Anyway, all in all it turned out pretty good and the wavy boarders were pretty consistent which is pleasing, the words need practice but still did the job. This was the final result!
The cake was a hit with the kids, they loved it, some even asked for more ! One teacher “just happened to be walking past” when the cake was being handed out and grabbed a piece too. This is what it looked like from the inside.
The kids even worked out why it was blue and yellow which is really cool. To top it off I got this card, which was really nice but not expected and a little treat ( a piece of my NUT BAR SLICE that one of the teachers had made).
AND THAT’S WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO!!
Thanks for Readin’