Ombré Cakes and childhood memories
Ombré Cakes are one of the the latest trends in baking. Maybe because fashion and food is so integrated and ombré hairstyles did the rounds a while back.
Ombré describes the gradual blending of one color shade to another, usually moving from light to dark. I learnt about ombré hairstyles before I learned about ombré cakes. With a teenager in the house, it is difficult to keep up with latesst trends. What is IN this week, is OLD next week! So when missy asked me for a ombré hair color, I hope it would also just last for a week. It didn’t, it lasted for a couple of weeks, months maybe, but now it is OLD news. Thank goodness!
Ombré cakes on the other hand is here to stay for a while longer. They have been with us since 2012-ish and are still popular choices for weddings and other celebrations. I have been wanting to try my hand at baking ombré cakes for such a long time, but it seemed like such a daunting and time-consuming thing to do.
My mom always baked a cake on Fridays. It was almost always Chocolate cake and this one specifically. It is a happy memory for me, even in later years when we went to varsity, we knew on Fridays we would always come home to cake. Thank you Ma! Well, last Friday, I decided to tackle the daunting task and apart from all the dirty bowls, it was not nearly as difficult as I had thought. I must say that I cheated and only did an ombré icing, the inside is a challenge for another day. So, I made a dark Chocolate Cake with vanilla, coffee and Chocolate Buttercream. Topped with crushed chocolate honeycomb or Whispers. It was very popular and trendy in my house this weekend.
makes 1 double layered cake
500 ml flour
500 ml sugar – I use caster sugar
125 g butter
250 ml boiling water
60 ml cocoa
20 ml baking powder
5 ml vanilla extract
3 ml salt salt
250 g Chocolate Whispers
Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare your cake pans(23 cm) by spraying them with a non-stick spray or butter them. Cut a circle of grease-proof paper the size of the pans and line the pans with it. Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder. Keep aside. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale in color, thick and foamy. Melt butter, boiling water and cocoa together in a separate pot. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and start folding it in. Add some of the hot cocoa mixture and mix well after every addition until all the ingredients are mixed together properly. Divide the mixture between the 2 pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan. Allow the cakes to cool completely before you apply th icing.
For the Buttercream
250 ml butter (220 g) – soft, but NOT melted
10 x 250 ml icing sugar – sifted
80 – 100 ml cream
Place the soft butter in your food mixer and beat until smooth. Add 2 cups of the icing sugar and a little bit of the cream and beat until smooth. Now add the other icing sugar and cream and beat until light and glassy. Divide the frosting into 4 equal parts. a
Add the following to each third.
– One part leave as is
– One part gets 5 ml vanilla extract
– One part gets 10 ml good quality instant coffee, dissolved in very 10 ml warm water
– One part gets 30 ml sifted cocoa
Mix each third frosting and spoon into 3 piping bags. I used plastic bags of which I just cut the one corner off. Use the un-flavored frosting to layer the two cakes and give it a crumb coat. If you are not sure how to do that, please follow these simple instructions.
Now start with with the chocolate frosting and start at the bottom of the cake, piping two layers. Next is the coffee frosting, do exactly the same. Lastly pipe two layers of the vanilla frosting all around the cake. Now take a hot palet knife and smooth out the piped layers from the bottom to the top. Pipe a chocolate layer all around the top and decorate with the crushed chocolate honeycomb.
PS – To cut neat slices to serve, always have a jug with boiled water at hand. Dip your sharp knife in the water, dry with a cloth and cut a slice. Repeat before each slice.