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August 14, 2020

Baking Cakes – conquering fears one layer at a time!

Posted on August 11, 2014 by in baked goods

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baking cakes

Baking cakes should be left to the professionals! I have such admiration for the art of baking light and airy cakes.

Baking Cakes became a little easier with the arrival of the hand mixer in 1856 and a total blast when the standing mixer hit the shelves in 1908.

I do remember how my mom used to cream the sugar and butter by hand with a wooden spoon in the mustard-colored ceramic mixing bowl! Heaven knows how she managed to get that batter so light and fluffy in such a short time! She made it seem so effortless!

My mom always baked a cake on Fridays. It was such good tradition and certainly a lasting memory for me! As children we knew we had to ask for a piece, we could not just take, because in my mom’s mind she already knew who she wanted to invite over for a cup of tea! My mom had her staples, vanilla cake and chocolate cake, but every now and then she rocked our limited culinary dreams and baked a jam roll or carrot cake! Even when we later left for college and varsity, we knew if we came home on a Friday, there would always be cake!

baking cakes

Baking Cakes comes so naturally to some, for me it is a labor of love! I know my family will love it, so I bake, but I would much rather cook a hearty stew or bake a bread! My biggest fears are…..

– cakes that sink in the middle

– cakes that are dry and tasteless

– cakes that have no volume and look like something from Star Wars I.

I found answers to many of my baking issues here:

My mom’s cake recipes  however are Nina-proof, so I always revert back to the recipes I know, maybe just with a little twist! This past weekend though, I had the urge to bake a white cake…… vanilla cake with lusciously thick white chocolate Ganache and toasted coconut! You should know me by now, if the bug bites, I will stop at nothing, even if it means baking cakes…….

baking Cakes

White Chocolate Ganache Cake with Toasted Coconut

 For the Vanilla Sponge


2 x 250 ml Sasko cake flour
2 x 250 ml caster sugar
125 g butter
1 x 250 ml milk
4 x-large eggs
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

1 vanilla pod

For the filling
300 g white chocolate
250 ml cream
250 g butter – room temperature

2 cups coconut shavings – lightly toasted in the oven.


Preheat oven to 180 C
Prepare two 23 cm cake tins by lining them with baking paper and spray thoroughly with non-stick spray.
Sift together all dry ingredients.
Beat eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.
Melt butter and milk together. Now fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and add butter mixture gradually. Work gently to keep all the air in.
Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Test in the middle of the cake to see if ready before you take the cake out the oven.
Remove the cakes from the tins and cool on a cooling rack.

For the ganache

Break the chocolate into small blocks and place into a glass bowl. Heat the cream in a mall pot and just before the cream starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate and let it stand for a few minutes for the chocolate to melt. Mix until smooth. Now let the ganache cool completely, it will harden slightly. Once it has the consistency of room temperature butter, place the ganache and the butter in a mixer and  whip until the ganache is smooth and velvety. Use a spatula and layer the cake with the ganache and then cover the entire cake with the ganache. Sprinkle the coconut shavings over the icing and serve on a pretty cake stand.

baking Cakes


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One Response to “Baking Cakes – conquering fears one layer at a time!”

  1. Dalene 8 May 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Ek is gladnie n bakker nie. Maar kan as ek moet. Die koek lyk wonderlik, en eks gaande oor n witkoek. Ek kyk na koekedoor en kan darem n blabsie raaksien, maar ek pas nie in daardie liga nie.

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