Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Red Velvet Cake with Blue Lace Butterfies

"Remember, Sofia has no idea about this birthday meal. Keep it quiet! So I'm thinking red velvet cake?" I read the message that my friend sent and was like: "Yessss!! Cake commission!!"
This particular cake was for a good friend who I've made birthday cakes for in the past.   

Red velvet is one of those cakes that has that luxury feel, and it wouldn't be the same without a white icing but trying to incorporate blue, (which is Sofia's favourite colour) was tough. But after a great deal of thinking, inspiration came in from an insect form. 

I was waiting for the bus when a butterfly flew past me and as I got home I was reading my cookery books for inspiration and a royal icing tutorial jumped out at me and guess what? It featured butterflies. Clearly a sign right? Or maybe just an odd coincidence? Whatever the case, the end result was worth the extra effort. 

I was very please how this cake turned out. Not because it was tasty and super sugary (because that's what you need after a heavy meal...), but more because my best friends was thrilled with the cake. 

I hope that we made your birthday really special Sofia.

These delicate butterflies are just that, DELICATE! Make extra because there will be causalities but there worth the effort in the end as they look so pretty. You have to leave these to dry overnight, so do these before you bake the cake. 

Recipe: Lace Butterflies (Adapted from Divine Cupcakes by Tamara Jane)

·       1 egg white
·       Ice blue colouring paste
·       300g icing sugar
·       ½ teaspoon lemon juice

·       Electric mixer/hand-held electric whisk
·       Sieve
·       Bowl x 1
·       Baking paper
·       Foil
·       Paper
·       Pencil/pen
·       Edible glitter in pink
·       Disposable piping bag
·       Scissors

Step 1. Beat the egg white
1.    Beat the egg white with an electric mixer until foamy.
2.    Add the icing sugar gradually beating well after each addition.
Step 3. Colour the icing
3.    Icing is ready when peaks appear and holds shape. Beat in lemon juice and food colouring. 
Step 4. Trace a butterfly template
4.    Trace a butterfly template (use a simple one as a complex template will be tricky) onto paper and place the baking paper on top.
Step 5. Fill the piping bag
5.    Fill the bag with royal icing and cut the point off the bag so there is a 1mm diameter.
Step 6. Pipe the thin line to create the butterfly
6.    Pipe a thin line over the template. Once finish sprinkle with edible glitter and allow to dry overnight.
Step 7. Place on decorated cake 
7.    Peel off the paper and use to decorate the cake by placing around the sides of the cake.
8.    With the remaining icing pipe your message on top of the cake.

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake
·       75g unsalted butter, softened (plus a little extra for greasing)
·       300g caster sugar
·       2 eggs, beaten
·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       225g plain flour
·       3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
·       1 ½ teaspoon red food colour paste
·       125ml buttermilk
·       1 tablespoon white vinegar

·       Wilton Tasty Fill cake pan
·       Electric mixer/hand-held electric whisk
·       Sieve
·       Bowl x 2
·       Tablespoon
·       Teaspoon

1.    Pre heat the oven to 180c/350c/ Gas mark 4. Grease and flour cake tins.
Step 2. Sift all dry ingredients together

2.    For the cake, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl. Stir in the food colour paste into buttermilk.
3.    Alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the creamed mixture. Stir in the vinegar, mixing well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins, dividing it evenly. Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins or until firm to touch. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Recipe: Bulk Vanilla Buttercream frosting (Adapted from Divine Cupcakes by Tamara Jane)
·       200g unsalted butter, softened
·       125ml milk
·       1 tablespoon vanilla extract
·       2kg icing sugar, sifted
·       Electric mixer/hand-held electric whisk
·       Sieve
·       Bowl x 1
        Palette knife
       Optional piping bag fitted with a nozzle
1.Using a large mixer, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the milk, vanilla and half the icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes or until light a fluffy.
Step 3. Beat until spreadable
3. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until it is a spreadable consistency.
Step 4. Spread  the buttercream into the middle of the cake.
4. Once the cakes are completely cooled you can start putting some of the buttercream into the middle of the cake. 
5. Spread the rest of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake using a palette knife ensuring it is as smooth as you can get it. 
6. If you have any leftover buttercream (depends on how thick you like it on your cake), you can place some in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle to swirl around the edges. 

Its not as hard as it looks and is worth the effort and the smile on peoples faces when they see a 3-D cake.

Bake On! Penny x
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