Thursday, November 20, 2014

Strawberry & Chocolate Buttercream Cake

Went back to Mama's place on Sunday and I brought a cake over to celebrate Hubby's and Sister's birthday.  They are the November babies so I took the easy way out to combine 2 birthdays with one cake.  Hehe!   

Wanting to practise rose piping again, I chose to use buttercream for the cake frosting once more.  I bought a punnet of strawberries and used them as part of the deco for the cake.  I "coloured" the balance of my buttercreamn to pink with some red dragonfruit juice.  Al natural! Glad that the cake was well received and that it was not too sweet and heavy for my family.

Well, I still suck at smoothing out my cake frosting OMG!!!  It was a good thing that I used buttercream frosting or else with the time spent on trying to smooth out my frosting, those in the bowl and piping bag would have melted and softened long long ago.  Guess it's gonna be a long way for me before I can try out other frostings.   

After xxth minute still trying to smooth out the sides, I cheated by using my palette knife to smooth the sides from bottom up to form a patterned sides.  I thought it looked not too bad keke.  At least they look much better than my not-smooth-and-even-at-all frosting.  Conclusion: Baking can quite bring out one's creativity for sure! :)

Not getting any better at rose pipings.
I will strive on!

Strawberry & Chocolate Buttercream Cake 
(6 inch cake)
3 egg yolks
55g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
40g caster sugar
30ml canola oil
35ml milk
a pinch of salt

3 egg whites
1/4 cream of tartar
5g cocoa powder 

5 pcs of strawberries (washed and dabbed dry, stalk removed) 
chocolate shavings (I used a sharp knife and ran it down the sides of a bar of bitter chocolate)

Sugar syrup for brushing
1 tbsp sugar
2 to 3 tsp hot water
(Dissolve sugar in hot water and set aside for cake brushing)

1. Preheat oven to 150deg C.
2. Sift cake flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and leave aside.
3. Beat yolk and 1/2 tbsp sugar till sugar has dissolved and yolk mixture has turned pale.
4. Add salt and beat well before adding canola oil in 2 additions. Make sure yolk mixture is well beaten between each addition.
5. Add in milk in 2 additions and mix well before placing in sifted cocoa flour mixture. Use a spatula and mix well till batter turns thick and creamy. Set aside.
6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites till frothy. Add in cream of tartar and continue to beat till soft peaks form, add in remaining caster sugar in 3 additions and beat till stiff peaks are formed.
7. Spoon half of white mixture into cocoa batter and fold in till well mixed. Repeat the process with remaining white mixture in 2 additions.
8. Pour folded in batter into 6-inch baking tin and drop it on a table top twice to remove excess air bubbles.
9. Place baking tin in oven to bake at 150deg for 60 min or till done.
10. Remove from oven and place it overturned on a cooling rack to cool. Prepare white buttercream frosting. (Refer to Buttercream Frosting Step 1 to 3)
11. Slice a little of the uneven cake top if top is domed shape, then slice cake to get 2 even pieces for layering.  I used 3 toothpicks to guide me with the even and equal slicing.
12. Place a slice of the cake on a cake board and set it on a turntable, brush sugar syrup all over cake. Slap on some buttercream and spread it evenly. Place the other cake on top of buttercream.

13. Brush sugar syrup all over cake, then crumb coat whole cake with a thin layer of white buttercream to seal in cake crumbs so they will not get in the way during final coating, you may freeze crumb coated cake for about 15min before doing final thick coating.

14. Layer an even coat of white buttercream round sides of cake. (I left out the top since I will be piping on pink buttercream roses.) OR use a palette knife to create desired pattern on buttercream on sides of cake.

15. Spoon pink buttercream (refer to Buttercream Frosting Step 4 for direction) into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the roses on the outer ream of cake top. Place strawberries round piped roses. Lastly spoon chocolate shavings into middle of cake. Refrigerate.

I managed to sneak in a photo of a slice of the cake!

Buttercream Frosting
150g salted or unsalted butter, softened (use good butter pls! I used Lurpak salted butter)
50g icing sugar (you may add more if you want a firmer buttercream)

1.5 to 2 tsp Red dragonfruit juice (3 bitesize pieces, mashed, squeezed and put through sieve)

1. Place butter into a mixing bowl, cut into smaller cubes and let it soften a little before beating.

2. Beat butter and icing sugar on low speed. Turn up speed when icing sugar has been blended with butter.
3. Beat till butter is smooth, creamy and firm enough to hold its shape
when piped.

4. To make pink buttercream with the leftover buttercream, add in few drops of red dragonfruit juice and mix well with a spatula. If a darker pink tone is desired, add in few more drops and mix. (If buttercream starts losing its firm texture, add in some icing sugar and beat to get back stiff texture good for piping.)

I love this shade of pink!

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