Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Summer Skies Buttercream Beauty

Sometimes a cake is the product of hours planning, slaving and perfecting, not today though, today's three layer vanilla sponge cake is just something pretty for tea, hastily photographed in my kitchen window to share with you.
A Birthday cake
The cake above is a (quickly snapped on my phone) picture of a Birthday cake that I made for the daughter of a colleague recently, I took it to work for the handover and some of the ladies and gents there were having a sneaky peek. One in particular, (you know who you are) was inhaling so deeply, he was practically drinking the cake through his nose! (Even though I do say so myself, it did smell delicious.)

Well, it just so happened that this particular colleague and his wife were popping over at the weekend for a walk and a spot of tea, so later on I enquired as to his favourite cake, he um-ed and ah-ed and eventually decided on ... "anything with buttercream" and so I promised him a buttercream cake for Saturday tea. Now this was all happened on Friday, so you can understand why this is one hastily put together cake, I decided that I would show it to you, with its imperfections, as sometimes a cake doesn't need to go in the fridge before you ice it, have a crumb coat before its top coat and hours and hours spent perfecting its icing.This whole cake was made on a Saturday morning whilst making breakfast and generally entertaining my beautiful boy.


This is a three layer six inch cake and to make one of these you need a four egg mix.


Start by weighing four eggs in their shells, they will probably weigh about 200g or 8oz, or so, and then measure out equal amounts of

- butter or margarine
- caster sugar
- self raising flour
- 1tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1. Cream together the butter, margarine and vanilla extract, if using, until really pale and fluffy
2. Beat the eggs a little to break them up
3. Slowly add the eggs (Add a tablespoon or so of the flour if the mixture curdles)
4. Finally add the flour. Once the flour is added - mix lightly until just combined.

Divide mixture equally between cake tins and bake at 350F / 180C for about 20 to 25 minutes.

The cake is iced with a simple buttercream icing. As the weather was warm and humid I used twice as much icing sugar as butter to ensure that the buttercream did not melt.

I wanted this buttercream to be sky blue. Blue can be difficult to achieve in buttercream because the buttercream is yellow in colour. To achieve a true blue, you need to take the yellow out of the butter, the way to do this (and i know it sounds strange) is to add violet to cancel our the yellow.

4oz / 250g butter softened
8oz / 500g icing / confectioners sugar
1tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Beat the butter with the vanilla extract, if using, until really soft. If you want to colour your icing, it is a good idea to add the colour now. Use the violet to cancel out the yellow - add a little at a time and beat until well mixed. When you have added enough, the butter will have turned to an unappealing shade of pale grey sludge. This is just what you want and the time to add your blue.

Next add the icing sugar about one third at a time, beating well after each addition until all incorporated. Spread and smooth your icing and then have fun with some piping. I piped the icing on this cake using a Wilton 32 nozzle / tip.

Hope you like it!

That's all for today
Thanks for popping by and please call again soon

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