Monday, 11 March 2013
Strawberry and Vanilla Sprinkle Cake
Today we had a party at work for our nurse Jane who is sadly leaving us to have her first baby. While I am super excited for her she will be dearly missed. For the party I made a super girly pink cake for her, not only to reflect the sadness of her leaving but I thought I should the accustom her with the new colour that will soon dominate her life, once her daughter enters this world.
Nothing screams "ITS A GIRL" like a strawberry pink sprinkle cake does.
(Forgive the Tupperware, the cake had to be transported half an hour by car to its awaiting crowd)
Strawberry and Vanilla Sprinkle Cake
Adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes
For the Cake
400g Plain Flour
400g White Sugar
2 Tsp Baking Powder
250ml Full Cream Milk
1 Tbs Vanilla essence
250g Salted Butter- make sure it as been softened
2 tsp Strawberry essence
1/4 tsp Rose Pink Food Colouring
For the Buttercream
6 large egg white
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup strawberry jam
3/4 cup Rainbow Sprinkles
1/4 tsp rose pink food colouring
2 tsp Strawberry Essence
1. Preheat oven to 180°C, grease and line four 20cm round springform cake tins (I only have two so I did the baking in two batches and I only lined the bottoms of the pans with baking paper). Weigh the mixing bowl you will use with your electric mixer (mine was 650g)
2. To make the cake, place the butter and sugar in a standing electric mixer. Start by beating the mixture on a low speed and then gradually increase the speed to high, beating the mixture until it is pale and creamy (this will normally take about 5 min).
3. Now reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure not to add the next until the first is fully incorporated in the mixture. Now add the vanilla essence
4. Place the flour and baking powder in a bowl and the milk in a jug. On the lowest speed possible, alternate between adding small portions of the flour and of the milk, until both are incorporated into the mixture.
5. Now weigh the mixing bowl again, subtracting the initial weight of the mixing bowl (this was 1450g), and then divide this number in half. Separate out half the mixture into another bowl (I separated 725g out). With the left over mixture in the original mixing bowl, place half of that in one cake tin (so around 360g) and the other half in the second cake tin.
6. With the second mixture that you separated into another bowl, add the strawberry essence and the pink food colouring. Now repeat the above process so you have half of that mixture in two cake tins also. (You should now have 4 cake tins, each full with a quarter of the original mixture.)
7. Now bake the cake layers for 18-20min. Once the time has passed, check the cakes are cooked, they should be lightly brown around the edges and spring back when pressed in the center. Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the tins and then turn them onto cooling racks to let them cool completely.
8. For the buttercream, whisk together egg whites and sugar in a heavy based, good quality saucepan (I use scan pan- the quality matters). On the lowest temperature possible to achieve on your stove top, continue to whisk the egg white and sugar over this heat for about 5 minutes. You want the mixture to become hot to touch, the sugar having dissolved, but not so the egg white cook! If this is your first time making Swiss meringue butter cream maybe look up the most foolproof method to do this, which involves whisking the mixture in a bowl over simmering water with a candy thermometer attached… but who has time for that. Live dangerously, use a saucepan and watch your egg whites with care.
9. Once complete, transfer the mixture to your standing mixer and using a whisk attachment, whisk on high for about 5-10 minutes. You know this step has been completed when the bowl and it is at room temperature. If it is still warm the mixture still needs more time being whisked. You want to add the butter to a mixture that is at room temperature.
10. Once the mixing bowl feels neutral to touch, reduce the speed to medium and in small cubes, slowly add the butter, whisking each piece until it has been completely incorporated. This buttercream is an emulsion mixture just like mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce. Thus time is needed in slowly incorporating the solid into the liquid otherwise the mixture will split. Once all the butter is incorporated, add the colouring, sprinkles, flavour and the strawberry jam, and whisk until luscious and tempting.
11. Place the buttercream in the fridge for 10 or so minutes so it is easier to work with as now we assemble the cake. Take your first cake layer, position it on the display medium and put about a cup of the butter cream mixture on top. Spread it out so its even and repeat with the remaining layers. Once complete do a crumb coat by putting a thin layer of buttercream all around the cake. Now put a thicker layer, making sure the cake appears round and even. Now put the cake in the freezer or fridge for 10 minutes to harden up the buttercream, this makes it easier to smooth out. Once the buttercream is cold take a butter knife and smooth out the surface of the cake.
12. Decorate the cake as desired, I used some pink and purple sprinkles and wrote a message on top with a black icing pen. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When ready to eat, take the cake out of the fridge 2 hours before serving so the cake can come to room temperature. Everyone at work really enjoyed this cake including Jane! At the end of the day only one piece remained which my partner was very thankful for when it was presented to him as dessert tonight. I can't believe he is not sick of cake yet.
Posted by Brooke Schweers