Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pink Ombre Cake

Oh my gosh, I am absolutely in love with this cake! It is pink and it is pretty, and I love love love!

When I first saw an ombre cake, I thought they were so pretty that I decided that I would make one for baby girl's birthday! Well baby girl is almost turning one and over the weekend, we held a birthday cake smash for her with this pink ombre cake being the centre piece.

The idea behind the cake smash is that baby girl is meant to smash the cake into pieces (duh, it's exactly how it sounds)!  It's supposed to be fun and messy!  I had a vision of her getting her hands literally stuck into the cake with cake and cream all over her face and body and well, basically everywhere! It sounds so deceptively simple doesn't it! Well I never would have guessed in a million years that baby girl would be terrified of cake.  She would not go anywhere near it, let alone smash it!

So the cake smash didn't go to plan :( Unfortunately, we weren't able to capture photos of baby girl with a big grin on her face with cream all over her mouth and body as I had imagined.  Instead, we got photos of her sitting next to the cake crying and crawling away from the cake in terror!  Just as priceless!  

Her being so scared of the cake did solve my dilemma of being able to take a photo of a clean slice of the cake to show the beauty of the layers!
So the cake is a simple vanilla sponge cake (you can use any sponge recipe).  I used the Wilton rose colour to get the varying shades of pink although for the bottom layer, I added a touch of red in order to get it really dark.  In hindsight, I don't think I needed it.  The trickiest part of baking this cake is getting the colouring just right. 
So I divided my cake mixture into four bowls and added a little bit of colouring to each to get the varying shades of pink.  You always start with a little bit of colouring first as you can always darken it later.  So the second darkest layer you see was originally my darkest layer.  I had baked that layer first and when I saw how the intensity reduced having baked in the oven, I grabbed the lightest batter and went crazy with the food colouring.  I didn't intend it for it to turn out hot pink but I'm glad I did as I knew it needed to be really intense in order to distinguish the layers. 
I am really happy with how the sponge turned out.  Since I am not so great at trimming sponges to get it level, I was determined to get the sponge to bake evenly so I wouldn't get the dome you usually get in the middle of the cake.  I read that if you wet some old tea clothes and wrap it around the cake tin, that should help the cake cook evenly as it's always the sides that get cooked first (hence the dome).
I was so pleased it worked! So I didn't have to level the cake by cutting it! *happy dance* 
You can see in the top left corner where baby girl managed to just touch the cake!

As for the frosting, I used a plain Swiss meringue buttercream.  It's my favourite frosting (aside from cream cheese frosting).  Similar to the sponge, I divided the frosting into different bowls and gradually added a bit of food colouring, making sure that there was more of the lightest colour frosting as that would also cover the top of the cake.
I didn't really judge the quantity well as I ran out of the lightest colour frosting and ended up having to pipe a few swirls here and there with some of the darker colour frosting.
Not only is this cake so darn pretty, it taste darn good too! I absolutely love love love this cake!

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