Those of you that know me, know that I like to muck around in the kitchen doing a bit of baking from time to time. In fact, a lot of you that know me, have taste-tested that baking!
I have wanted to try a Vertical Layer Cake for absolutely AGES, but it seemed like too fancy a cake to just roll out for school lunches, you know? The I am Baker blog has the best tutorial, which I followed easily. And, seeing as my Nanny was turning 80, I decided to give it a crack. It turned out to be a 3 day process...
The theory goes like this.... bake two 8 inch round cakes of the same flavour (I baked Dark Pink Velvet Cake), placing them in the oven at the same time. Immediately you remove them from the oven, slice the 'hump' off the top of each cake to make it level, and invert one cake on top of the other so that the two freshly cut cake tops are touching. Place in freezer immediately. Phew! Now once you have done this, repeat again with a different flavoured (and coloured) cake. My second cake was just a basic white cake. I did all this on the first night. Then I did the dishes, had a cup of tea and went to bed ;)
Once frozen, take out of freezer temporarily and cut concentric circles into both cakes, making sure the circles are the same size on each cake. Did I mention you were cutting into FROZEN cake?! Hmmm, not terribly easy, but do-able all the same. I made a template from the side of a cereal box, drew 3 circles on it, and used that. So I cut the biggest circle in each cake, then trimmed off the outer circle of my template, then cut the next smallest circle in both cakes, etc etc - you get the picture? Here's what the cakes looked like once sliced:
Different cakes but identical dimensions and identical cuts, you see? Then, slice through the outer rings until you reach the centre circle, on both cakes. Then swap the inner circle, and every other circle, until you have a cake with alternating layers VERTICALLY. Cool huh? Wrap a piece of baking paper firmly around the outside, brush the top of the cake with a simple sugar syrup (1c sugar, 1c water, bring to boil then cool completely), then put back in the freezer again. That was the second night. Less dishes this time, but a very sore hand!
When you want to frost the cake (or cakes, depending on how hungry you are!), take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge for a bit. Otherwise peeps, your frosting sets way too quickly on the frozen cake, and may well sweat as the cake thaws. I did exactly what Amanda from I am Baker did, and piped roses all over using my 1M tip. Looks complicated, but was so SO simple. Icing tip was only about $3 or $4 at Ballantynes. If you don't have a piping bag, use a plastic zip lock bag and snip the corner out of it. Does pretty much the same job. Once iced, I used the Wilton Color Mist Spray that I have had in my cupboard for several months waiting for a moment like this. It's basically an aerated food colouring spray in a bottle. Way cool. So here's the finished product:
And don't forget the close-up:
So here's what Amanda from I am Baker's one looked like, that had me champing at the bit to try one...
And yes, ours did look a lot like that once sliced open, but not chocolate and white, dark pink and white instead. We had the cake at a nice little family morning tea for Nanny at her place a couple of weeks ago. We had been out for tea the night before, but weren't allowed to make a fuss, so no cake. No Cake? Well, I wasn't having that, thank you very much, I have been wanting to make this cake for ages! Nanny said it was great - her birthday was on the Wednesday and she had visitors, flowers and drinks that day, then we had a meal out on the Saturday night, and a family morning tea on the Sunday. 'My birthday has just about lasted all week' she said... At 80, why not?!
I'll leave you with a cute shot that my cousin took at the dinner of Nanny and Grangran together. 80 and 87 and they still look cute together. They still hold hands too :)
Oh and PS - the cake tasted as good as it looked! The 'other' cake (which is still in my freezer) is going to be for Mum's birthday this week.... I mentioned I had another one stashed there and she put dibs on that. Only two more sleeps Mama!!!!
Right, off to bed for moi... Toodles,
Oh and PPS - I hope that those of you in Chch get a good night's sleep tonight. The aftershocks today were strong enough that we even felt them here. In fact the bigger of the two had me under my desk at work, preparing to kiss my butt goodbye... Don't know how you guys do it day after day. Thinking of you all. x