What is it about being a girl and wanting to bake a cake for your loved ones? Or is it just me and the upbringing I’ve had that’s created this yearn to feed people food? My 15 year old daughter asked me to show her how to make a ruffle cake similar to the one above which I had made for my Mum’s birthday two days ago. It was going to be her boyfriend’s birthday and she had said she would make him a cake.
And before some of you start foaming at the mouth and declaring I’ve set the feminist movement back by a few decades by encouraging this, I’d like to declare that I think baking is a feminist act. End of.
I was at Gunwharf Quays (for my sins) with my visiting family yesterday, chaperoning my Mum as the others got on with their shopping. I had plans to take photos but I was rather weighed down with the bags of chocolate I was carrying for my Mum. Believe it or not, we DO actually have Cadbury’s chocolate in Malaysia.
In between helping my Mum choose a cardigan from the Ralph Lauren shop and me breaking stuff accidentally in the Le Crueset shop (oh yes), I was texting Firstborn the recipe for the chocolate cake she needed to make into two sheet cakes.
These she was going to cut out four rounds to make a layer cake out of. The layers are sandwiched with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and crumbcoated before being put in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
Swiss meringue buttercream whipping
For the piping we were going to do, which is the ruffled effect for the side and Rose swirls for the top, we needed petal tip #103 and 6-point star nozzle tip.
The best way to start really is from the side. You need to make sure you a holding the piping bag in almost a 90 degree angle, with the wider end of the tip close up to the side of the cake.
You really want to make sure you stay close to the surface, in order to anchor the ruffles to the side. Avoid the temptation to create the ruffles by going diagonally side to side and just stick to just moving swiftly from left to right and back again.
Firstborn has just had her hair cut and I think this photo is almost reminiscent of a Chinese opera character (the nice one, not a baddie).
And all this while, life goes on and my Mum marvels at the frantic pace of our family life.
But we do occasionally get some down time.
Slaveboy fashioned a cake board out of layers of stiff foil as Firstborn forgot to buy one.
And here is the first decorated cake Firstborn ever made. I don’t know if this be the stuff childhood memories are made of, but it’s definitely one for mine.