Blue Ombre Cake
I have no set ideas about colours for cakes. That’s quite clear here, as you can see.
This beautiful Blue Ombre Cake is for an engagement, my nephews. They’ve chosen a blue theme for their wedding. I think it is going to be lovely.
When I was young, my Mother had her own superstitious beliefs about the colour of weddings. More specifically she believed that green weddings always spelled doom. When we were young each time we saw a bride with bridesmaids clad in green, she shook her head in disbelief that they could be so stupid. She was a perfectly normal parent, well other than her equally strange belief that opening an umbrella inside the house was bad luck. So except for weddings and rainy days everything was OK.
She believed she had documented evidence that every time green was involved in the nuptials it would end in tears. Her control test cases were two friends from teachers college, whose partnerships both dissolved within a few years of their marriage. I am not sure if her colour fears rubbed off on me but I certainly have a little nervous tick if an umbrella is opened indoors.
This Blue Ombre Cake is a chocolate layer cake filled with milk caramel chocolate buttercream and covered in a vanilla (though very blue) cream cheese icing.
A cake’s a cake though until you dress it up and this one had a pretty simple dressing up with some balls of rolled sugar icing, Maltezers and white chocolate drips. I like to put cakes like this on top of a nicely decorated board, it adds to the drama for such a small amount of work. I’ve stuck little multicoloured hearts and balls on with egg white mixed with some icing sugar till thick. (icing glue) make sure you put some extra icing in the centre of the board to stop the cake sliding around.
So, here’s the way it’s done at a blue wedding. Do you have any irrational fears about colours? Any superstitions I should know about?
- 500 ml coffee ( I use 2 cups instant coffee)
- 600 gm caster sugar (3 cups)
- 250 gm butter softened
- 50 gm dark cocoa
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 450 gm plain flour ( 3 cups)
- a pinch of salt
- 300 gm caster sugar
- 80 ml water
- 5 egg white
- 450 gm butter chopped (room temperature)
- 400 gm milk chocolate
- 1 teaspoon salted caramel flavouring
- 250 gm cream Cheese (Room temperature)
- 500 gm butter (room temperature)
- 250 gm icing sugar mixture ( 2 cups)
- 300 gm white chocolate chocolate
- 100 ml cream
- 1 teaspoon glucose
- 1 royal blue food colouring
- set the oven 180 F/ 350 F. Then you'll need 2 x 23 cm /10 inch cake tins with removable bottoms, fully greased and lined with baking paper. Clear space in the fridge to chill your cake. You will need 5 zip lock bags or piping bags to make the Ombre coloured sides. A thick heavy cake board (approx 16 in), a pallet knife, and roll out icing for decorations. optional*
- Put the coffee, sugar, butter, and cocoa in to a pot. Set over a low flame and stir till just melted. Cool to just warm.
- Whisk the eggs and add to the mix followed by the sifted flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir till combined.
- Pour the batter into two tins, halved exactly and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the tin and remove. Cool. repeat.
- Cool and then chill the cake layers.
- Melt the chocolate and set aside.
- Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixing bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugar is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. With an electric mixer, whisk on high speed until cool (test by touching bottom of bowl), 7 to 10 minutes.
- Change the whisk to a paddle and beat in the butter a piece at a time. The buttercream will eventually be silky and smooth but at one point during the mixing the mixture will look like scrambled egg but just keep going till it is smooth. Beat in the cool chocolate and the caramel flavouring.
- Divide this between the layers evenly. ( you can sprinkle the layers with crushed praline or nuts for crunch). Chill the cake till firm for the best results 24 hours if possible,
- Beat the butter till light and fluffy then add the cream cheese and keep beating till very airy and light. Add the sugar and mix on low till incorporated add vanilla and then beat till light. (about 10 minutes)
- Put a cup and a half of icing into 4 separate bowls colour these in increasingly dark shades of blue ( start with 1 dropin the first bowl, 2 drops in the next 3 drops and four and so on , then go on from here achieving the varied colours you want).
- Cover the cake with the rest of the cream cheese icing as a crumb coat. Smooth over very well, and make sure it is not too thick. chill
- Using a piping bag or zip lock bag with a whole cut in the corner pipe two lines of each colour around the cake ( see the video below) Starting with the darkest colour. Smooth around the cake making the icing nice and smooth, pipe on more icing to fill any gaps in each colour. Smooth the sides wiping off excess blue coloured icing into a bowl as you go. You will end up with a nice smooth sided cake. Chill again.
- Heat the cream and glucose then add the colouring and stir ( don't add colouring to plain chocolate it will not work! ). Add the chopped chocolate to the cream and stir to melt and combine. I like to try and make the drizzle the same colour as the darkest base colour.
- Put enough chocolate on the top to just smooth over to the edges of the cake with out over flowing and then add a bit more so that it just drips down the sides and you have control over it. You can add a little extra icing to a zip lock bag and put a tiny whole in it. Drizzle a little extra chocolate around the edge and smooth down.. Chill
- transfer the cake to a cake board. I have decorated mine with roll out icing and hearts but you could just put it on a plain board Lift the cake with several cake smoothers onto the board.
- decorate the cake with anything you like. i have used varying sizes of coloured icing and cut out hearts.
- The cake can be left at room temperature at least 6 hours before you want to serve it.