The cake. After seeing sweetapolita’s ruffle cake a few months ago, I was certain this was to be the birthday cake.
I modified the cake recipe slightly, and made dark chocolate ganache for the layers rather than SMB.
The cake was moist and unrecognizably gluten free, the ganache was rich and creamy and the buttercream, oh my, I could write an essay on how good the buttercream was.
The party had a sail boat theme. So I made a paper sail boat and wrote my sons birth information (not THAT information, his weight, height etc) and some words in English and Maori, on the inside I wrote a few lullaby’s that we like to sing to him.
I was hoping for left overs but that was not the case.
I also made sail boat goodie bags.You can find that recipe here.
Click below for the recipe.
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour
2 cups of white sugar
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup (minus 1 TBSP) soymilk
1/2 rice bran oil
2 free range eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons good quality vanilla essence
1 cup freshly brewed plunger coffee
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare you cake pans. I used 4 8in rounds, you can use rectangle pans or heart shaped, whatever.
In a 1 cup measure place 1 tablespoon of vinegar, pour soy milk over the vinegar until the cup is full, leave for a few minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. You just made soy buttermilk!
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
I mixed this by hand, because this is SUCH a wet mixture it splashes all over the place if done it a kitchen mixer. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stirring consistently, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate with cream over low heat; stir until blended. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until mixture reaches spreading consistency, stirring occasionally.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTER CREAM
You will need to make 2/3 times this recipe to cover the cake, SMB is better made in smaller batches.
1 cup unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp of sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean split with seeds scraped out
pinch of salt
Coloring of your choice
Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.
In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 minutess until the egg whites are hot (about 150 F). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well, to test rub some of the mixture between your fingers, it should be smooth and sticky. If It’s gritty, keep whisking.
Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on a medium speed until the outside of the bowl is tepid. This can take up to 10 minutes.
Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.
Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until butter cream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavoring, vanilla seeds, a pinch of salt and coloring.
When cakes are cooled (preferably 6 hours after baking if not the day after), level the cakes. Mine were pretty level after baking, so they didn’t need much taken off them.
Then place the first cake on a cake board or plate. Place 1/2 a cup of ganache in the center and slowly spread it towards the outside. It doesn’t matter if the ganache goes over the edge.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Repeat this, layering the cakes onto of each other until you place the 4th cake on top.
To steady the cakes, take 4 skewers and cut them to the height of the cake. Insert the skewers into the cake. This will help steady the cake. Pace the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place the cake on your serving plate or cake stand. Scrape around the sides of the cake to remove the excess ganache. Place 1 1/2 cups of the butter cream on top of the cake. Evenly spread this over the cake and down the sides of the cake. It doesn’t matter if this mixes slightly with the ganache. This is called a crumb coat, it serves 3 purposes
1) It traps excess cake crumbs
2) It gives the ruffles something to adhere to
3) If there are any gaps in your ruffles, they won’t be as noticeable.
Now for the ruffles, I used wilton tip #104, I could explain this technique or you could just watch this video, its quite helpful.