Wacky Birthday Cake

I'm in love with this cake! I was so honored to be asked to make a birthday cake for this man. The problem - how do you make a cake for someone with that much exuberance, passion and light inside of them!
So I started with some really great icing colors and made a gradient up the cake, ending in a very vibrant yellow green that you can feel in your teeth. I've been wanting to pepper a cake with meringues for awhile and in experimenting with it I found I need to seal them from the moisture of the cake so I dipped them in colored white chocolate and then just went for it. I am in love with how it turned out! It has so much texture and movement. I brought it into my office, architecture firm, and a lot of people were commenting about how wacky and busy it was yet they thought it felt thoughtful and striking. I knew I'd nailed it, I was pretty sure he'd love it, luckily he did :)

Just as good as the decorating is that this is a cardamom spice cake with cardamom espresso frosting topped with cardamom vanilla meringues. I loved grinding all the pods up and just dumping it in. Cardamom is normally so under obsessed about, not this time!
Cardamom Spice Cake:
from here, with a cardamom increase

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
 3/4 tso cardamom
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup butter; room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

1   preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line the bottom of 2  8"x8" cake pans with parchment paper, spray with oil and coat with flour
2   in a bowl mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices
3   in another bowl beat the butter well and then beat in the sugar and brown sugar
4   scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beat in vanilla
5   then on low add in 1/3 of flour mixture, then 1/3 buttermilk and repeat until all is incorporated
6   pour cake into pans and bake 30-35 minutes, a toothpick should come out clean, pull out and let the cakes cool

Cardamom espresso frosting:

2 cups butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs cold milk

1   beat butter until light and fluffy then slowly beat in powdered sugar
2   beat in salt, espresso powder, cardamom, and vanilla until smooth
3   slowly beat in milk 1 tbs at time
4   frost the top of one of the cake layers, then do a crumb coat on the outside of the cake filling in an crevices, the space between the 2 cake layers, etc and place cake in fridge
4   place remaining frosting in 3 bowls (you will want a bit more of the frosting for the lightest color as you need to frost the top with it) and add food coloring until you achieve desired colors
5   put each frosting in a piping bag and cut a big tip with scissors. Make sure you reserve a bit of icing to use as glue for putting on the meringues
6   pull cake out of fridge and pipe 2 large rings around the bottom of the cake with the darkest color, then get the middle color and pipe on 2 more large rings around the cake, then pipe the lightest color to the top of the cake and squeeze a bunch of frosting out on the top of the cake
7   take a large flat knife and smooth out the cake, you will be pulling off a lot of extra icing as that is how the gradient will start to appear. continue to work your way around the cake and on the top until it is smooth.

Then I made these meringues and dipped them in colored white chocolate and let them dry on parchment paper. If you're having trouble getting the white chocolate to set you can place them in the fridge for a little bit.

Add a bit of frosting to the bottom of each meringue and arrange them on the cake. I added a few types of sprinkles too to add more texture.

No comments:

Post a Comment