Category Archives: Cake

my coconut #cake on a retro light fitting

my coconut #cake on a retro light fitting

White Coconut Cake
I recently received a brief from a client to make a white cake for a birthday celebration. She wanted a vanilla sponge; the cake had to be white; on a different cake stand (so not a normal cake stand) and she wanted one white candle in the cake. We trawled through Pinterest together and we found a white coconut decorated cake. This was the easy part.
Coconut Cake
All you need is two layers (cut each in two so you have four layers) of vanilla sponge cake and a big batch of vanilla icing. For the outside you only need coconut flakes. So first ice the cake and then with you hands … just gently push the coconut onto the cake. That’s it.

The cake stand proved to be the biggest problem. What did my client mean by ‘something different’? Well, I went to a few second-hand shops and eventually I found this retro thick glass light fitting. Yes, a light fitting off all things! It worked perfect with the cake… so dreamy and beautiful. I loved it and so did she.

Coconut Cake

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citrus #doughnuts with #cinnamon sugar

citrus #doughnuts with #cinnamon sugar

I just LOVE warm, fluffy and crisp doughnuts. Smothered in chocolate or caramel sauce or simply sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar. I never thought I would make doughnuts because they are a bit of a project, but they are much less work than you might think. We made these tasty citrus delights this morning on Expresso and used Sara Wineberg’s recipe. Once you have mastered this basic recipe you can do pretty much anything you like in terms of glazes, toppings and fillings.citrus doughnuts

Citrus doughnuts with cinnamon sugar
(Recipe by Sara Wineberg)

2 sachets (20g) dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
Pinch salt
3 Tbs margarine
1Tbs oil
4 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
Oil for frying
To serve
Castor sugar
Cinnamon

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tsp sugar in ¼ cup warm water. Allow to stand for several minutes until bubbly. Add egg, remaining water, orange juice, salt, margarine, oil, flour and remaining sugar and knead until smooth. Cover dough and allow to double in size (about 1 hour). Roll out dough on a floured surface. Shape into balls. Leave on a greased wax paper to rise again for about 1/2 hour. Heat oil to 350 degrees deep fry with lid on and turn when golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon, drain and cool on paper towels. Make some cinnamon sugar and sprinkle over doughnuts

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cheats cacao cake

cheats cacao cake

cacao cake
These days I often find that I do not have the time to spend hours in the kitchen to bake and decorate a cake for a special occasion. I have to confess I cheat … but in my defence, many of the ready-baked options end up being just as delicious and beautiful as home-baked versions.

The cake layers
In this instance, I visited CAB Foods Factory shop and tried out their ready baked cacao sponge cakes. You can buy these frozen at about R23 per cake! Yes, not too bad. I did not know what it tasted like so I defrosted one and was I surprised? I do not think it would be possible for me to bake it any better – nor cheaper. Just to note…you will need to defrost these cakes properly for at least a few hours –make sure they are not cold in the centre.
cacao cake 2
Decorating
Outside: The icing was no problem. My friend Mari-Louis Guy introduced me to Pillsbury’s Ready-to-Spread Chocolate Fudge Flavoured Frosting. People this is dangerously delicious. You can of course make your own icing, but why would you do that if you have a frosting that is so velvety and chocolatey.
Layer 1: I opted for the Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting
Layer 2: You cannot go wrong with caramel. You will only use about ½ tin – of course I got stuck in with the teaspoon into the leftover caramel – and that was that!

And did anyone notice that I cheated? Nope, they thought the cake was scrumptious, moist and delicious … and yes, I took all the credit!

cacoa cake sliced
What you need
3 x layers cacao sponge cakes
1 x tin caramel
2 x Pillsbury’s Ready-to-Spread Chocolate Fudge Flavoured Frosting
1 x Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting

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my chocolate + orange cake

my chocolate + orange cake

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This coming Saturday it is the Chocolate and Orange Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market and yours truly is very excited! It will also be the very first public launch of Human & Rousseau’s new Koekedoor 2 baking book and enthusiasts can look forward to rubbing shoulders with the television stars, taking a selfie with the celebs and brag with an autograph or two! Yippy-dee-doo-dah!

My interpretation of chocolate and orange
So I decided to try my hand on the chocolate and orange theme and sommer bought two chocolate mousse cakes. After I carefully iced the two cakes together I decorated the outside with my mom’s chocolate icing. Nothing fancy – just butter, icing and cacao. For two days I was looking for anything orange – I did not want to go for oranges or nectarines … then I saw some beautiful strelitzias and my orange scissors :-). As they say … the rest is history.

Details for cake decorating competition
On Saturday young and old are invited to come show off their creativity when it comes to cakes. The emphasis of the competition will be on decorating and those who want to showcase their expertise when it comes to cake creations can do so by sending an email to chocolateandorangecake@gmail.com Participants (of any age) have to remain true to the chocolate and orange theme. Entries are R50 per person – and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer charity. Great prizes are also up for grabs – including an autographed Koekedoor 2 book, a shopping voucher of R1000 and more.

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my pantone 2016 cloud cake

my pantone 2016 cloud cake

Pantone cloud cake

Each year I wait in anticipation to see what the Pantone Colour of the Year will be. This year they surprised us and went with two amazing colours … Rose Quartz and Serenity. I love the soft colours and this cake was inspired by these pretty colours. It is very difficult to get the right colours with icing sugar and I would love to go on a course on colouring confectionery icing. Anyone?

The process was as follows: white icing, a toothpick drop of blue, then a toothpick drop of purple and then green and so on. And then there I was with my computer and the cake matching and comparing the colours – along with my spoon full of icing. Eventually I realised I must just go for the colour I love – which is this light blue. I then decided to get some pink candyfloss to dress the cake.

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The candyfloss was another story. I could not find big packets of candyfloss at the shop so I bought a small bright pink candyfloss machine and tried making the candy floss myself. Another disaster. My friend suggested I throw the candyfloss contraption into the bin – which I duly did. I then googled every candyfloss maker under the African sun (why did I not do this from the beginning) and found a candyfloss ‘factory’ and asked them for R100’s worth of pink candyfloss. The guy told me bring an empty boot! All this happened while the cake waited patiently in the fridge … for a whole week! 🙂

With a boot full of candyfloss on a very rainy day in Cape Town I decided to style and photograph my cake creation. Another mistake. Candyfloss hates wet weather and after a few minutes it starts to weep sugar tears. This of course is complicated when you are in the middle of a delicate photo shoot and one of your clients’ phone and you have to answer the call. Half an hour later the candy floss was dripping all over the cake.

But at the end of everything, I loved the process – and how the final culmination of my effort has come out. I wanted a dark, rich and dense chocolate cake underneath with clouds of pink and blue and baked Donna Hay’s milk chocolate layer cake.

I think it’s dreamy, whimsical and sublime.

Donna Hay’s milk chocolate layer cake

500 g unsalted butter, chopped
400 g milk chocolate, chopped
660 ml milk
880 g caster sugar
10 ml vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
525 g cake flour, sifted
50 ml baking powder, sifted
50g cocoa, sifted

Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the butter, chocolate, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted and smooth. Pour into in a large bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into 2 lightly greased 22cm round cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper. Cook for 1 hour 25 minutes–1 hour 30 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I used normal butter icing and food colouring. I have no idea how much colouring. Play around and create your own. Have fun!

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