Are we not all proud of South Africa’s #cricket team the Proteas? According to my husband it is taboo to talk about rugby, unless of course you are talking about the Rugby 7’s. It is ok to talk about the cricket though.
The other day, a client asked me for a Protea cake – something he could show off to his Kiwi visitors after the game against the Black Caps. He was confident our boys in Green and Gold were going to take the cake with some ease and overs to spare. He was so right!
Creating the cake
I have to admit, it was a challenge for me to create something that would make our boys proud, but with a light green icing, some edible gold leaf (you can find this at art shops) and some proteas, I think I managed. Do not ask me the measurements for the green icing colour – I added drop for drop until I was happy with the colour.
I used Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake recipe and her frosting for between the layers. I had to double the recipe in order to attain the right height for the cake. It’s really delicious, moist and dense.
Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake
1 cup (250 ml) water 125 g butter, cubed
1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups (300 g) flour, sifted
1 t (5 ml) baking soda, sifted (bicarbonate of soda)
2 cups (440 g) caster sugar
2 eggs ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence/extract
Chocolate cream cheese frosting
100 g unsalted butter, softened
500 g cream cheese
2 cups (320g) icing sugar, sifted
½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted
Pre-heat oven to 160 °C. Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Place flour, baking soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Divide mixture between 2 greased and lined 20cm round cake tins, then bake for 40-45 min or until baked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out the cakes onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. For the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
To assemble, slice off the round tops of each cake layer to produce 2 smooth, flat layers (I use a sharp long bladed knife). Place one layer on a plate, spread with frosting, then put remaining half on top and cover with frosting.