Wow. Well I can’t believe it’s been one year since I started this blog. Time seems to have gone by so quickly! I still feel like I’m definitely still a beginner in many aspects of cooking and baking but I like to think that in the last year I have made some bigger strides towards improving my baking. Certainly my love for all things cake decorating only really began to flourish this year – as did a large increase in my baking tools. In the last year, I got a cake turntable, proper icing tips and bags, and tried out a bunch of fun new techniques.
I even tried feathering icing for the first time, too. I love this technique.
I tried a whole bunch of new cake recipes (finding a fave with Pioneer woman’s sheet cake).
I made marshmallow fondant for the first time and made a Bulldogs themed cake with it. I made my first animal themed cake for my God-daughter’s second birthday.
I made my first two, heck, three tier cake. (Mind you I am still yet to venture into the world of using dowelling.. for some reason it scares me.) I even made rice pudding for the first time. I even made ice cream for the first time (well technically the second time. I made it once in high school for Food Tech. But this was this first time with an ice-cream maker anyway.)
My strawberry decorated cakes went from
My piping went from
to this (that second post was the first time I managed to successfully pipe a buttercream shell border. One of my proudest moments as a cake decorator!! Also made chocolate curls there for the first time, too.)
So, I guess on Cookingcrusade.com’s first birthday, it’s only appropriate that I post about something new that I haven’t done before.
And that thing is Ruffle Cake. The first time I saw this was from the blog, My Sweet and Saucy. I then saw it on I Am Baker, who said she had found it on Martha’s site and well.. I guess it’s out there a lot more than I thought (even though I’ve never actually seen one in Australian bakeries before. Believe me, the first time I saw this cake, I had no idea at ALL how they had managed to make such a delectable, sweet looking cake. They uploaded a youtube tutorial on it and wow. Who knew it could be so simple?? Guys, if you have time check out that video, it’s such an easy and pretty technique. It is one of my new favourites and I will definitely be using it again in the future!
I used a swiss meringue buttercream to pipe the ruffles on. It was the first time I had ever made a swiss meringue buttercream and it was worth it. For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, please give it a go! It is gorgeously silky and a lot easier to make than I originally thought. Dyann Bakes has a wonderful and very easy to follow youtube tutorial on this (I will be posting on it myself later on.)
Onwards to ruffle cake!
This cake is incredibly easy.
Basically, bake and cool your cake (whatever flavour/mix you desire). I’ve found its a lot easier to decorate cakes after they’ve been in the fridge for a day or so (or frozen) since they aren’t warm from the oven and prone to crumble as much – and they’re a lot easier to handle (and torte.)
If you are going to fill your cake, cut it in half with a serrated knife or a cake leveller and fill with your cake fillings. Place top half of cake onto the fillings and ice the cake with a thin layer of buttercream icing (you could use a simple buttercream icing instead of swiss meringue if you please) onto the cake, to capture all the crumbs. Refrigerate for about 10-20 minutes or until the icing has formed a crust. Take it out of the fridge and apply a thicker layer of icing to the top and sides of the cake. Don’t worry too much about the sides as you’re going to cover them in ruffles anyway so the imperfections won’t be as noticeable.
Using a filled piping bag with a flower tip (skinny side of the tip facing towards you), pipe the icing against the cake in a zig-zag motion from bottom to top. You can make the ruffles as fat or thin as you like, just make sure they are of a consistent size with each other. Continue this pattern until you have covered all sides of the cake.
Cut into wedges and serve.
I love how gorgeous these ruffles are! (PS if you’re wondering why the colour change of the icing, i blame two things.. 1) the lighting in the first and second shot and 2) the icing seemed to change colour a tiny bit in the fridge! it was weird).
Enjoy and hope you all had a great Australia Day!