My eldest daughter, Poppy, just turned three. [Pause for silent mum-sob. ‘My baby!’]. I could, and often do, gush about her forever, but this is a food blog so let’s talk cake.
It obviously had to be the first item to be considered. When asked, Poppy stated she wanted ‘pink’ cake. She loves using colour descriptors like that. Once, on the way to the hair salon, I asked her what kind of haircut she wanted and she said ‘purple’. Fair enough.
So pink cake was my challenge.
Off I went to Pinterest to see what other overachieving mums had tried. Sometimes researching (to use the term loosely) on Pinterest is like jumping down the rabbit hole: you’ll get distracted from your original simple idea and think that you can do some awesome sprinkle-covered, pinata style, multi-coloured, fondant-iced masterpiece. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the time, talent or actual inclination. But Pinterest is like skill window-shopping…giving rise to some amazing Pinterest fails (google image search this…amazing). I digress (ironically). Eventually I narrowed the ‘pink’ brief down to having pink ombre layers and pink icing (flavoured and coloured by freeze-dried strawberries).
I luckily got to test my idea with my sister-in-law a few weeks before the party, so come party-eve I was ready to go. I’d even bought the posh butter (goooooollld). Apart from some slightly wonky cakes (flipping oven is hotter in some places than others), everything turned out really well – especially the colours of the layers and icing. I’d in particular recommend gel cake/icing colouring (way more concentrated colour) and freeze dried fruit powder to colour and flavour your icing.
Recipe I used can be found here. You can also find it in Cupcake Jemma’s cookbook here (if you’re an avid baker I’d definitely recommend). Only alterations I made were that I multiplied the recipe by 1.5 so that I could make 3 layers, adding increasing amounts of the pink food colouring to each layer. And to the icing I replaced 50g of icing sugar with 50g of freeze-dried strawberry powder, which I found on Amazon.
Cake turned out beautiful (if I do say so myself). Although perhaps I may have appreciated it’s beauty more than most (cue husband’s reaction: ‘It’s really PINK.’ Me: ‘Yeah! But it’s three freaking shades of pink!!!!’). My daughter got her pink cake. I got to seriously road-test a new recipe and ingredient. Win all around!
P.S – I also made some bad-ass sausage rolls for the party. I’ll have to share the super-simple recipe for those soon because they’re pretty amazing (if I do say so myself!).