It’s no surprise…. cake and I are good acquaintances.
If someone gave me a choice of dessert, I’d choose cake 100% (also ice-cream… cause always ice-cream. always.)
But for the sake of todays convo topic, where gonna stick to cake. (no hard feelings though ice-cream)
To be all broad and non-specific and all… cake is probably one of the best inventions by man…
Let’s think about it shall we?
– cake always seems to be present at a celebration… birthdays in particular (suspicious… i’ll say)
– it’s so versatile with so many flavour combos and opportunities my little brain can’t even handle the excitement
– big, small, round, square, decorated, simple … each cake is a happy individual
– it’s packed full of such ‘healthy’ goodness, ya know, butter, sugar, cream, chocolate. All the good stuff.
– it is yummy… and that’s enough to make any sane person happy. amma right or amma right?
This cake recipe is from the top notch, beautiful, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, totally amaze-balls book by April Carter called Decorated. (ring any bells from my christmas post, where I was watching my sister wrap it up for me? how did I even live without this book I’ll never know.)
As a budding baker, currently wanting to hone in on my cake decorating skills, this book answered all my cake prayers. Bingo.
Covering everything from how to perfect basic cakes, to little tips on how to put the metaphorical cherry on top of the very real cake and make it look a million bucks.
Seriously, we’re taught how to pipe, create level butter creamed cakes and even how to make homemade edible confetti sprinkles!
This cake my friends is a winner.
So as I carefully read each of the pages, after carrying around this book like my new born baby, I finally settled on a recipe to make. (Yep, i’m talkin about the one pictured, you guessed it)
Blueberry Cinnamon Swirl Balloon Cake
Yeah the balloons drew me in, then it was the delicious combo of blueberry and cinnamon and the buttercream.. you know i’m a sucker for buttercream, and blueberry and cinnamon is a match made in heaven any day, but in a cake like this, double even triple points for deliciousness!
Plus I was reminded of the water balloons my friend gave me in primary school for a present with the card saying
“use them wisely”
and boy oh boy my friend did I do so. Saving them for the ultimate prize. Cake prize.
BLUEBERRY CINNAMON SWIRL BALLOON CAKE
(recipe by April Carter, from Decorated, pg 95-96)
175g fresh blueberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp caster sugar
250g unsalted butter
450g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g unsalted buter
480g icing sugar
120ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla
skewers and water-bomb sized balloons
1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease 2 x 18cm (7 inch) round cake tins with baking paper.
2. Make the blueberry puree by combining the blueberries, cinnamon, caster sugar and 1 tbsp of water in a saucepan. Heat gently until the blueberries are soft. Crush the blueberries with the back of a fork and set aside to cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is pale and fully. Add the eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until they’re well incorporated.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Add 12oml of the milk, the vanilla extract and the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
5. Spoon a third of the cake mixture into a clean bowl and beat in the cooled blueberry puree. Add the remaining milk to the vanilla cake mixture and beat until just combined.
6. To create the swirl effect, divide the vanilla mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and top each tin with the blueberry mixture. Gently fold the 2 layers together (only around 3 folds required).
7. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
8. While the cakes are cooling, make the vanilla buttercream. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3-4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes until smooth.
9. Level the cakes but cutting off the domed tops with a cake leveller or serrated knife. Spread the bottom layer of the cake generously with buttercream. Top with the second cake. Cover the cake whole with a thin layer of butter cream and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
10. Once firm, spread the cake with the remaining buttercream (a table turner and offset spatula are super helpful in achieving this). Decorate with mini balloons attached to the skewers or a scattering of extra blueberries.