Baba Shower II: The Return

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything practical or useful and since this one received such an enthusiastic response from my peers I thought I would offer a humble ‘how-to’ for it.

As I’ve said numerous times in the past, I am not a master baker. I barely follow a recipe and I never intend to be overly ambitious in my decorating. However, the more opportunities I have had to bake, the more brave I become and the more I enjoy it. If you read my blog on The Importance of Cake you’ll know my ethos about how much happiness I believe a simple, homemade cake can bring. If you’ve been following my blogs from their humble beginnings, you’ll know that creativeclemps was born out of a close friends baby shower planning. So this blog combines my passion for special baby showers for special friends and for cake.

I give to you The Ultimate Baby Shower Cake. When my friends sister set about planning a surprise shower for her third pregnancy I was more than eager to help (obviously!). At first I offered to make a cake, but such is the Creative Mind (I’ve written about how this spurs me to do a little bit more than absolutely necessary here, too) that one simple cake turned into a two-tired, multi-coloured creation. I was initially less than satisfied with the outcome but received a number of lovely comments about it afterwards, so would like to explain how simple it really was. So here you go…

How To Make the Ultimate Baby Shower Cake

You will need:

For The Cake

(for this I must credit my old school friend for introducing me to Never Fail Chocolate Cake, whose recipe I adapted for this one, and which made my life so much easier! This cake is wonderfully light yet spongey and easy on the palate yet delicious.)

3 cups of self-raising flower
3 cups of sugar
1.5 cups of margarine
6 eggs
1.5 cups of milk (I used skimmed, but feel free to go full fat!)
1 tsp of pink food colouring
1 tsp of blue food colouring
Half a tub of cherries, chopped in half

For The Decoration
2 bulks of ready to roll icing
Pink food colouring
Blue food colouring
White chocolate writing icing (see pictured later)
2 small bunches of roses

Utensils
1 medium-large round cake tin
1 small/er round cake tin
Sieve
2 mixing bowls
Butter or margarine to grease
A rolling pin
1 small cup

Time to mix – 10 mins
Time to bake – 45 mins
Time to decorate – 15mins – 1 hr, depending how successful/perfectionist you are!

The Cake

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together; sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar
  2. Melt the margarine in a cup in the microwave on a low heat for approximately 30 seconds. Once nicely melted add to the bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs briefly in a measuring jug or bowl and add to the mixture.
  4. Stir together gently, then slowly add the milk.
  5. Mix throughly to a drop consistency.
  6. Roughly split the mixture between two bowls. Add the pink food colouring to one, blue food colouring to the other. Mix throughly.
  7. Add the chopped cherries to the pink mixture. You can actually add chocolate drops or dried fruit to either, but personally I thought the cherries complimented the pink mixture and just made one the tiers a little different.
  8. Add one mixture to the well greased larger baking tin and the other to the other.
  9. Bake both on 180 degrees for 45 minutes. Test the centre with a sharp knife and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If not, continue to bake for approximately 10 mins.
  10. Leave both cakes to stand for 15 mins then turn out of their tins.

The Decoration

  1. Ensure both cakes have cooled thoroughly before attempting to move them about or ice them.
  2. Split your ready-to-roll icing into two large balls.
  3. Create a small ‘well’ in the centre of each by pressing your thumb into the middle.
  4. Add a small amount of food colouring (blue to one, pink to the other) in the well. Fold over the icing, then twist and knead.
    NOTE: Take off any important rings and wear an apron for this as food colouring is likely to get everywhere! 
  5. For a marbled effect, like mine, stop kneading the icing when you are satisfied. For a block colour, keep kneading until throughly mixed. For darker tones, add more food colouring.
    I roughly estimated how much icing I would need for each cake, so apologies I can’t give you exact proportions, but I would recommend more rather than less.
  6. Roll out one lot of icing to a sheet of approximately a millimetre thickness. Any thinner and you may experience breaking as you try to lay it on your cake and a ‘bubbled’ texture in the surface. You need it thick enough to lay smoothly, but not so thick that you make everyone sick with sugar! Tricky!
  7. Lay the pink icing onto your blue cake, and blue icing onto your pick cake.
  8. You will need a little layover of icing to neatly fold underneath the cake. Using a sharp knife, gently cut a circle around your cake.
  9. Carefully lift each cake and tuck the layover underneath. I am no professional in this respect. I was winging it! 
  10. When you are satisfied with the appearance of each cake, baste a small circlr using either water or egg white in the centre of your larger cake. Carefully lift the smaller cake and position on top.
  11. Congratulations! You’ve achieved your two tiers! Myself, I wasn’t especially happy with the outcome at this stage, which is where the idea of flowers came from. I wanted/needed something to hide the imperfections. With little time to spare I couldn’t get hold of edible flowers or otherwise to embellish my cake with, therefore improvised wildly with fresh roses! 
  12. De-leaf your small roses (I chose white to match the writing) completely.
  13. Wash their stems thoroughly.
  14. Chop the heads of the roses, leaving about 1.5inch of stem.
  15. Gently push the rose heads into the centre circumference of the cake on a slight diagonal, so that they overlap slightly and don’t protrude too much from the cake. (At this stage I am really wishing I took more photographs of the process, but alas I wasn’t planning a How-To on this one. My apologies!)
  16. Finally, for the writing on top, fill a large mug with hot water and leave the chocolate icing tube (as per it’s instructions) in the mug of water for 3 minutes.
  17. I used this chocolate writing icing over sugar writing icing or a piping bag quite simply because it is SO easy. You’ll be amazed.
  18. Practise the size and style of your message first on a sheet of kitchen roll.
  19. Write a (short) appropriate message on your top tier and allow to dry. 
  20. Et voila! A baby shower cake with a difference!

I ought to have mentioned earlier (in case it isn’t obvious) that the reason I opted for a pink and blue combo cake was because my friend doesn’t yet know the sex of her baby. But I guess this idea can work for a sex-specific shower, perhaps by making the cake inner a darker or lighter shade of blue/pink. Or a yellow and white tier. And of course this cake isn’t baby shower specific. Goodness only knows some lucky devil will get an interpretation of this for their birthday or other occasion. Needless to say the two tier job is challenging, but when you cut through the cake, the impact is rather satisfying, though I say so myself.

In addition, I just HAD to do a come back of the baby biscuits from baba shower numero 1 and used the remnants of blue and pink icing to make blue and pink nappies.

All in all, we had a sufficiently surprised and delighted expectant friend. Job well done.

 

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