Foods

Spring Wreath Cake and 3 year Blogiversary!

I love Spring flavors. I love the flowers blooming
everywhere, and making the area look so pretty. It is so fun to translate those
flavors in the form of baked goods, or in this case a Spring inspired Cake!
Strawberries are slowly coming in season, probably one of my favorite fruits. I
did not taste sweet strawberries, until I came to California. The ones from the
farmer’s market are just so sweet and juicy and you can taste the freshness, in
each and every bite.

I decided to make a Spring inspired Cake – basically a 3
tiered cake, and each layer having a different flavor. I went with Strawberry,
Lemon and Lavender flavors, all very springy and fresh and fragrant. Strawberry
goes well with Lemon, and Lemon goes well with Lavender, so lemon formed the
middle tier of the cake. I used fresh strawberry puree and strawberry
powder(from freeze dried strawberries) for the Strawberry Layer, lemon zest and
lemon extract for the Lemon Layer, and lavender powder(from dried lavender
flowers) in the Lavender Layer. I was contemplating putting lemon curd in the
middle of each tier, but that would make it way too lemony, and you would not
be able to taste the strawberry and lavender layers, so I decided to keep the
buttercream a bit more subtle, by using an Elderflower Swiss Meringue
Buttercream filling and coating for the cake. Why elderflower? Because it again
goes well with the three different layers of the cake! I used St. Germain
Liquer, which I am a huge fan of, to flavor the buttercream and use as a simple
syrup for keeping the cake moist. I made a simple syrup, and added the liquer
for the flavor of the elderflower in the simple syrup.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I love how detailed the
instructions are from Stella of BraveTart, and I adapted the recipe from here,
at Serious Eats!  I have used my adapted
recipe for the cakes that I have made in the past so I know that it works well.
The recipe is fantastic, and she explains with clarification, at what
temperature to wait for the egg and sugar mixture to boil, and how long to whip
the meringue, and what temperature the meringue should be before adding the
butter. I loved her detailed instructions, and it did make a very smooth
buttercream. I added elderflower liquer to the buttercream, which makes for a
very delicious buttercream and complements the cake flavors. I made the flower
decoration out of American Buttercream just for more stability, as it was my
first time pipping the flowers. I had so much fun with it, but I do know that I
require a lot of practice. I bought Tessa’s
beautiful new cookbook called Icing on a Cake, that I am so in love with!!!
Tessa is such a sweet person on IG, and I love what she does and what she
stands for, and her adorable family ofcourse! I love her new book, and I really
wanted to make flowers like hers. I still require a ton of practice, but I
think this was not a bad attempt for my first time making flowers ;). I am so
proud of her, and her gorgeous book, and I look forward to baking a cake from
it soon! If you want to learn how to pipe flowers, you must get her book too
for loads of inspiration!

I was very happy with this cake. It is easy to transform a
base recipe, using flavors that you may like and that is how I generally
approach all my bakes. I like plain flavors, but for me, I love adding fruity
or floral flavors to any of my bakes. That is what gives me satisfaction and
joy. The flavors worked out so well together. The texture of the cake was
fantastic, and I was quite happy with the buttercream flowers too. I do require
a lot of practice, and I cannot wait to experiment more with the flavors!
Ordering more Wilton pipping tips soon!! 🙂

It is spring time and I really wanted to make a Spring
Wreath Inspired Cake with all the beautiful blooms out there, and use bright
colors in it. My inspiration of the colors came from the Anthropologie window display.
Anthropologie has the best window displays, always seasonal and so creative,
and artistic and a joy to look at. Whoever comes up with the window displays,
is truly a genius! So the flower pink shades and the peach shades were inspired
from the display and that is what I tried to recreate, on this cake.

The second reason for making this cake is … it is my 3 YEAR
BLOGIVERSARY! 🙂 It is hard to believe that I have been blogging since the past
3 years. I started blogging in 2007, after my mom passed, as a tribute to her,
to share recipes that we cooked together, and that invoked memories of her, and
the time spent with her. It was very emotional for me to start this blogging
journey, to talk about her in my posts, and share how much I miss her and wish
she was here to taste all the food that I make, and cheer me on.  I have documented a lot about my family back
home in India as well as here in the US, about my musings and upbringing, about
my kids, who are a huge inspiration for many of the ideas I may come up with.
The journey that started as a way to document my recipes, has evolved a lot
over the past three years. I know I have not done any blog uplifting to make it
look prettier, but that is mainly because I have not had time to do so with my
full time job, my kids and putting recipes out there for all of YOU. It has
been a joy to share the recipes on the blog, and many of you making the recipes
and letting me know how much you like them, so a very BIG THANK YOU TO all of
YOU, who have taken the time to do so. It means a LOT TO ME. So thank you from
the bottom of my heart! I hope to write a cookbook someday, for the one person
who talk me how to cook – my Mom and I really hope my dream comes true!

With that, I will leave the recipe of this beauty of a
spring cake for you to make and cherish! Have a wonderful day!

XO

Amisha

Spring Wreath Cake and 3 year Blogiversary!


Spring Wreath Cake and 3 year Blogiversary!

Ingredients

    Cake Layers:

  • Makes a 3 8 inch layer cake
  • 3 cups cake flour OR (3 cups all-purpose flour minus 3 tbsp of the flour + 3 tbsp cornstarch)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature

    Strawberry Layer:

  • ½ cup strawberry puree
  • ½ cup freeze dried strawberries pulsed into a fine powder

    Lemon Layer:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon
  • Yellow gel food coloring

    Lavender Layer:

  • 2 tbsp dried lavender flowers pulsed into a fine powder
  • Purple gel food coloring

Instructions

    Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 3 8inch cake tin pans properly. You can use ready made round parchment paper(that I bought from Amazon), at the bottom for easy removal.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, add in the butter, granulated sugar, and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy and a pale yellow. Now add in the vanilla extract, and mix. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter after each addition. Use a spatula to get the mixture off the sides of the bowl, and mix again, until blended. Now add in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk, at low speed, so that the flour does not splatter all over. Mix until well combined. Do NOT overmix the batter.
  4. Now add the batter into 3 glass bowls. Weigh them to make sure that they are all equal weight. (Make sure to eliminate the weight of the bowl). Now add in the strawberry powder, and strawberry puree into one bowl, lemon zest and lemon extract into the second bowl, and lavender powder into the third bowl and mix well till no white spots are seen.
  5. Bake the 3 cakes in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until a tooth pick in the center of each cake, comes out clean. Let it rest in the cake tin pan for about 30 minutes. Gently invert and remove each cake from the cake tin, and let it rest on a wired rack for about 2 hours till it cools down completely.
  6. Use plastic wrap to wrap each cake, and let it cool in the fridge for about 3-4 hours.

    Elderflower Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, on medium heat, add the sugar and the water, and let the mixture boil for 4-5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk it gently in the process. Switch it off, and add in the elderflower liquer and whisk. Let it cool completely. Use 4-5 tbsp in the buttercream, and the remaining use as a simple syrup for the cake, to keep it moist.

    Elderflower Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add water 1/3 way through, and on medium heat, boil the water. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Turn the boiling water to medium heat. Start whisking the mixture over the simmering water, until the temperature reaches about 160 F. The sugar will dissolve completely. This process will take about 10-12 minutes. Once this mixture is ready, put the bowl under the stand mixer with a whisk attachment and start whisking at high speed, until a meringue is formed. The process takes about 10 minutes. The meringue will be fluffy, stiff, and glossy. The temperature of the meringue should be around 90 F.
  2. Now add in the vanilla extract and whip for 30 seconds to incorporate. Add in the butter 1-2 tbsp at a time, while the mixture is running at medium speed. The mixture will start to sort of curdle and maybe really liquidy too, but it will slowly solidify as the mixture cools. Keep adding all the butter until you get a glossy, light, soft buttercream. Add in the elderflower simple syrup and whisk the mixture to incorporate. You can use it right away. Or if you feel it is too soft, keep it in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set and then use it.
  3. You can even store the buttercream in a big ziplock bag, press out the air and seal, and keep it in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for a few months.

    For the flowers:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for a minute. Add in the salt, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and start slow, until the mixture looks incorporated. Add in the heavy cream and whip again at medium speed for 20 seconds. Scrap the sides of the bowl and make sure the entire mixer is well incorporated.
  2. Place several bowls depending upon how many colors you want to pipe. Distribute the buttercream evenly into the bowls and add the gel food coloring. Add it with a toothpick to control the color shade that you are going for. Have the same number of pipping bags with the pipping tips ready, and add in the buttercream in each pipping bag, depending upon the color of the flower that you are going for.
  3. Refer to Tessa’s new cookbook Icing on the Cake for the flower tutorials. You could use the Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the flower pipping too, per Tessa’s book. I preferred to use American Buttercream, being my first time pipping those flowers.

5.0

http://thejamlab.co/2019/04/13/spring-wreath-cake-and-3-year-blogiversary/

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