This month's AlphaBakes challenge is "N" which is actually quite a difficult letter. So far, I've only thought of nutella and nuts. I then remembered neapolitan ice cream which was my favourite when I was younger as I could never decide what flavour to have so a neapolitan which has vanilla, strawberry and chocolate was perfect. I saw this gorgeous neapolitan rose cake on I am Baker and knew I had to make it. I've been wanting to try this rose piping decoration for a long time having seen it on various blogs and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It's fairly simple and looks stunning!
I made up my own recipe for the cakes and they turned out really well. The star was the strawberry layer. I made up my usual vanilla sponge recipe then divided the batter into 3. For the strawberry layer, I added pureed fresh strawberries to the batter. For the chocolate layer, I added melted dark chocolate and a little bit of cocoa powder. I also used the same flavourings for the icing and again the strawberry icing was the best. The strawberry layer was quite moist so I would suggest adding more flour to that batter if you want a firmer texture.
This cake took 2.5 hours from start to finish including cooling time and decorating which is not bad. It's worth all the effort and everyone will think you spent far longer on it than you did! The only downside is the washing up as you need 3 flavours of cake batter and 3 flavours of icing.
As mentioned, I'm entering this to AlphaBakes which I am hosting this month and it's co-hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes on alternate months. The letter this month is N and if you are stuck for ideas, feel free to send in any entry with nuts as long as it's a main ingredient and not just a few sprinkled on top! Deadline is 25th October 2012, please remember to email your entries to email@example.com
first layer is chocolate cake. Spread some strawberry icing on top and then add the strawberry layer
side view - you don't need to ice the sides but you can if you want to give the cake a smoother finish
start piping the chocolate roses on the bottom - start at the centre and pipe in a circular motion to get the rose effect
For the cake
375g caster sugar
375g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
450g strawberries, washed and hulled
red gel colour (optional)
For the icing
750g icing sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
melted chocolate and strawberry puree from cake batter
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
- Add in the flour and vanilla extract.
- Divide batter into 3 equal portions (I weighed mine and each portion was approximately 425g).
- Place the vanilla batter into a sandwich tin which has been greased and lined.
- Blitz the fresh strawberries in a food processor until it's pureed. Measure out 1 cup/250mls and add to 1/3 cake batter. You can add a few drops of red food colouring if you wish.
- Stir in about 100g of the melted chocolate into the final 1/3 cake batter with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix well.
- Bake for approximately 18 - 20 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the icing by mixing together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract in an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you need.
- Beat for at least 5 minutes in an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy. This is important otherwise it will be difficult to pipe the icing.
- Divide the icing into 3 portions - you need a smaller portion for the chocolate icing or whichever layer you choose to have on the bottom.
- To make the chocolate icing, stir in the remaining 50g of melted chocolate into a small bowl of icing.
- To make the strawberry icing, stir in the remaining fresh strawberry puree.
- Decorate as shown above.