My Little Easter Basket-Weave Cake
This easter I was egg-specting to see hot cross buns sold in bakeries, easter bunnies in the malls and other hoppy-looking decorations. I didn’t quite carrot all that I wasn’t in North America. Easter HAD to be internationally celebrated in at least some ways! After all, the Easter Bunny is almost as famous as Santa there. I didn’t quite feel the Easter ambience as strongly here in Singapore, but sure enough I was at least enjoying some of these lovely decor put up at Gardens by the Bay.
Ahhhh, yes. I’ve been traveling around Asia and Aussie, as well as re-exploring Singapore this past month. It’s been wonderful learning so much about the different cultures, languages and histories. And hence this also explains my delayed blog post! Of course, Easter bakerthon is NOT to be missed! So, here I present to you my Ostern Kuchen! (German)
To me, the art of cake making is really all about improvising. More often than not, the cakes I make don’t end up exactly the way I initially intend them to. I often succumb to improvisation and resort to substitution, using the ingredients I have in my kitchen pantry. It’s not too fun when you find out that you’re out of butter at 10pm at night when your cake is halfway done! Yes, heart-aching isn’t it? That moment when you realize that the butter has been immensely depleted after your return from vacation. 😥
Anyway, here is the final product.
Vanilla and Chocolate Mini Cakes
recipe 2/3 from Joy Of Baking
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (if you’re in tropical Singapore just use cold butter)
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter into 2 and add cocoa powder into one of them.
- I baked my cakes in a 4-inch cake pan, one at a time for about 15-20 minutes each. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cakes have completely cooled, SHAVE OFF THE CAKE DOMES. Please shave off any cake domes to cake perfectly flat cakes. This will help when frosting later.
I used a 4-inch cake pan because: a) My family isn’t the biggest fan of sweets, and b) Shaving off the cake domes will significantly decrease the height in your cake and thus a 4-inch cake would still maintain a majestic height compared to that of an 8-inch.
recipe 1/5 from Martha Stewart
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chocolate paste / brown-colour paste
- Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
- Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 4 minutes.
- Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add powder and paste, and beat just until combined.
You will need
- Chocolate sprinkles – the “nest”
- Jelly beans / egg-shaped chocolate
- Basket weave: Wilton Tip 47
- Top border: Wilton Tip 17
- Mini Roses: Wilton Tip 102
Unfortunately it is rather hard to explain how to pipe out the designs. But the very simple solution to that is YOUTUBE! Easily DIY. 🙂
- Start off by stacking both cakes together, using the buttercream as a glue between them.
- Frost a thin layer of buttercream on the outer layer for smooth surfaces.I didn’t do this but I recommend you do as I realise it will help conceal any imperfect piping
- Pipe the basket weave on the side of the cake, followed by the top border and finally the roses. The “nest” and eggs are pretty self-explanatory!
Happy Easter to all the world! Frohe Ostern! Joyeuses Pâques! Feliz Pascua! Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay! Selamat hari Paskah! 부활절을 잘 보내세요! 复活节快乐！