Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sunflower Cake Tutorial | Cake Decorating Tutorial

Sunflower Cake Tutorial
I've been baking for a while now and quite happy with the way my bakes come out of the oven.For a long time I believed (or made myself believe!)that taste is what matters,not the looks.As long as the cake/cupcake or any other bake tasted amazing,it didn't matter one bit if it was decorated or left plain.After all,frosting simply meant extra sugar and we could do very well without that right?

All this changed for me when I got a few birthday cake orders from my friends for their kids.They didn't want a fancy cake alright but when I was asked to bake for someone else,I wasn't too happy with the product I was giving them.That too for their birthdays!I decided that I have to learn cake decorating,at least for times when I was baking for others.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
I've always felt I was not someone who'd you call 'artistic'.I can follow directions but cannot do something creative on my own.Cake decorating gave me a good start,I realized I loved making patterns(even if imperfect!)and soon got addicted to it.I was content when my cakes started looking good as well.A big thanks to Subhashini who gave me a good start and keeps giving me directions when I'm stuck :)
Sunflower Cake Tutorial Here I present you a super simple cake decorating technique.Using a good vanilla cake(or any flavour of your choice)as the base,some buttercream and 2 leaf tips you can create a stunning Sunflower Cake for your loved ones.Don't tell them it is so easy to make ;)
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Sunflower Cake Tutorial

Things you need

One 8' round cake - I used my favorite cake recipe(without Nutella)
One batch Whipped Buttercream
1/3 cup Dark chocolate ganache OR any filling of your choice
Leaf tip - 68 (Ateco)for the sides
Leaf tip - 352(Ateco)for the top
Edible gel colour - Lemon Yellow,Golden Yellow,Leaf Green(Wilton)
Disposable icing bags - 2

How to proceed

Bake and cool your cake completely.If possible cover in cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.Chilled cakes are easier to torte and crumb coat.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Divide the buttercream into two parts(I always keep about 1/3 cup icing aside before coloring just to be safe).Colour one part yellow and one part green.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
To colour the icing-dip a toothpick into your desired colour and swirl into the icing.Use a new toothpick for colouring it second time-do not use the same toothpick-blend well using a spatula and keep adding colour till you get the desired shade.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Place the two leaf nozzles in two disposable icing bags by snipping the end of the bag and placing the nozzle in it.I use the glass method to fill my icing bag.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Use a big plastic glass and place your icing bag in it.Fill about little more than half of the bag with buttercream.Twist the bag closed and remove air bubbles if any by squeezing some of the icing by the tip into the bowl.
You can leave the cake plain(without filling)or torte the cake into two even pieces horizontally.Sandwich the cake with ganache and do a simple crumb coat.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Crumb coating is done by using a very thin layer of icing on the cake and is done to seal in any crumbs.Apply about 1/4 cup of icing on the cake and smooth the icing as best as you can.I didn't do a very good job as I thought anyway the cake is going to be covered,don't be like me :)
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Start from the outside of the cake-Hold the bag at a 45D angle with the point of the triangle of the tip facing upwards and squeeze out one petal.Make sure the tip of the petal stands upright.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Pipe another one close to it and follow this method till you finish one full round.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Start piping petals inside and keep filling the whole cake with this method.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
When you are about 3/4 done,mark a small round in the middle of the cake,using a bottle cap or a cookie cutter.Fill the round with chocolate chips and some Oreo crumbs.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Continue piping round the center till you are done.

Now the sides
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Hold the green coloured piping bag and do a shell-motion by piping one leaf and starting the next one at the tip of the first leaf.
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Finish the sides of the cake by piping this way.

Sunflower Cake Tutorial I have tried my level best to explain it in a simple manner.Still if you have any doubts,please let me know in the comments section.Also let me know if you'd like more tutorials like these.All ideas are welcome :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fudgy Nutella Brownies

Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Yesterday was World Nutella day and I had planned to post this to combine my friends' birthday as well as WND.Things got busy and the post got delayed.But better late than never eh?Well,no time is a bad time to post something as delicious,gooey and fudgy as these brownies,I mean do you really need an excuse to whip these up?

I am not one of those people to enjoy Nutella straight from the jar(Yes I know!)but I love to mix it up in my baked goodies.This cake of course tops the list and these rolls come second.Combining it in a brownie would just make it to the top of my list and it did.Gooey brownies with a swirl of Nutella can never go wrong.These do not score well in the looks department but taste awesome.I contemplated a while before posting these as I wasn't very happy with the pictures,but a good recipe has to be shared,right;)?
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Only change I would suggest is to use fine granular sugar.The recipe says it's ok if the batter is a bit granular but I felt some of the sugar crystals didn't melt evenly and it was a task getting these buggers out of the pan even though I lined the pan with foil.Maybe one single pulse in your mixer would break the sugar crystals a little,which would work out perfect while mixing.
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Recipe source - Averie Cooks
Makes 18-24 thinner and small brownies in a 9 by 13 inch pan or 12 generous brownies in a 9 by 9 inch pan


Semi sweet chocolate -6 oz/170 gms
Butter - 150 gms
Instant coffee powder - 1 tbsp
Granulated sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3
Vanilla - 1 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour/maida - 1 cup
Nutella - 1/2 to 2/3 cup


Preheat oven to 170C.Grease and line a 9 by 9 inch square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Microwave chocolate and butter in a big bowl for 1 minute on high.The butter would melt completely and the chocolate would still hold its shape.Stir well using a wooden spoon and the chocolate would also melt in the heat.Stir in the coffee powder.
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Stir in both sugars,mix well.Add eggs one by one and then the vanilla.
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
The batter would be a but granular but it's okay.Stir in the flour.Mix only till combined and no specks of flour remain.Pour into the prepared pan.
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Add Nutella to the top of the mixture and either leave it as it is or do a zig zag pattern on top.
Bake for 25-28 minutes or until edges pull away from the pan and the top and center is just set.Keep these gooey and do not overbake,these will firm up as they cool.
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How to make Whipped Buttercream | Easy Frosting Recipes

Before I ventured into a cake decorating craze,I knew of only a few frostings.I kept going back to the basic ABC aka American Buttercream or a simple chocolate ganache.Though I liked the ease at which ABC could be made and the consistency as well,I was not entirely happy with the texture.Despite using fine icing sugar,sifting it a couple of times,I could taste the grainy feeling in my mouth after having a slice of cake.
Whipped Buttercream
My frosting 'guru',as I'd like to call her,directed me to this recipe by Veena's Art of Cakes.It is called a 'whipped buttercream' and uses a unique method of beating together icing sugar and cream and then adding butter at the final stage.I was intrigued at this amazing method and decided to try it out.However,the original recipe uses meringue powder as an added ingredient.

I was a bit apprehensive to try it out initially.But believe me,you absolutely cannot taste it in the final product.I believe it is added for that shiny texture in the buttercream which looks nice when you are piping flowers and the like.Once,I had to make an eggless cake for someone and couldn't use the meringue powder.I went ahead without the meringue powder and thankfully,it turned out as good without it.Ever since I've been making it eggless :)
Whipped Buttercream I have used this buttercream for frosting as well as filling.Though I'd suggest a different filling for a contrast in taste,however it is up to you.This recipe makes enough to frost an 8' round cake but that too depends on what decorating tip you are using.Rosette tip needs double as much whereas a star nozzle might require less.

Whipped Buttercream
Recipe source - Veena's Art of Cakes


Icing sugar - 4 cups,sifted
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Meringue powder - 1 tbsp (optional)
Fresh cream - 1/4 cup
Unsalted butter - 1 cup/200gms at room temperature
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp


Whipped Buttercream In the bowl of your electrical mixer,add approximately 1/3 of the icing sugar,salt and meringue powder(if you are using).Stir to combine.
Whipped Buttercream Now switch the mixer on low and slowly add in 1/2 of the cream.Let the mixer run on medium for about 5 minutes.The mixture will become light and sticky giving your buttercream a velvety texture later.Don't make haste with this step.Let it cream well.
Whipped Buttercream After 5 minutes start adding the rest of the sugar slowly.Continue to mix on medium.If the mixture appears too dry add a tbsp or two more cream.Be careful with the quantity,add cream only if the mix appears too dry.I stop when no flecks of sugar remain.Even if the mix is lumpy,it's fine.
Whipped Buttercream After about 3 minutes,start adding the butter into small batches making sure it is well incorporated.Add the vanilla.
Whipped Buttercream Once all the butter is in run the mixer on high for about 3-5 minutes or more until you have a creamy velvety texture and the buttercream does not taste grainy.
When you taste it,you should have a smooth velvety texture in your mouth with no trace of any sugar grain.

Variations - You can flavor the buttercream with your choice of extracts.Strawberry,Almond,Pineapple and so on.For a chocolate version,add cocoa powder along with the icing sugar.A couple of spoons of Nutella would taste great as well.
IMG_5783 Here's a cake I decorated using whipped buttercream.I used two different leaf tips for the top as well as the sides.I posted a query on the facebook page regarding a step by step for this one and thanks to all of you for the tremendous response.I will be putting up the tutorial shortly.
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