Techniques

Two Layered Aquarelle Cake

It is well known that autumn is the season of colours: The trees are starting to turn beautiful shades of yellow, red and orange and the fallen leaves have already gone brown. Forests are full of beige-coloured mushrooms, and tree branches and roots have deep-green moss growing on them. T’is also the season for large orange pumpkins, small chestnut coloured acorns, bright yellow squashes and a variety of shiny purple eggplants.

And whether these lavish colours come from different types of fruit and vegetables or are provided by mother nature herself, the possibilities are endless and quite magical

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Opening my box of aquarelles and gazing down at so many wonderful colours (and so many possibilities!), I decided to have some fun this week, and make a two layered water-colour cake with autumnal colours (It is the season after all!).

After quite a bit of thought on the matter, and many torn up sketches, I decided upon a yogurt cake base with a water-colour mascarpone icing for the bottom layer (I like mascarpone because it’s easy to use, and is absolutely scrumptious without being too rich), and a sugar paste cover for the top layer (Only using techniques we’ve already seen in previous recipes).

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Technique

Once you’ve baked both your base cakes and they have cooled off (I used the yogurt cake recipe), cut the tops off so that they are nice and flat and then put each cake on a turn-table, it will make the frosting process a lot easier.

Cover the bottom layer cake with white mascarpone icing (mascarpone +250g icing sugar) and even it out with a flat metal spatula. Once that’s done, mix your colours in different bowls and start “painting” the cake using confident movements (Don’t forget to level out the icing on the top and sides once you’ve finished adding the colours).

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Once you’ve finished decorating your bottom layer, switch to the top layer cake (You can use any color for the sugar paste frosting; I chose to use white so that I could paint on it afterwards).

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Roll out the sugar paste with a teaspoonful of maïzena (this helps to make it more elastic and souple; I don’t recommend using icing sugar, as it makes the sugar paste crack). Don’t roll it out too thinly else it will tear (no less than 2-3mm). Add a few drops of passion-fruit sirop (it makes the cake sticky and the sugar paste adheres better; it also adds a fruity flavor!) before you cover your cake.

When you’ve finished smoothing the sugar paste into place, decorate the top and sides with a few drops of food coloring, using a paintbrush. Add a bit of edible gold dust for a magical effect.

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Tip: I find it useful to prick the middle of the bottom cake with three thin wooden rods and to place a round cardboard cutout (the size of your cake or smaller) on top before you mount the upper layer. It will stop the cake from collapsing under the weight.

Finish up by piping some mascarpone Icing between the layers. Don’t forget to present your cake on a beautiful wooden platter (for a more natural looking effect) and to scatter some red and yellow leaves on and around the cake. Quite magical! 

I hope you enjoy baking this cake as much as I did! Cut yourself a huge slice and add some gooseberries and currents for an all time fall fest! I hope to see you next week, I will be continuing the autumn saga with berry cupcakes!

 

Cécile.

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