Unicorn cake

A more extensive look at the steps I took to make this cake. I completely made it up as I went along.

Check out the video I made of the process here!

To start, I drew out a quick sketch and added colour and annotations to say how I wanted it to look.

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I wanted a rainbow for the layers and silver icing in the middle to be like unicorn blood from Harry Potter. It was a good in theory but did not turn out so well in practice. The icing just turned a pale grey.

After I figured out all the details, I had to find a good vanilla cake recipe because all the cake recipes I have used in the past have ended up being crumbly and dry. I needed one that would hold up 7 layers. I found one from Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery. This recipe is the best cake I have ever had! Highly recommended!

So I had the plan and the cake, all I needed was the right sized cake tins, colour for the layers and icing, and fondant icing for the ears. I used regular fondant icing from Tesco. I knew that the colour would have to be strong and not too thin a liquid otherwise it would mess up the mixture (been there before with a red velvet cake). I opted for some gel food colouring from amazon which judging by the pictures, was decent quality. I also ordered 8-inch sandwich tin, silver gel colouring, and gold powder colouring. By this point, I decided to do a chocolate-filled ice cream cone for the horn, instead of icing, as it was easier and had a really cool pattern on it.

I had everything prepared so I waited for my birthday to come.

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I made the cake layers one mixture at a time so I wouldn’t have cake mixture sitting around with nowhere to put it. It worked out better that way because I had time to prepare the next thing and do some cleaning up.

As the cake layers were cooling, I made the “silver” icing (100g butter, 200g icing sugar, too much silver colouring which didn’t really make a difference) and melted a bit of jam. I put jam and icing on each layer, just enough to make it stick together, any more then the cake would have been unnecessarily sweet. I assembled the cake on a cake board on a Lazy Susan so it could spin while I was decorating it. Whatever icing didn’t go in the middle, I used to kind of cement any holes or breakage and left it overnight to set because decorating was another day of work.

To decorate, I started with a layer of white buttercream icing all around. To do that, I used about 100g TREX and 100g stork with 400g icing sugar (I may have put more, I didn’t really measure it), and a tiny bit of soya milk (possibly about a teaspoon). I used a palette knife to smooth it out, something I hadn’t done prior to this cake and it didn’t go spectacularly well.

Next, I melted some chocolate to fill up an ice cream cone, that I would use as the horn. I put a bamboo skewer through it and put it in the fridge. Once it was set, I covered the cone in some gold powder (which didn’t really come out very gold, unfortunately) and placed it in the middle of the top of the cake.

I then used royal icing to mould the ears and eyes. This was actually pretty fun because I like to sculpt. I broke off two bits of icing about the right size and cut off bits to make it into the right shape. Then, I smoothed out the surface and coloured the front bit with gold powder. I put a cocktail stick through them both and placed them next to the horn.

Finally, the hair. It was so hard and it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to, to be completely honest. But it still looked good so whatever. I made some buttercream icing (1 part margarine, 2 parts icing sugar) and mixed some colours in with it. I think I did 50g margarine to 100g icing sugar per colour. I put them into a piping syringe, like this one, and just piped some spirals all over the place. My hands were very tired by the end of it.

The final result:       20181030_214544.jpg20181030_214616.jpg20181030_214915

If you want me to keep making fun cake projects, be sure to like this post. If you have any ideas of what cake I could make next, or any other recipes you want me to try out, leave a comment below.

Farewell, until we meet again 😄

 

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Victoria Sponge (gluten free): Oat Flour Experiment

Recently, after a few messages my body was sending me, I had a thought that I may be intolerant to gluten, so I have decided to give it up for a few weeks to see if there is any difference to how I feel. Of course I decide this the day before I planned to make a Victoria Sponge cake.

Unable to do the shopping in time to get some gluten free flour, I decided I would experiment with using ground oats. I found a random recipe and, instead of all purpose flour, I replaced it with oat flour.

To make the oat flour, I got some porridge oats and ground them up to a fine powder. The recipe says to use 1 3/4 cups of flour, I used about 2 1/3 cups (a decision I would later regret) as I had read that using oat flour makes the cake more moist so you should use an extra amount to absorb the wet ingredients.

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Results:

Structure: I wish I hadn’t put so much oats. It came out very dry and crumbly. One of the layers broke in half. Next time, I will put less and maybe use a different binding agent, like no egg or ground flaxseed, to make sure it holds together.

Appearance: It came out really bubbly. I’m not entirely sure why. For the filling, I just used a jam layer. I didn’t have any cream to put in it. Come to think of it, I was really low on ingredients when I made this; I’m not entirely sure why I went through with it today.

Taste: Funny enough, it had quite an oaty flavour. Although the outside was a little crumbly, the inside was moist and sweet and held together. I put the right amount of jam so that it wasn’t too sweet but also not too dry. I’d say this one was a pass.

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In conclusion, I’m glad I tried this out. It wasn’t the best cake attempt but I have never been all that good at making cakes anyway. I appreciate the practice. I am willing to try out more experiments and see what works best for me and I will probably figure out my own recipes in the future.

 

Update: As it happens, I am not gluten intolerant. However, I will still be trying out more gluten free recipes for those who are.


QOTD: What are some of your favourite gluten free recipes?