It almost seems like a couple months back when I just celebrated my elder child's birthday. But it always appear too soon when the birthday arrives again and another celebration awaits. And since making a fondant cake for my child seems inevitable, I wanted it to be nice and something she will remember for a long time. Her initial suggestion was a Cinderella cake...and I was thinking like "Oh....princess cake again?" Unwilling to settle with that, I browsed through the net and was delighted when a brilliant idea pop in my mind....why not ballerina?! My elder daughter has been a ballerina since she was five and has enjoyed it very much. And since she did very well in her recent RAD Grade 2 exam, I thought it'll be perfect to bake her a ballerina cake this year. :)
It ain't easy to make a fondant cake, be it big or small. The steps involved not only include studying the feasible cake recipes used, it also include the 'architectural" design of the fondant used on the cake. Especially if its a 2 tier and there's figurine involved. It's not my first attempt to make a 2 tier fondant cake, but I can't call myself good in it in anyway when it comes to making something so challenging. For this cake, I took a total of 3-days preparation, with design, moulding, baking and assembling. I broke up the steps so I can still handle my daily chores as per normal.
Sounds like some labor of love, but in fact it is, lol! I don't do fondant cakes that often but I enjoyed the whole process every single time I did it. I do wish I have the leisure to make it as often as I like. :) Anyway, back to the cake, I have adapted the same sponge cake recipe I used in my previous fondant cake. But this time I got a little adventurous and came up a new Strawberry sponge cake recipe. If you trust me enough, you'll know when I say, " Its a keeper!" In fact I made a 8" by 3" round strawberry sponge and a 6" by 3" round chocolate sponge to stack up the 2 tier. And yes, the cake is pretty tall...close to a 12" tall. :D
Recipe for Strawberry Sponge Cake (8" by 3" round)
270g whole egg
50g egg yolk
155g caster sugar
24g Glucose or Light Corn Syrup
1/4 tsp salt
130g fresh / frozen strawberries, cut small
36g vegetable oil
24ml fresh milk
20g Nesquik Strawberry Powder (Can be found in Cold Storage or Market Place)
148g Cake flour
- Beat sugar, whole egg and egg yolk till foamy using the mixer in a large bowl. Then add in the glucose / light corn syrup and salt and continue to beat the mixture till triple in volume and ribbon stage. That will be about 10 minutes. Note that the initial 6 to 7 minutes should be at high speed and then reduce the speed to low for 2 - 3 minutes. This step will prevent having large bubble and thus causing the cake to be coarse and not so tasty. And beating the eggs enough to reach stabilize ribbon stage is important as well in order for the cake to rise and have fluffy texture.
- Preheat the oven to 175C.
- In the blender, add strawberry chunks, oil, milk and strawberry powder and blend till well combined and smooth.
- Take about 1/5 of the egg batter and mix well into the strawberry puree batter. Then add this mixture to the rest of the egg batter and stir gently till the batter is uniformly combined.
- Sift the cake and add about 1/3 of it to the egg batter. Using the lowest speed, beat the batter till no flour is visible. Repeat with the rest of the 2/3 flour, in 2 portions and mix well till everything incorporated.
- Pour the batter into a 8" by 3" round removal base round cake pan (un-greased and no parchment needed) and bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes till all golden brown and tester comes out clean.
- Once removed from the oven, invert it on a cooling tray. Once completely cooled,then remove from pan.
The sponge cake turned out moist (yes moist!), soft, spongy and delicious. I was quite please with the outcome this time. This recipe is a keeper for sure, will try it out with passion fruit or lemon flavor next time...yum! For the Chocolate flavor, please kindly refer to Kitchen Corner's blog post.
Here is a shot of the cut up chocolate sponge cake. I have made 3 layers with non dairy whipped cream and fresh bananas.
Obviously my version can only be for short lived occasion as the sponge and cream cannot hold up as long as butter cake and butter cream version. But I am satisfied with it as I like a lighter cake to enjoy after dinner rather then having to down a slice of rich and thick butter cake with overly sweet butter cream icing. ;P
But to have a sponge cake as the foundation, its really not easy to hold it up nicely, so it all came with a price; the base tier kind of got squished a little because of the weight from the topper and top tier. See the "gathers" at the side? Good thing its not too obvious and it still held up all the way till the time the birthday song was sang and candles blown. :)
Some how I was super relived when the birthday celebration is all over...like a huge stone been lifted from my shoulders. My daughter loved the cake very much and it all ended well. :) It will be another 4 months before I have to come up with another one of these fondant cake.....so until then, it's simple breads and cakes folks! Anyway, hope you all had fun viewing my creation and will inspire you to play with fondant next time. ;)
Have a good week all!