Ombré is a term thought to have originated in the textile industry to describe fabric or weavings that graduate in color from dark to light. At some stage a baker translated that into a cake with graduating hues.
Sidebar: I found out here that ombre without the accent is a card game in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Now ombré is all the rage. Just have a look at all of these boards on Pinterest. Amazing, huh?
I have had this Purple Ombré Cake on my Must Make This board for a long time. I think the ombré cakes with the gradated icing are lovely, but the use of non-pareils and blackberry jam in this recipe took my breath away.
The verdict: One of the best looking and best tasting cakes I have made. It is visually stunning from the colorful coating of non-pareils, but the dramatic inside is what makes the cake so fabulous.
I found it a bit tricky to get the color grading right. I used food coloring gel, which is hard to get neat drops out of, but certainly offers more dramatic color than liquid food colors. I just lined up my 5 bowls of icing in a row and added the coloring by eye to get the gradually darker effect from one bowl to the next. It worked.
Also a note about the non-pareils. The recipe I followed didn’t have the quantity listed and in a panic that I might run out, I bought out our local general store’s supply. Turns out all that is needed for a 2 layer, 8 inch cake is about 4 ounces.
Ingredients for the cake:
355g (2 ¾ cups) flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
225ml (just under 1 cup) milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
400g (1 ¾ cups) caster sugar
225g unsalted butter, softened
Purple food colour
Jam to spread between layers (I used blackberry preserves, about 10 ounces)
Ingredients for the icing:
500g confectioners’ sugar (4 cups), sifted
275g salted butter (about 10 ounces), softened
Extra salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease 18cm (8 inch) round cake tins. (I only have three, so I had to bake the last two layers after the first batch of cakes was done). Line the base of tins with baking paper. Grease paper the and dust with flour.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix milk and vanilla together.
3. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat sugar and butter until blended. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes until pale and creamy.
4. Reduce speed to medium low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until smooth, occasionaly scraping bowl with a spatula.
6. Divide mixture evenly into 5 medium bowls (about 300g or 3/4 cup per bowl). Leave one bowl of batter white, then very gradually add purple coloring to each bowl. Gently mix color into the batter, adding slightly more coloring to each bowl to
try to achieve an even gradient of color.
7. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake each layer for about 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the outside is golden.
8. Cool cake in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
9. Prepare the icing: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on high with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add confectioners’ sugar until combined, then increase speed to high and beat until pale and fluffy. Gradually add more salt to taste, if needed.
11. Cover the cake with icing.
Recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes
A really good cake should always be accompanied by some really good music.
‘Please’ is about as gorgeous as the cake. It’s full of soul, lovely, lilting guitar and pleading vocals that melt my heart.
Check out Adam Stafford on Tumblr and Facebook. His new album, ‘Imaginary Walls Collapse’, due out next month can be pre-ordered at Song, By Toad Records. You can buy the older music and also get some free downloads here.