November 29, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Well this post is way overdue! I've pretty much been out of town since the beginning of November. But now I'm back and ready to start blogging and baking again, especially with the holidays coming up.


About a month ago was Diamonds for Dessert's second birthday! Like last year, I decided to celebrate my blog's (belated) birthday with a cake. Because what better way is there to celebrate a birthday than with cake? Anyway, I've been pretty addicted to pinterest lately and after seeing a bunch of gorgeous ruffle cakes, I knew I needed to try making one. Turns out they're really easy and fast to decorate. No need to worry about perfecting your icing technique or smoothly frosting the cake since it all gets covered up by the ruffles!


The highlight here is the frosting. This is the first time I've tried making a swiss meringue buttercream and I must ask, "Why haven't I tried this before???" It has a wonderfully light texture and it's not too sweet, which I love. The thing I dislike most about simple buttercream is that it needs so much powdered sugar to stiffen up, which makes the frosting too sweet most of the time. But that's not the case with swiss meringue buttercream. The strawberry puree makes this frosting even better, acting as a natural food coloring while flavoring the buttercream to taste like fresh strawberry ice cream! This amazing strawberry buttercream + my go-to chocolate cake recipe + ruffles = the perfect cake for a celebration.


Strawberry Chocolate Mini Ruffle Cake
my go-to chocolate cake recipe
strawberry buttercream recipe (below)

Follow the instructions for the small chocolate cake, baking the cake in the rectangular sheet pan as indicated in the recipe. Let it cool on a cooling rack. Once cool, take a 3 7/8 inch (98 mm) diameter round cookie cutter and cut out six rounds of cake. Use a knife to level the cakes so the six rounds are the same height. Make the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream recipe.

Assembly:
1. Cut out a round piece of parchment paper wider than the cake round. Place a cake round on top of the parchment.

2. Dollop some frosting on the cake and smooth it out.

3. Repeat with another cake round and more frosting.

4. Place the third cake round on top. Press down on the three layers to make sure they stick together.

5. Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake as the crumb coat. Don't worry if it's ugly; it'll be covered up by the ruffles later. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, until firm.

6. Place a petal tip (it looks like an elongated dew drop) in a piping bag. Add the buttercream to the piping bag.

7. Hold the piping bag vertically with the fat part of the dewdrop towards the cake and the thin part towards you. Squeeze the bag and pipe back and forth along the cake side until you reach the top, making sure the frosting is touching the cake.

8. Repeat.

9. Repeat until the whole cake is covered.

10. To finish, frost with a zigzagging motion from the sides of the cake towards to center to form slightly overlapping wedges of frosting until the top of the cake is covered. 

Makes two mini ruffle cakes.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
adapted from Martha Stewart

4 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed

Simmer a pot of water on the stove. Mix the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk the mixture until it reaches 160°F on a thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixture (with the whisk attachment). Mix on medium high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixer bowl has cooled down to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

While waiting, cut up the sticks of butter into small pieces. After stiff peaks have formed, reduce the mixer to medium speed and add the butter a few pieces at a time, waiting till the butter pieces are incorporated before adding more. If it isn't coming together, increase the speed back to medium high for a few minutes until it does. Then add the strawberry puree a little at a time to let it slowly incorporate. Same thing, if it isn't coming together, increase the speed back to medium high and let it mix for a a few minutes.

[If you aren't using the frosting immediately, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. To use later, let the frosting return to room temperature. Then mix it for a few minute on low speed (to reblend the puree that has separated) until it starts clumping/coming together. It should then be ready to use again.]

22 comments:

  1. yum!!! this looks amazing!!! I love the ruffles :)

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  2. so pretty and girly! i'm definitely trying this next time i bake someone a birthday cake! and i love how it's not too big.

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  3. i thought it was a gigantic cake from looking at the first two pics. Then I saw the step-by-step recipe and was like "oooh! how cuute! it's mini!" :) you're so amazing! keep it up forever, please!

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  4. beautiful cake! and happy bloggiversary!

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  5. This is SO pretty! I love ruffled cakes and cupcakes so much!

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  6. Happy 2nd birthday! This cake is so lovely. Ruffle cakes are definitely on my long list of things to make (and pinterest is not helping with that list either! lol)

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  7. Belated Happy Birthday! Congratulations...The cake really fits the occasion. Luscious and sweet and pretty! Keep posting! Your recipes are great!

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  8. Your ruffles look gorgeous! Happy belated birthday and congratulations on two years of gorgeous recipes :-) I made swiss meringue buttercream for the first time the other day and thought exactly the same thing - where has it been all my life?!

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  9. Too cute! Happy Birthday Diamonds for Dessert!

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  10. This looks delicious, and it reminds me SO much of my #1 favorite chocolate bar. If you have access to a Japanese grocery store, check for Meiji Strawberry bars. Milk chocolate, with a layer of real strawberry creme (with seeds in it, even). There are pictures of it here http://gluttonyexpedition.blogspot.com/2010/04/meiji-strawberry-chocolate-bar-my_07.html (not my blog). I don't usually like berries with chocolate, but OH my god, they're amazing and definitely changed my feelings on berry/chocolate combos. Mmmmmm.

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  11. Happy 2nd Blog Birthday! I've been quietly following Diamonds for Dessert for a little while, and I absolutely love your blog!! I am in awe of your creativity and piping skills – this cake just looks so fantastic.

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  13. you are so creative and skilled! best of luck on the medschool app process. i'm a medstudent at ucla and would love to help in any way (its the least i can do for all the joy this blog has given me <3)

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  14. Erica: Thanks!

    bea m: Definitely try it out! It's the perfect size for a small group of people to share without needing to bother with leftovers.

    Melody: Thank you! It'd be perfect for one of our group parties since no one never wants a huge slice of cake. Forever is a long time, but I will try :P.

    makeupandpearls: Thanks!

    Elizabeth: I should try out ruffled cupcakes next!

    little random happiness: Totally. I always find too many good ideas on pinterest.

    MyFudo: I will definitely continue blogging. I enjoy it too much to stop.

    thelittleloaf: Yeah! Swiss meringue buttercream is too awesome.

    Jessica's Dinner Party: Thanks!

    pigeonheart.com: I love Meiji Strawberry Chocolate Bars! I think those are what initially sparked my love of the pairing of chocolate and strawberry. You should definitely try this cake out :).

    Mel: Thanks! Actually, the piping for this cake really isn't that difficult. I think that's definitely a big reason as to why I love this ruffle cake so much. Big results with small effort.

    vincent: I will check it out. It sounds interesting!

    lynne: Thank you! I would love to get some advice if there's anyway of getting in contact with you? UCLA is definitely one of my top choices.

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  15. hi! i emailed you at your unmacaronrose email :)
    -lynne

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  16. To Lynne& unmacaronrose, can you give me some advice on how to get into a prestigious college? What made you guys different &stand out? I'm a high school student here in California and I'm planning to apply to UCLA/Berkeley. Any helpful advice for a starving Junior? :)

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  17. Lynne: Thanks! I got the e-mail. I'll be responding soon with some questions :).

    Anonymous: Send me an e-mail (unmacaronrose[at]gmail[dot]com) and I'll get back to you.

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  18. This is absolutely adorable! I love the frosting! Check out my blog at oatsnchocolate.blogspot.com, I would really appreciate it if you followed me as well! :D

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  19. Happy 2 year anniversary!! :)

    Your blog is making me hungry even though it is late ^^

    -Di

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  20. I LOVE THIS! AND YOUR BLOG! IM ADDICTED TO READING AND LOOKING AT YOUR PHOTOS

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  21. I really like it,but for some reason I never make it. I should - it's a perfect holiday treat! Looks yummy!

    zonia

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  22. This looks so good. I'm going to try and make it. YUM!

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