Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer Bash Nautical Cake

Whew what a busy day!  I can't believe it's the end of the weekend already and I'm only just getting this written... And that camping food post I promised, oops still not got around to that yet... all in good time!

Yesterday we had a super fun family celebration with my husband's family, cousins, 2nd cousins and family friends etc all up north in cottage country celebrating by the lake.  Lots of family, food and fun for everyone and as soon as the email came around asking who wanted what food contribution I jumped right into the cake slot :-)

May I introduce my 2013 Summer Bash Nautical Themed Cake:  Earl Grey Tea Cake with Orange Buttercream and Marzipan and Fondant decoration...



Last year I made my Summer Citrus Cake - lots of lemon with pretty citrus slices to decorate so this year I thought I'd go a different route.  And I did ... completely differently!
I LOVE to bake and decorate with fondant, however many family members don't like the taste of fondant, and I know on a hot day that a heavy cake with sticky fondant perhaps isn't what you want to eat.  Instead I went with marzipan to top the cake - a favourite with all of my Estonian in-laws!

As I've mentioned before, I love the chance to try something new, and although usually I don't try out a recipe before baking for an event (I know I should :-S) - I just hope for the best... this time I was putting together some recipes and some flavour combinations that I hadn't come across before so this time was an exception for me.

Late last Saturday night I baked a batch of Earl Grey tea cupcakes, added an orange buttercream layer and placed a round of marzipan and candy lemon on top to decorate!  This was the recipe I wanted... A few tweaks for the actual cake, but I am so grateful to The Gingered Whisk for the basic recipe I used, it was great!



With about 50 people at the party I thought I would go for a full 9" cake and am so excited that we hardly came home with any!  (Jonathan perhaps isn't as pleased about that!).  I love the flavour combination of the tea and the orange, and then the orange and the marzipan too.  Not giving up fondant completely I did the fun parts with fondant, setting the nautical theme with an anchor, rope, sail boats with a buttercream pearl border for the sea (or lake!).

There are some definite parts I wish had been better, neater etc but pretty pleased overall.  I wish in hindsight I didn't overlap the rope and cut it flush together at the back of the cake... I wish my royal icing glue was not as visible... I wish the sides of the cake were straight so the ships would lay flat on the marzipan... But apart from that, the taste was yummy (best with a bite of buttercream and cake at the same time) I think, I hope!

Here's the recipe - I'd definitely recommend it and it was dense enough to decorate over and lasted all day with nothing collapsing!!  (Something I was worried about on the drive up there :-S!)

Ingredients for the Cake:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk I used 3.25% whole milk
4 tbsp loose earl grey tea I used Teaopia's Lady Earl Grey which had slightly more lemon as well, more citrus yey!  Just what I had in the cupboard :-)
1 tsp vanilla

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F
2.  Prepare two 9" sandwich cake tins.  Butter the tins, place a circle of parchment paper at the bottom, butter that and then flour the sides - shaking off the excess.
 3.  Grind the tea - with a mortar and pestle/food processor - or like me I used a coffee grinder that has yet to be used for coffee!  Not quite to a powder but don't leave any bits too big!


4.  In a small saucepan, scald your milk until almost simmering - turn the heat off and add the tea.  Steep while you prepare the cake.









5.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
6.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition and add the vanilla.
7.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
8.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mix in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  
9.  Take out 1 1/2 tablespoons of the steeped tea leaves but add rest of the milk and tea mixture to the mix and stir until just combined.  
10.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined - don't overstir!
11.  Divide the batter between the two pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
12.  When a cake tester comes out clean remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out on to a wire rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients for the Orange Buttercream:

8 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest

Method:

1.  In a large bowl, mix together the butter, orange zest and vanilla extract until all lumps are gone.
2.  Add the milk and slowly mix until incorporated.
3.  Slowly add about 1/2 cup icing sugar at a time mixing on a low speed.
4.  Once all the icing sugar is in, cream on high for 2 minutes.
5.  Mix in the orange juice.

I sandwiched the cakes and filled them with buttercream.  Once filled, I frosted the outside of the cake and then added a circle of marzipan to the top of the cake, and then also places the sides of marzipan around the edge.










I piped the pearl border (my first time trying this!) with blue vanilla buttercream, and then placed all of the fondant decorations I had created while the cake cooled.  


For the anchor I used a large cookie cutter I bought a couple of months ago... I searched EVERYWHERE for a smaller version too, but nowhere to be found in this exact shape.  I'll have to order online for next time.  I cut out the star hole at the top with a star icing puncher I have from Wilton.


A small boat cookie cutter I do have!  Then I cut out a triangle of white fondant, and then with the same star cutter placed a red star on each sail.


And the part I was pretty excited about - the rope!  I rolled out two long sausages of brown fondant and braided them together - just a simple one over the other! 

I definitely ran out of photos at this point, oops!  Hopefully the finished look gives you an idea of how I created the ships, anchor and rope!




Hope everyone is having a great Summer so far!  I'm off to England tomorrow (wahoo!) for a quick visit to see my family... Maybe there will be some time to catch up on some posts at the airport, but we'll see!  Ciao for now :-)

40 comments:

  1. Oh, yum! Can't wait to try your cake recipe. I had some black tea gelato recently and I can't get it out of my head. Maybe your cake recipe will satisfy my craving! I'm visiting from the On Display Monday link party.

    Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life

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    1. YUM - black tea gelato?! Sounds incredible! Thanks for stopping by and reading this, I hope you do get to try it - it was so yummy and the smell of tea stayed around for a while :)

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  2. As one of the fortunate cake samplers at the party- let me affirm that this was a delight to the senses- visual and taste!!!! Yummy!

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    1. YEY so happy you liked it so much :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  3. That is SO cute! I love the "rope."

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    1. Thanks so much Bethany! I loved the rope too, that was one for sure thing that was going on the cake right from the start of ideas whirring! Great to have you here checking it out :)

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  4. I love your cake it is so cute!!! visiting from Marvelous Monday link party! http://shamenesayitwithcake.blogspot.com

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    1. Anchors are my absolute favourite things right now! Glad you like that part too :D Thanks for reading!

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  6. This sounds yummy and looks amazing.
    Ali x

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  7. This cakes looks amazing! I wish I was there to eat a piece. The decoration is great too. I will definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Lilly,

      I hope you do get to try this out - I loved the taste and I'm a big tea fan!

      Thanks for coming by and reading it :)

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  8. I love the rope--very cool! Visiting from Anyonita Nibbles

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    1. Thanks so much Michelle - so happy to have you here :)

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  9. What a nice looking cake. You did a great job! Perfect for summer too with the decorations. Makes me want to go for a sail!

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    1. I know right - everything nautical just makes me think of Summer! Luckily Summer is still here (for now!)... Thanks so much for being here!

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  10. So charming, yet sophisticated. I love the color scheme of the cake.

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    1. Wow thank you so much for your kind comments! Great ot have you here :)

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  11. My sister loves Earl Grey! I'll have to remember this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oooh yes - it was SO delicious made with Earl Grey. I hope you get the chance to make it for her :) Thanks for reading!

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    1. Thanks so much!! I am a huge anchor fan so I love this too :) Happy you could stop by!

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  13. Gorgeous cake! Thank you so much for linking up to Suburbsmama. Hope to see more from you soon.

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    1. Thanks so much Rita! Glad you liked it :)

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  14. I've never heard of tea in cake before. I'll bet it is delicious! The cake turned out so cute. Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!

    Hugs,
    Deborah

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    1. The tea is so different but so delicious! So happy you liked the decorations too, I was pretty pleased with it yey :)

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  15. I really love this cake. Such cute styling and the flavors sounds delicious. You've been featured this week. Stop by & grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do!

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    1. Thank you SO much Cheryl! I know I'm a bit behind with replying to comments but thank you THANK YOU for featuring this cake on your fantastic site. You make incredible things so I'm honoured to be one of your features - thanks!

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  16. Another really great themed cake!
    I hope you had a great visist in England :)
    Thanks so much for linking up on Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party. Please take a moment to cast your vote on your favourite link from last week :) I look forward to seeing what you share with us this tomorrow.

    x
    Natalie
    Marigolds' Loft

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  17. What a cute cake! I love how you used the Earl Grey tea leaves. They would add such great flavour, and the orange buttercream would be the perfect contrast!

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    1. Mmm yes it did work out really well! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post :)

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  18. Hannah: This cake is awesome. My oldest is a tea freak and also happens to love cake (who doesn't?) I know he'd love this! I've just gotta tweet and pin your gorgeous cake and recipe! Have a lovely day.

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    1. WOW thank you so much!! So happy you could check this out and that you like it so much!! Great to have you here :)

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  19. Visiting from Aloha Friday--This cake design is just so cute! And what cool ingredients too. Love the nautical theme!

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    1. I LOVE anything nautical - so glad you liked this theme for my cake too! Thanks for reading and leaving such a nice comment :)

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  20. This cake is beautiful!! I love the decorations :)

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    1. Thank you so so much!! Happy to have you here :)

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Thanks for reading!! Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you :-)