Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 3-30-2015 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variations: Cream Cheese Pound Cake and variations
Kraft Foods asked me to come up with an Easter brunch cake recipe using their Philadelphia Brand cream cheese. We thought it would be fun to create a recipe for an ombre mini cake, with cream cheese used as an ingredient in the cake. We turned to one of our trusty cream cheese pound cake recipes, and came up with this beautiful Easter and spring cake variation. We think that fresh edible pansies always make any dessert look so festive and colorful.
CAKE RECIPE HELP
1 recipe Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake; bake in an 18- x 13-inch pan for 20 x 25 minutes. See cooling instructions, below.
For the Ombre Violet Buttercream:
5 sticks (2 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, slightly soft
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pounds (8 cups) powdered sugar, sifted (measure, then sift)
VIOLET gel past food color, Americolor Brand preferred
1. One 2 3/4-inch Square Cookie Cutter, optional or ruler
2. One 2-inch Square Cookie Cutter, optional or ruler; Wilton set will give you the sizes you need to cut out the mini cakes from.
3. Wilton #10 or plain round piping tip, Disposable piping bag, and coupler
4. 5 large organically-grown edible pansies or garnish, washed and dried, your choosing
STEP I: COOL THE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE. UNMOLD AND FREEZE.
1. Bake the Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake in an 18- x 13-inch pan.
2. Cool the cake in the pan, on a wire cake rack. When the cake is cool, cut around the edges of the cake with a knife, to release it from the pan.
3. Cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment paper, and put the backside of the baking pan on the cake.
Flip the pans over, then remove the pan the cake was baked in, which will leave the cake on the new sheet of parchment paper, supported by the other pan
Remove the parchment from the cake. The cake will now be upside-down.
4. Cover the whole cake with plastic wrap on the pan, and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, to chill so the mini cakes can be cut out cleanly.
Pound cakes keep well for a few days, well-wrapped at room temperature. They also freeze well for a month or more. Thaw at room temperature in its wrappers.
STEP II: MAKE THE OMBRE VIOLET BUTTERCREAM
Make the buttercream while the cake chills in the freezer:
1.Fit the stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add smaller amount of the heavy cream and vanilla and mix well and low speed.
3. Slowly add 4 cups powdered sugar on low speed and mix for 5 minutes on medium-low speed.
4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix well on low speed.
5. Add more cream or powdered sugar if necessary to adjust the consistency to be a thick, but spreadable consistency.
6. Then for a super smooth (not fluffy) buttercream, beat on low to medium-low for about 2 to 3 minutes.
7. Tint immediately.
This buttercream stores for several days at room temperature, a week in the refrigerator or a month or more in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator.
After storing, beat vigorously with a heavy spoon before using
Tint the buttercream light, medium and dark violet:
1. Scrape down the sides of the buttercream mixer bowl, and the beater, to make sure all of the icing gets colored evenly.
2. For LIGHT VIOLET icing, add 6 drops violet gel paste food color to the buttercream in the mixing bowl.
Mix on low speed until color is uniform.
Remove 2 1/2 cups of this to a medium bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
3. For the MEDIUM VIOLET icing, add an additional 3 drops of violet gel paste color to the remaining icing in the large mixer bowl, and mix on low until evenly colored.
Remove 2 1/2 cups of this icing and place it in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
4. For the DARK VIOLET icing, add 4 additional drops of gel paste color to the remaining frosting in the mixer bowl, and mix on low.
Remove this remaining icing to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
Set the tinted buttercream aside.
STEP III: ASSEMBLE THE MINI CAKES
1. After 30 minutes, remove the cake from the freezer, and discard the plastic wrap.
Slide the cake off the baking pan, and onto your work surface, by pulling on an edge of the parchment paper.
2. Trim all 4 edges of the cake with a sharp serrated knife.
Remove about a 1/2-inch from all sides.
3. Lightly mark the cake into 15 2 3/4-inch square sections by lightly pressing a 2 3/4-inch square cookie cutter (on its straight edges) into the surface of the cake - mark 3 cakes across the width of the cake, and 5 cakes along the length.
Optionally, you can measure out the squares using a ruler, and then marking the cake with the tip of a knife. This will give you a guide, to make sure all of the cakes are the same size.
4. Cut the square cake sections you marked from the sheet cake with a sharp serrated knife, using the lines made with the cookie cutter as a guide.
Place the cut out cakes on a piece of parchment and cover them with plastic wrap, so they do not dry out as you assemble the mini cakes.
5. Place the DARK VIOLET icing in a disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton #10 tip, or an equivalent medium plain round tip.
-Pipe the icing in a square spiral, leaving a 1/4-inch edge around the edge of the cake un-iced.
-Pipe evenly sized rounds of icing all the way around the edge of the cake.
-Place the iced cake square on a foil-lined baking sheet.
-Repeat the steps above, with the DARK VIOLET icing on 4 additional cake squares.
6. Remove the piping tip from the DARK VIOLET icing bag, and use a paper towel to wipe out the icing inside the tip.
- Place the MEDIUM VIOLET icing in a disposable piping bag and place the cleaned piping tip on the bag.
- Repeat the same steps, above, used for the DARK VIOLET icing, and ice 5 cake squares with the MEDIUM VIOLET icing.
- Place the pan with the iced cake squares in the freezer, while you ice the top layer of the mini cakes.
- This will help set the icing, so it does not become distorted when you stack the cakes.
7. Again, working on a piece of parchment, for the last four cake squares, which will be the top of the stacked cakes, center a 2-inch square cutter and press it lightly into the cake, to mark the surface of the cake. Optionally, you can measure out the squares using a ruler, and then marking the cake with the tip of a knife. This will give you a guide line where to pipe and smooth the buttercream and where to pipe the border.
- Pipe on the icing, as you did before, on the lines of the marked square, then gently smooth the icing with a small off-set spatula before piping the border's rounds around the edge of the cake.
Assemble the cakes:
When you are done icing the 5 LIGHT VIOLET top squares, remove the other squares from the freezer, then assemble the mini cakes (do not thaw the cakes in advance):
1. On a large flat serving platter, place a bottom DARK VIOLET square, then center a MEDIUM VIOLET square on top of it.
2. Top the two stacked cake squares with a LIGHT VIOLET square, making sure it is centered.
3. Repeat the steps with the other squares, making 5 three-layered mini cakes.
Right before service, top each mini cake stack with a large pansy. They are best when eaten soon after assembly.
The frosting used does not require refrigeration, so the mini cakes can be stored at room temperature for a few days, covered by a cake dome or large covered container. Remove the edible pansy before doing so. The cakes can be frozen for a month or more. Thaw in their wrappers in the refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake and variations