Many of you may not know this, but right before I went to Algeria, I became an aunt again to yet another beautiful baby boy. This makes 4 nephews altogether, but who's counting? ;)
Anyways, I had to go to Algeria two days after he was born which was the hardest thing ever for me to do because I've basically always been there for all the stages of my nephews' lives and to miss a month, especially his first month, was just crazy for me. Thankfully, the days flew by pretty fast and before I knew it, he was back into my arms again.
Ever since then, I've been smothering him with all of my love and affection. And maybe getting him used to being held all the time. Not good, I know. But I've spoiled every one of them so what's the point in stopping now. Well, enough about the baby. Let's talk about this cake.
To officially welcome my little bugaboo into this world, I decided that I would do none other than make him a cake. But not just any cake. A 3-layer blue ombre petal cake. And get this-- the actual cake is a vanilla buttermilk cake that I baked from scratch. And that frosting you see, that's buttercream frosting that I ALSO whipped up from scratch. Take notes people. This is a first in Culinary Couture history.
I've made cakes before. And I've made frosting before. But I've never actually made a complete decorated cake for an occasion, entirely from scratch.
I have to say, the results were spectacular and way beyond what I had expected. The cake was incredibly fluffy, moist, and delicious. I could hardly believe it was my own making and that I didn't use a box mix! And don't even get me started on the frosting. If I wasn't worried that I wouldn't have enough to completely decorate the cake, I would have ate the majority of it with a spoon.
This petal pattern you see here takes up quite a good amount of frosting. But if you make two batches of this recipe like I did, you'll have enough and even some leftover. Admittedly, I didn't fill the cake with the frosting--I filled it with an instant pudding mix so that part wasn't from scratch. But if you choose to fill the cake with the buttercream, then you'll probably have exactly enough with the amount I prescribed above.
One thing that I learned from working with buttercream is that it melts if you play with it for too long, especially recipes made from all butter and not a butter/shortening combination. I only held the bags for a few seconds at a time for this technique but my buttercream still got a little goopy towards the end and my latter petals weren't as detailed. I'm sure it didn't help that I was working under an open heat duct the whole time.
But a few tips of the trade that I read up on after decorating the cake was that you should only use a little icing in your piping bag at a time, so that you are refilling often with cooler buttercream. Also, you should keep a bag of frozen veggies next to you and place both the bag and your hand on the veggies for about 10 seconds to cool off every so often.
I think that I overall managed to pull off a pretty decent petal cake, especially for it being my first time trying this technique and working with buttercream. I have to give most of the credit to The Hungry Housewife for posting the video tutorial on how to make this cake. I don't think I could have done it without her. You guys should definitely watch the video and give this cake a whirl. I will admit, it is fairly time consuming but the concept is simple and the result is very rewarding.