happy middle of the work week!
so you guys i'm pretty excited to share two things; my first ever ombre layer cake and an amazing giveaway! before we talk about the giveaway let me talk about that cake. i n e e d to admit, i was a little hesitant to even make an ombre layer cake, it just seemed like too much work with all of the layers and the coloring but let me say the process wasn't bad at all. i bought these awesome 6" layer cake pans and it made the process so much easier than i could have predicted.
now let's talk about this giveaway! a few weeks ago the wonderful folks at JORD wood watches reached out to me about hosting a giveaway with my followers! how could i turn that down? they even sent over a band new watch for me to check out and attest to how truly amazing these wood watches are. i received the dark sandalwood and mint from the frankie 35 series and holy moly, the wood display box of this watch is truly a beautiful display on it's own. after opening the wooden display box i saw my new watch comfortably resting around a JORD embossed pillow. the first thought that came to mind was how this watch's color combination reminded me of mint and chocolate, yes it's true, i was food inspired by a watch! only i, i who thinks about food, reads cookbooks like novels, studies beer lists before making a dining decision and bakes whatever sweet treat that's been on my to-bake list, could feel such a desire to correlate a watch to a sweet concoction. since i was feeling inspired by this mint faceplate and dark sandalwood wristband i had to pour my inspiration into a cake pan, and am so happy i did.
with very little free time since the kid arrived (more on that later) how was i going to make a cake that embodied chocolate and mint, plus a cake that is big on flavor but required very little fuss? well, i answered my own question with a not-so-simple-looking ombre mint-green cake with a fancy looking whipped chocolate ganache frosting. so easy to make and so simple to frost. but let's not forget the real reason i started this post; because i have an amazing giveaway to share with you all, scroll to the bottom of this post for details and the link to enter!
OMBRE VANILLA LAYER CAKE WITH WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. butter the bottoms and sides of five 6" cake pan, dust with flour, and tap out the excess.
whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
beat the butter, sugar and oil in a large bowl in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla until combined.
alternate folding the flour mixture and the milk into the batter with a spatula, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two, starting and ending with the flour, until just smooth.
to create an ombre effect with the layers; add in 3 drops of green food coloring to the entire batter and fold to incorporate. this will now be the starting base color for the ombre layers. pour proper amount from this starting batter into one cake pan. with the remaining batter add-in an additional 2 drops of food coloring, fold to incorporate until a change in batter color is noticeable, if change is subtle add in an additional drop. pour proper amount of batter into an additional cake pan, repeat the food coloring process to remaining batter and pour into additional cake. repeat the process until all of the batter is used. each cake pan of batter should have a difference in color.
bake the cake on the same rack for 20 to 25 minutes, rotate the pans about halfway through. check for doneness. add an additional 4 minutes if needed. let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, turn out onto cooling racks and let cool completely.
to assemble: stack up cooled cakes starting with the darkest layer and adding subsequent lighter layers until the last cake is the lightest. spread each cake layer with an equal amount of frosting. restack the frosted layers in the ombre order desired, darkest layer at the bottom to achieve the same look as mine. if frosting remains or in excess use to crumb coat the outside. place in the fridge for an hour. after the cake has had a chance to chill remove from fridge and frost entire cake with whipped chocolate ganache.
allow cake to sit at room temp. for 2 hours before serving.
*if using wilton five layer 6" cake pans, follow package baking directions*
OMBRE VANILLA LAYER CAKE:
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for the pans
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour leveled, plus more for the pans
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine salt
2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
5 large eggs, at room temp.
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. milk
green food coloring
BUTTER CREAM FROSTING:
beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. once it's all been added, increase the speed to medium-high, beat until white and fluffy. add 2 tbsp. of milk, one tbsp. at a time.
3 stick (1 1/2 c.) unsalted butter at room temp.
3 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk
pine of fine salt
WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING:
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1 c. heavy cream
place chocolate chips in a large bowl. heat heavy cream in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high head until it comes to a boil. remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate, stir until all the chocolate has melted and is smooth.
all ganache to cool completely, place in the refrigerator for at least an hour afterward. when ready to use pull cold ganache from the fridge and whip using an electric mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula until homogenous in appearance and semi-fluffy looking, about 8-10 minutes.
cake recipe adapted from the CLASSIC VANILLA CAKE recipe from the Food Network
THE CONTEST INFO:
click here to fill out the insanely simple form for a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site. 1 person will win, but e v e r y o n e will receive a consolation code worth $25 at the end of the contest! so just to be sure you understand, that means you still win just for trying!
contest ends at 11:59 CST 02/19/17 and both codes expire 04/30/17
not only is the watch beautiful in craftsmanship and visually appealing but look at the wooden box that it comes in! this is not a box to toss away or one to hold random loose buttons (what else do you use your watch boxes for?). this is a box to keep for a lifetime. the top magnetically attaches to the base and the bottom of the base is a little sliding compartment!
disclosure: i was provided with a JORD wood watch in exchange for promotional social medial and a blog post. all opinions expressed are my own.