sombrero cake!

sombrero cakeHola Amigos! It was the Bean's Birthday in my period of semi-absence and a party was being had. A Mexican Fiesta to be precise. And, as part of my sisterly duties, I was commissioned to make a cake. "We're having forty... oh, maybe fifty people" said the Bean, some three weeks prior. And then, "It may be closer to sixty. I'm not sure" said the Bean, one week prior. And there were dinners to be had and people to be seen with and so the cake was made on a Tuesday and decorated on a Saturday morning in amongst pots of beans and mince and lentils and rice.

"What kind of cake would you like to have?" I asked. "Marble Cake" she responded. "Are you sure?" I had asked, hoping she would change her mind. But she didn't. And I ws left to come up with a way to make marble cake Mexican. There were thoughts of a 2D cactus, but I wanted something more... challenging? Did I really? Well somewhere in between the question and the outcome I decided I did. And oh! The Bean was so excited! And oh! So were the Mexican drug ring, the poncho & sombrero clad muchachos, the cactus, the taco & the various mariachi musicians.

sombrero cake
the plans, oh! the plans!

basic marble cake

ingredients:
600g butter
3C sugar
9 eggs
4C Self Raising Flour
2C Plain Flour
375ml milk
3 tbs cocoa powder
red & green food colouring

method:

1. Beat the butter & sugar until it is smooth and pale in colour. With this much batter, it may be wise to do this section in batches. I did not and ended up with sugar coated butter flying around my kitchen. I only exaggerate a little bit.

sombrero cake
butter & sugar first. then eggs. now beat it.

2. Add the eggs to the bowl and beat in one at a time.

3. Transfer the entire amount into a bigger bowl now. (Again, I did not do this and ended up with flour all over my kitchen. Exaggeration? Slight.)

sombrero cake
flour, then milk, then flour, then...

4. Sift 2 Cups of flour into the mix. Doesn't matter which flour, just any of them. Now mix the flour in. It will be a little stiff.

5. Pour about 125ml of the milk into the mix. There is only one kind of milk in this recipe so no confusion there right? Mix that in now. The mix will loosen a little bit. This is a good thing.

6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until all of the flour and all of the milk has been mixed through.

sombrero cake
colour me happy baby!

7. Split the mix into four different bowls. Colour one red, another green and the third one brown. The cocoa goes in the one that you are planning to colour brown. (I can see the lightbulbs from here!)

sombrero cake
dollops of batter

8. This is the fun part (as opposed to the washing up that happens later which is far less fun). Put a spoon in each of your coloured bowls and dollop the colours around the pan all higgeldy piggeldy.

[8a: for those planning on sombrero cake-ing it up, I used a 28cm round springform for the base and a disposable aluminium deep pie dish for the peak.]

sombrero cake
swirl-er-riffic!

9. After you've dolloped the mix in [about half way for the big round tin and two-thirds of the way up for the pie dish] use a knife to swirl the colours together. Don't swirl too much or you'll end up with an off-brown cake with patches of colour instead of happy marbling.

10. Now baking time. It'll take about an hour and a half in a 180C oven. Check for cookedness by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If the top is browning too much, cover it with tin foil and keep baking.

11. You'll have enough batter left over for some cupcakes. These are best eaten straight from the oven and slathered with nutella. I may or may not know this from experience.

sombrero cake
leftover batter cupcakes


making a sombrero cake

ingredients:
one packet of roll out icing (500g)
powder (not liquid) colouring in yellow, orange, green & red
300ml cream
2 tbs icing sugar

equipment:
greaseproof paper
spatula
knife
rolling pin

method:
1. It's best if you make your cake the night before. Once it's cooked, let it cool then wrap it in layers of glad wrap & foil and pop it in the freezer overnight.

sombrero cake
making the hat's "peak"

2. Unmold your cakes. The circular cake can stay as is. it will probably havea slight curve to its top and that suits these purposes just fine.

3. The cake baked in a pie dish will have risen ridiculously and have a massively curved up top. Slice the peaked bit off (carefully though! We'll be using it!) You should now have a round cake, a cake that looks like a cone with the top missing, and the peak of the pie dish cake.

sombrero cake
making a peak (part 2)

4. Flip the not-quite-a-cone so the cut side is facing down and plonk the cut away peak on top of it. We're going to trim the peak so that it fits the top of the cone. Best way to do this is to make vertical slices all around the peak until you hit the base cake, then to carve each of the tabs off.

5. Now whip your cream and sugar together until it is stiff (but without being too aerated. This is going to be your icing "glue".

sombrero cake
laying down the glue

6. Put a thick layer on the top of the round base cake and then spread it around the sides. Now put another dollop in the centre of the big cake and smoosh the not-quite-a-cone down on top of it. Repeat with the peak. You should now have a hat-ish looking form covered in white cream.

7. Colour about 100g of the icing green and 100g of the icing red using the powder colouring. Keep working it through until the colour is evenly spread.

imagename
applying the outer layer of icing

8. Now cut a strip of waxed / greaseproof paper that is the about 2cm taller in height than the base cake, and the same length as its circumference. Roll the green icing out onto that piece of paper then trim one of the long edges. Roll it up like a roll up and stick it onto the base of the cake, peeling the paper away as the icing sticks to the cream.

9. Roll out a rectangle of red, half as long as the green and cut triangles out from it as shown in the picture. Stick these onto the green with a little bit of pressure. You won't need an adhesive as such.

10. Finally, add yellow & orange to the rest of the icing until it is straw coloured
(or sort of straw coloured). Roll that out into a big, BIG circle and drape it over the top of the cake. Trim the edges and use a skewer to create some detail.

sombrero cake
cakey innards (hooray for swirls!)

11. And you're done! Add candles for a ridiculously bright and cheeful cake. Then tell the Bean you're never doing that again because oh-my-goodness the hours of your life that you lost stressing about whether or not it would all work. And she will point at her happy guests who are exclaiming "colourful cake in the shape of a hat! oh my goodness!" and saying "but it is so great!" and then the mother will slice the whole way down the cake to serve it up and you will see the pretty swirls and the triple layered hat innards and think non-homicidal thoughts when the Bean says "So what cake do I get next year?"

12 bites more:

Betty said...

wow. very impressive! bean is lucky to have you :)

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

very cute and nicely done!

Stephcookie said...

Shez that cake is packed full of AWESOMENESS! Totally worth all the hours of stress :) The whole Mexican theme sounds like so much fun!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Very cool idea and nicely executed!

Simon Food Favourites said...

hehe looks so cool. i want one!
s :-)

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Warm from the oven with nutella sounds like the perfect way to eat cake to me! The marbling looks superb, and I love the way you decorated the sombrero.

FFichiban said...

HAHA 'higgeldy piggeldy'yummmy marbling mmmmm. You should had made Bean wear it before cutting!

Simon said...

Oh, this was the triple "oh!" cake I've overheard you talking about.

Great work with the cake senorita. Good luck with next year's attempt :)

Karen said...

Hey you have the same benchtop mixer as I do!! Haha aren't they just awesomely retro? Although I think its time I modernise my mixer.

Looks goooooooood yummmm.

shez said...

betty: thanks (and oh does she know it! hehehe)

Helen: thanks dude :)

Stephcookie: oh it was! so so much fun. and aided in no small way by the rummy punch!

Lorraine: thankyou!

Simon: *grins*

Arwen: oh i know right? its the melting that does it for me. yummo :)

FFichiban: heh. that would've looked CRAZY!

Simon: it sure was! (and thanks dude, though i think 22 will be a smaller do than 21)

karen: ours is a donation after we blew up the last one. it is great though. love the timer feature on it.

Yas said...

How cute that looks!!
Came to think of birthday cakes, I don't think I ever had such creative cakes before.

Y said...

Festive! What a great idea, having a Mexican themed celebration.

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