Daring Baker's Challenge July 2014
For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds!
Ruth gave us an excellent inspirational board with plenty of pictures and recipes to get our ideas flowing and I initially did one with a flower shape in the middle (below), following one of the Dr Oetker recipes. It turned out pretty good, but then, it didn't feel like I contributed to the challenge at all. All I did was follow the recipe and the idea, using different shape cutters.
I almost made my peace with it, until one day my daughter asked me to bake few mini doughnuts. Hmm! brilliant idea - by the end of the afternoon I had my Neapolitan doughnuts and glazed cherries surprise cake. Ok, certain things didn't turn out as I wanted them, (the natural red food colouring turned out grey - don't ask me how and a few doughnuts didn't hold their shape) but who cares, it was my surprise cake! With few minor changes, it could be perfect looking and very tasty too.
130 g flour
150 g sugar
1 tsp baking poder
2 tbsp melted butter
150 ml milk
tbsp vanilla sugar (or extract)
pinch of salt
Mix separately dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, then combine them together into a smooth batter. Spread it into a doughnut pan and bake in the oven preheated to 180C/350F for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the doughnuts. When cooled down, stick glazed cherry in the middle.
I used 18 mini doughnuts. If you want to decorate your cake with them, double the recipe and have few spear ones to dip into melted chocolate.
For the cake:
250 g self raising flour
250 g soft unsalted butter
250 g sugar
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
35 ml milk
30 g chocolate powder
red food colouring
For the syrup:
100 ml water
100 ml sugar
26 cm bundt cake tin
oven temperature 170 C
Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until pale and fluffy then add eggs one at the time while whisking quickly,add milk at the end. Sift the flour and stir to combine. Divide the batter into 2 equal parts. add the chocolate powder to one, red colouring to other. Pour the chocolate batter onto the bottom of the prepared tin then arrange the doughnuts in the middle all the way around the pan, top with the pink (red, or in my case grey) batter. Bake for about 1 hour. Take it out and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Make the syrup by placing the water and sugar over medium heat, bring to boil, and simmer until the sugar dissolved. Leave it to cool for few minutes, then brush the cake, while still warm.
Decorate as you wish. I mixed some icing sugar with a little bit of warm water and red colouring. Use a cup of sugar and add spoon of water; keep adding in turns until you reach desired consistency, add drop of the colouring at the time.
To decorate with doughnuts, dip them into melted chocolate and "glue" them to the freshly made icing cover.
I have to say, that I found it a bit dry, but I think that could be fixed with few spoons of sugar syrup, as I used in the for the Neapolitan cake.
It still looks pretty!!