Colourful sponge tiers, be they ombre or sweet dusty hues always give me that wow factor.
Ice in pastel pantones, then decorate with flare and that all important chocolate drip and there before you will stand the perfect Easter table centrepiece.
I’ve seen many forms of this design splashed across Pinterest or magazine covers so I won’t try to pass this off as my own glorified design. However instead of coping one, I decided to combine all my favourites together and I am so pleased with the result. Now to eat it!!
Happy Easter Everyone
Makes | 1 cake
Preparation time | 1.5 hours
Baking time | 25 minutes
Ombre Sponge Cake
300g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
300g self-raising flour
3 free-range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp melon food gel
1/4 tsp claret food gel
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
150g (5 large) free range eggs
250g caster sugar
340g butter, cubed and cool
A dot of melon food gel
1 tbsp coco powder
3 tbsp vanilla essence
200g dark chocolate
300g Cadbury mini eggs
Ombre Sponge Cake
Preheat the oven to 190C/370F and prepare three 6 inch cake tins.
I’m a all-in-one method sponge cake maker so throw all your cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl; leaving the milk and food colouring till the end.
When the mixture is smooth, add the milk and blend until smooth and creamy.
Split equally between three bowls and add your melon food colouring to one and your claret into another. Leave the last bowl plain.
Pour the mixture into your cake tins, smooth the tops and bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Leave to cool fully before icing.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (adapted from Sweetapolita)
Add egg whites and sugar into a super clean, grease free bowl and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
Pour the egg white mix into a mixer bowl and whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels room temperature. Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl has cooled.
Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. It may well curdle at this point but don’t worry, keep mixing and it will come back smooth. Add vanilla and food colouring (if adding colour) then continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
The speckle and drip
Now before we start with the speckle instructions I must disclose that this is the stage where things get messy. But what is baking without a little mess, right?
Prepare your work surface by laying down plenty of parchment paper and taking away all kitchen accessories you wish to keep clean. Regardless you will find specks on your tiles but that’s what a wet dish cloth is for afterwards.
In a small bowl or cup mix together your coco powder and vanilla essence until you have a thin paint.
Lightly dip a very clean, (preferably new), never used for painting, paint brush into the chocolate paint then while holding the brush with one hand use your other hand to flick the bristles with your fingers, keeping your brush around 2 inches away from the cake.
Continue specking until your are satisfied with its appearance then leave to dry for 15 minutes.
For the drip, melt the dark chocolate then pour it all onto the top of the cake. Using a spatula gently smooth it out across the top, easing it over the sides so it drips down.
Decorate with your Cadbury Mini Eggs and serve straight away.
NOTE: Swiss Meringue Buttercream is best served at room temperature
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