I really can’t believe it’s been a year already. Partly because it’s gone so quickly, but also because it feels like it’s been so much longer. I’m not going to get all cliche and soppy in this post, because I’m sure you’ve all read a million blog posts like that. Just trust me that I’m overwhelmingly excited about today’s post.
The biggest change this anniversary is bringing is the blog redesign. And the change is a major one. I’ve gone from my little prebuilt WordPress theme to a completely custom built theme that myself and my husband designed and coded ourselves. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of hours that have gone into this, but I am so over the moon happy with it, I don’t really care.
It was very important to us to build this new design ourselves, because we had such a strong vision of what we wanted it to be. This will be a place where you can easily access a whole library of easy, vegetarian recipes that you can make whatever your skill level is. The focus of this site is the food, so we wanted everything to be visual. After all, we eat with our eyes too.
Most importantly, I want to thank you. Your support over the last year has been overwhelming. It’s something I never expected, but I have truly met some of the most incredible people this year and forged some wonderful friendships. I hope to be able to connect with even more of you this year!
So in 2016, you can expect more regular recipes, focussed around creating easy, achievable vegetarian meals. We’ll be adding to our video library on a regular basis, growing our current collection and bringing you even more great content.
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Vanilla Ombre Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Recipe adapted slightly from Renee Kemps
Equipment – 2 x 9 inch round cake pan
For the Vanilla cake
375g Butter, room temperature
500g Caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
374g all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 Orange
125ml sour cream
250g butter, room temperature
500g icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the ganache
130g dark chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon butter
8 Macarons (optional)
If you would like to make your own macarons, I have a detailed technique guide, a Chocolate Coffee Macarons recipe and an Earl Grey Tea Macarons recipe.
For the cake
1. Preheat oven to 165 C.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until evenly distributed.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy (around 8 minutes).
4. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, beating thoroughly between each addition.
5. Add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and sour cream. Mix on a low speed inbetween. Add the orange zest at the end and mix just until everything is smooth and combined. Do not overmix.
6. Grease and line the two 9 inch cake pans and divide the mixture evenly between the two. Bake for 90-100 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely
For the buttercream frosting
Full guide on How To Make the Perfect Buttercream Frosting
1. Beat the butter on a high speed in the stand mixer for 8 minutes until pale and fluffy.
2. Gradually add the icing sugar and mix slowly until fully combined. Once all the sugar is combined, add the vanilla and beat on a high speed for a further 10 minutes.
For the ganache
1. Break the chocolate into small chunks in a heatproof bowl
2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just starts to simmer.
3. Pour the cream over the chocolate chunks and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the butter and stir.
4. Set aside until ready to assemble the cake.
1. Trim the cakes so they are flat along the top. Ice one of the cakes completely then place the other on top and ice. Scrape off the excess icing to give a “crumb coat”. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the crumb coated cake from the fridge. Divide your remaining icing into 3 parts in the ratio 3:1:1. Leave the largest part white. Colour 1 of the small parts a pale shade of any colour you like using food colouring. Then colour the other small part a dark shade of the same colour. Put the white icing on top of the cake and around the sides on the top half. Add the pale colour to the middle of the sides of the cake and the darkest colour around the rim of the bottom of the cake. Use a pallet knife to blend the icing slightly at the joins.
3. Using a large flat scraper or a pallet knife, go all the way around the cake to smooth the icing out. This will help blend the final layers together and create a smooth finish. Place in the fridge for another 15 minutes. Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cake until it just reaches the edges and then let it drip over the edge slightly. If desired, top with macarons or other cookies for decoration.