Do you ever needlessly go out of your way to make something more difficult for yourself? Because I just spent four evenings in a row making 66 quarter sized gumpaste roses for no other reason than I felt like making a cake….for myself….
Usually I like to have an excuse–even if it is a light one–such as a birthday or a friend returning from being abroad or a club meeting when I bake things. It makes me feel more justified in spending time and effort on something so extravagant. But this time I just told myself and my family that I was preparing myself for pastry school and looking to update the recipes on my blog and pictures on my business cards. Which I suppose is a valid excuse, but it was also the first of three cakes I planned to make in one week, so then again maybe not so valid.
The first round of gumpaste roses actually started so that I could make a video, which I have up on YouTube. Ever since I started using gumpaste I have had friends ask me how to make them–and the truth is that I kind of just do whatever and treat the gumpaste like clay, changing my technique as I go. But it is definitely much easier to see than it is to hear it explained, so if you like check out my video below!
As I mentioned, these roses are fairly small, and they can be made much larger. However if they are made larger you will want to wait a few hours or even overnight between adding some of the layers on the roses–and I really enjoyed working through each color of rose in one sitting. I also binge watched half of a Korean drama while doing this…..so while it might be tedious and time consuming it was also relaxing to do at night while I watched my dramas.
I wanted my roses to be the focal point, and I made this cake about a week after making the Fig, Cognac and Mascarpone Cake, so I wasn’t looking to bake something that was out of the box flavor wise. I actually used the same Mascarpone Frosting recipe that I used from that cake, minus the cognac flavoring, and then turned to my trusty Miette cookbook (if you don’t one one, go out and buy it immediately) for the cake recipe.
Being lazy I ended up making a few changes to the Miette Chocolate Cake base, but everything turned out alright in the end–and my family actually deemed it better than the Fig, Cognac and Mascarpone Cake from the week before…though to be honest I shouldn’t be surprised because literally every time I bake something my mom never fails to tell me that its the best thing she has ever tasted. T_T Stop being so supportive of me! 😛
Anyhow. How do I always get off on weird tangents while blogging?
I also made a video of the frosting and decorating process, because I find taking videos of my baking to be a fun new challenge and also amusing to watch later with family and friends. Also its a good way to spread Korean music out in the world because so far every video has featured either ZionT or IU hehe!
While I love that the main feature is the ombre of the roses as they curl around the cake, I think next time I would like there to be more variation within the size of the roses. You may remember that I made a rainbow cake about a year ago, and that cake was a 7″ cake and decorated with 30 roses–so it was bigger with fewer roses–but it still managed to look as full since the roses were larger. However I think it would be fantastic to almost completely cover the cake with roses of all sizes swirling from top to bottom!
One of the things I love best about gumpaste (and then I’ll stop nattering and get on with posting the recipe) is that you can make your decorations so far in advance, so it can be a great hobby that you play around with on a daily or weekly basis without needing to spend time baking and decorating a cake–especially if you don’t have an occasion to use them for! So many other things with baking are so time sensitive, with things like sugar decorations needing to be used the same day they are made or finished cakes needing to be consumed within a certain time frame for optimal freshness. But with gumpaste you could make a rose today that you don’t end up using until next year!
Ombre Rose Cake
Made from 66 ombre gumpaste roses, adaptions to the Miette Double Chocolate Cake recipe and frosting loosely based off of F&D Department’s Mascarpone Frosting
Double Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk (I used whole milk kefir)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 1/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and coat two 6X3″ cake pans with cocoa powder. Set aside.
2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Put the chocolate in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over the top of it. Wait a minute and then whisk until the chocolate has melted. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk or kefir and the vanilla.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs on high until foamy–about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in the oil, and whisk for another minute until completely combined.
6. With the mixer on low, add in the chocolate and then the buttermilk/kefir, and whisk until combined. Add in the sugar and whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is a smooth liquid.
7. Stop the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients by hand with a spatula, scraping down the sides as you go. As soon as the batter comes together, stop mixing, even if it looks a bit lumpy–thats okay!
8. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes.
9. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them rest for about 20 minutes in the pans before removing them from the pans and letting them cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Keep the cakes in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap until ready to use.
8 oz mascarpone
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
~6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla paste
pinch of salt
1) In the bowl of an electric mixer, bead the mascarpone and butter until smooth.
2) Add in the sugar 1 cup at a time, stopping to scrape the sides and check the consistency.
3) Beat in the vanilla and salt. Add extra powdered sugar as needed to maintain the consistency you are looking for. Set aside.
Stacking the Cake:
Cut the cake layers in half, then stack them on a cake board or on your cake stand, spreading a thin layer of frosting between each as you go. Add a crumb coat of frosting with an offset spatula then let it set in the refrigerator (or outside if you are in Minnesota in the winter like me) for 15-20 minutes before adding a second, thicker layer of frosting. Add gumpaste roses or other decorations as desired.