Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting {2 Year Blog Anniversary}

This is a pretty special blog post, and I still can’t believe it’s been two years. There have been a lot of crazy moments, and I’ve been lucky enough to share this journey with all of you. 9.jpgI guess I should start off with a few thank yous. Thank you for the endless support. Thank you to my friends and family. Thank you to whoever is reading this. I wouldn’t be here without all of you.  It’s funny because I still remember my first post and when I asked my mum to start a blog. I still remember the first person I told this dream to. I still remember all of that. 40.jpgSometimes those moments feel like yesterday, sometimes it feels like an eternity ago and sometimes it feels like a dream; a dream too good to be true. But I always think about the why, and what made me start a blog, and I still can’t find the reason. 6.jpgIt’s just something that felt so right at the time I guess and always has been explainable. I do believe that we are who we are due to our experiences. Often we do not realise the significance of them at the time until moments later.33This cake turned out better than expected. I decided to keep things more simple and not do a drip. It is also more of a classic American-style cake. So it’s lighter than a butter or pound cake, but denser than a sponge cake, and is paired with a rich chocolate frosting. Thank you again for everything. I’m grateful for every single opportunity and  the privilege to inspire so many of you. That’s the main reason why I blog.

 

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups (285g) plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature cut into 2cm cubes

For the frosting: 

  • 300g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (330g) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 220g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
Method

For the cake: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 180ºC. Grease and line four 6-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, sour cream, and buttermilk.
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low until combined.
  4. On low speed, add the butter one cube at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the mixer still running on low, slowly add half the wet ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and beat until well incorporated, about 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low, add the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. increase the speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds (the batter may still look a little bumpy). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and use a spatula to mix the batter a few more times.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. the pans gently on the counter 2 times each to help get rid of any bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and pull slightly away from the sides and a wooden skewer inserted in the centres comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tins, then turn cakes onto a wire rack and remove baking paper. Then allow to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. In an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed for five minutes or until light and pale in colour.
  2. Gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Mix high on high speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Add the cooled melted chocolate and beat until well combined. Beat on high for a final three minutes making sure everything is well combined.

Assembly: 

  • Fresh flowers
  • Figs
  • Blueberries
  1. Trim and level cakes, with a serrated knife and cake leveller.
  2. Add a little bit of buttercream to your cake stand or platter.Then place your first layer of cake on the cake stand.
  3. Spread buttercream on the first layer and then add the next layer of cake. Repeat until you have used up all the cake layers.
  4. Spread a thin layer of buttercream around the sides and all over the cake (this is a crumb coat). Put the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes, or until the crumb coat has firmed up.
  5. Use the remaining buttercream to frost the cake until it is completely smooth.
  6. Then slice and enjoy!

 

 


Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Banana Bread

The past couple months have been pretty crazy to say the least. In late January, I finished a shoot for a company then, right after that, school started and the assignments and exams started to roll in. 12.jpgI always find it so funny for some reason, working hard during the term studying physics and circuits, doing calculus, drawing vectors and  building galvanic cells. Then, during the holidays, cooking, photographing and editing basically fill my days. It’s very different.  7.jpgI wish I could post more, rather than doing a few blog posts every few months, but circumstances do not allow that. Wherever you are and wherever you go, there are always things to learn; whether it’s about life, physics, maths, English, chemistry, blogging, photography, cooking or even yourself and the people around you. 24You just gotta keep learning. I guess it’s taken me a while to truly appreciate the life I have and its opportunities. So that’s why I want to say thank you to all of you. If you’re reading this, you may be a friend from school, someone I know who is kind enough to check Beyond Our Sky, or someone I may never know or meet. 6.jpgWhoever you are thank you endlessly. Thank you for letting this be part of your journey, and being part of mine. Finding this recipe was actually really surprising. I found that in Tasmania, I always had gluten-free banana bread. Then I stumbled upon this recipe. It was amazing let me tell you. 1.jpgSo this banana bread is literally everything you will ever need. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, balance of flavour, moistness (sorry, I had to use it) and banana of course. The nuts are optional of course. 21.jpgSuper quick, super easy. You just have to whisk the wet and dry ingredients and combine the two. One of the hardest parts is waiting for it to bake. I like to eat it just on it’s own. You can have it with a dairy-free spread, honey and banana (like below), but honestly you do don’t really need it. This banana bread is literally that good. 2.jpgSo thank you for reading. Let me know if you make it and tag me in the photo so I can see your creations. I hope you have a great week, day, night wherever you are reading this.

 

Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Banana Bread

Inspired by Taste

  • 200g gluten-free plain flour (I use White Wings)
  • 80g desiccated coconut
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 medium-sized, ripe bananas
  • 165mL olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g chopped hazelnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. Grease and line the base of a loaf tin (approx. 11cm x 20cm in size)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or masher (does not have to be completely smooth, lumps are okay). Add the oil, eggs and maple syrup. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, and stir until there are no more streaks of flour.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with hazelnuts if using. Bake for 45-50 minutes until or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 30 mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. Cut into slices, then serve and enjoy!

 

 

 


Coffee Ice Cream

Welcome to 2018! I know it’s a little late, but my family and I have been busy travelling. I’m very excited to share this ice cream recipe with you, although it may not be summer where you are. 33.jpgThis is based of David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream recipe, but instead the milk mixture is infused with instant coffee.  You can of course adjust the strength to your liking. This is what I love about ice cream; you start with a base recipe and simply go from there in order to create whatever flavours are desired. 60On the flip side, the thing I dislike about ice cream is the  photography. The combination of Brisbane heat and a frozen dessert is never a good idea, as it always creates a melting mess. It is very stressful to shoot. finalv4.jpgI served mine in chocolate dipped cones that were sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts from our trip in Tasmania. This is optional of course. On our holiday, we went on this big tasting trail, trying things like berries (a lot of berries!), salmon, hazelnut, cheese, ice cream. 32So I had to make something that was inspired by our travels. These new blue and white ceramics are also from the Salamanca Markets! It was a great trip, and we literally had a kilo of cherries everyday they that good. The best I’ve ever had by far.IMG_2279.jpgI’ve got an exciting project coming up soon hopefully. Maybe a YouTube video as well about 2017 if I get to it. School is in one and a half weeks so I actually have to start getting ready. I can’t put it off any longer!IMG_2280I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and New Years, maybe even written some resolutions. I have to admit that that’s no something I usually do unfortunately. 59But I am excited for what this year has to bring. If you thought I didn’t post much last year, it’s going to reduce even further in 2018 since it’s grade 12 and everything. Please enjoy this recipe, the ice cream is super creamy and definitely worth making!

 

Coffee Ice Cream

Inspired by David Lebovitz.

  • 1 1/2 cup (325ml) whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbls instant coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups (325ml) heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine the milk, salt, sugar, instant coffee and 1 cup of cream in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2L bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk to a simmer then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. This is called tempering, which is done to ensure the eggs do not scramble. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. If you run your finger down it, the line should remain divided.
  5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine takes about 30 minutes).
  7. Freeze for about 4 hours before serving. Keeps approximately 2 weeks in the freezer.