Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The little nephew came to Singapore to celebrate his birthday this year and for his pre-birthday celebration, we went to Adventure Cove Waterpark & S.E.A Aquarium. Going to the waterpark meant one thing: getting  tanned - there goes my effort of trying to avoid the hot sun. (I'm visibly a lot tanner now >.<)

But I did enjoy floating around the Adventure River for rounds cos the nephew said he's scared of those spiral rides so all we did for 3 or 4 hours was floating around and took a few kiddy slides. Such a pity cos I was actually looking forward to those spiral rides! I think one the best attraction in Adventure Cove is actually the Rainbow Reef, where you get to snorkel with 20,000 fish - Albeit the reef is man-made.

Floating along the Adventure River does bring back memories. When I was younger, my cousin brought me to Fantasy Island (also a waterpark in Sentosa back in late 90s and has since closed down). Now, I'm bringing her son to the waterpark. Wow! How time flies.

So the visit to the aquarium and waterpark gave me an idea of what cake to make for Keo  : a Sea-themed cake. I had initially wanted to make a confetti cake with rocket fondant but thought that sea themed would suit him more. The cake is ombré blue, coated with Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) and topped with fondant figurine of whales.

I had a little trouble transporting the cake to Sentosa cos the cake was slightly taller than 3" and the box that Phoon Huat has can't hold anything taller than 3". But I decided to still put it in the box without closing it and disaster happened at the restaurant that we went to - They smudged the sides of the cake. To make things worse, someone accidentally flattened my whales. My heart literally sank. The fondant was still soft cos I only made it the night before. T_T We make do with the cake anyway, but I just felt bad that the cake for Keo didn't turn out how it was supposed to be.


taken right after decorating it. regretted not taking a pic in the morning before we left the house :(

the whales before they got flattened.

I did a test bake few days ago just to make sure the recipe is OK before I bake it for Keo. I made a mistake of splitting the batter into 3 when it was supposedly divided into 2, but it turned out well. I paired the cake with a buttercream recipe which I found on Sprinkle Bakes. I did a comparison of a few recipes and found that this recipe uses the least amount of sugar, but it still came out overly - even for someone who has extremely sweet tooth like me. After rounds and rounds of searching, I finally found that SMB has reviews like "less sweet than American Buttercream".

The cake that I made for the test bake. Trying out Violet Rose swirls on the cake.

Violet Ombré on the inside.

Anyway, the thought of making SMB did scare me a little initially. I was afraid that the meringue would not "puff up" nicely. I thought, "What if there are traces of oil in my bowl, on my beater, etc?", "What if I overheated the egg white & sugar?". But I still gave it a try. And hey! It was a breeze! The meringue turned out perfect if I may say so! Also, if after mixing in the butter, the mixture looks like it turned bad, DO NOT WORRY! Just beat it on low speed for a while, VOILA! it will come back to normal :D

I made a slight adjustment to the amount of ingredients as I wanted to make a 3-layer cake (6"). The original recipe yields 2 x 9" cake. Grandmother stories aside, here are the recipe for the cake & SMB :)

Blue Ombré Cake
(basic White Velvet Cake recipe adapted from Real Baking with Rose)

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins (my oven could only fit 2 pans at the same time therefore  
my cooking time doubled, otherwise it's 20 mins)
Yield: 3 x 6" cakes


  • 128 g        Butter (softened)
  • 101 g        Egg White (about 3 eggs)
  • 182 g        Milk 
  • 1 1/2 tsp   Vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)
  • 225 g        Cake Flour
  • 225 g        Caster Sugar (I used only 200 g)
  • 1 tbsp       Baking Powder
  • a pinch of Salt
  • Gel coloring (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 170 C.
  2. Using a medium bowl, lightly combine egg white, 1/4 of milk (~45g) & vanilla.
  3. In a separate big bowl, combine the dry ingredients (cake flour, sugar, baking powder & salt) and mix on low speed just to blend them (30 secs). Add in butter and the remaining 3/4 milk (~137), til all dry ingredients are moistened. 
  4. Increase to high speed (Use medium speed if using stand mixer. I'm using hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. 
  5. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.
  6. Pour the batter into another bowl while measuring the weight. Divide the batter into 3 equal portions in smaller bowls.
  7. Add in coloring at this step and mix well. (I left one bowl without any coloring, 2nd bowl with 2 drops of blue coloring, 3rd bowl with 3-4 drops of coloring).
  8. Pour the batter into the pans (starting with the lightest color).
  9. Bake for 18-20 mins or until no uncooked batter comes out when inserted with a tester. Cake should spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Try not to overbake the cake cos it would turn out dry.
  10. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing them.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
adapted from Sweetapolita (refer to the site for step-by-step instruction with pictures)

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Yield: enough for a 6" 3-layer-cake

  •  4              Large, fresh egg whites
  • 200 g         Sugar (I used 160 g)
  • 272 g         Unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
  • 1/2 tbsp    Pure vanilla extract 
  • a pinch of Salt

  1. Wipe the bowl of the mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  2. Whisk the mixture on high speed until the meringue is thick, glossy and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (may take up to 10 mins or so). Don't add in butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  3. Switch the speed to low, add in butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. It should reach a silky smooth texture, if it curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
  4. Add vanilla and salt, continue to beat on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add additional flavours, purees, as desired.

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