You see, dyes and I have a long and complicated history…
Up until I was about fifteen, I was plain Jane in appearance. I had naturally long, straight blonde hair and a baby face clear of any makeup. Now when I look at old pictures of myself, I think I looked fresh-faced. But at the time, my fifteen year-old self was bored of appearing ‘plain.’ I wanted to stand out and look different from my peers.
My solution? A total makeover.
The Result? A total disaster.
For some reason, I thought I would look pretty stellar with short, cropped hair. Bright pink cropped hair that is. Although the cut itself was somewhat cute, I had little idea how to style my hair.
In fact, my attempt to style a ‘punk, bed-head’ hairdo was to take an overzealous amount of styling wax and aggressively push my hair around with little to no direction. While I was disillusioned in thinking my hair was totally kickass, in reality the back of my hair resembled more of a orangutan’s behind rather than the look I was desperately trying to emulate. On several occasions, my mother (who has much experience in the beauty industry) tried relentlessly to help me. But no, I thought I knew it all.
From time to time I do feel tempted to sport a colourful purple ombre hairstyle, but then I remember that I would probably end up looking more that one of those grannies with a violet hair rinse. So for now, I will take out my ombre obsession on cake. Much more functional!
Three-Layered, Ombre Gateau with Strawberry & Beet infused Icing
Prep Time: 1 Hour Baking Time: 37 Minutes Yields: 8 Large Slices Author: Milk & Marigolds
3½ cups of brown rice flour
3½ cups of white sugar
1 teaspoon xantham gum
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2½ cups of coconut milk beverage (I use Coconut Dream or Silk)
1 cup of safflower oil
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
2 beets, boiled until tender (skin on)
5 – 6 large strawberries, roughly chopped
2 cups of butter, melted
6 cups of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
Remainder of beet/strawberry puree
Fresh flowers and Strawberries
Three 8-inch circular baking pans
1. Place two beets (skin on) in a boiling pot of water. Boil until tender. Remove the skin once the beets have cooled and then chop beets.
2. While beets are cooking, prepare the cake batter: In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients. Combine until dispersed.
3. Then add the coconut milk, eggs, oil, pure vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
5. In a blender, puree the beets and the strawberries. Add ¾ cups of the puree to the cake batter and mix. Set aside the remainder of the puree for the icing colouring/flavoring.
6. Lightly grease the three 8inch circular baking pans. Pour the batter evenly into each one.
7. Bake for 37 minutes. Once baked, allow pans to mostly cool, remove from pans and place on a drying rack until completely cooled.
8. While the cakes are baking, prepare the icings: Combine all the ingredients except for the beet/berry puree. Mix until smooth.
9. Divide all icing into three bowls. 1 bowl should have twice as much icing in it as the other two even bowls of icing.
10. Leave the larger bowl of plain icing as is. This will be used for the top layer and the outside layer of the cake.
11. In the second bowl, add a little fruit puree to achieve a light pink. Add a small amount at a time.
12. In the third bowl of icing, add more puree for a brighter pink. (This will be applied to the bottom cake layer to create a colour gradation.
13. Carefully transfer one layer of cake to the cake platform or stand you wish to use. The more flat side of the cake should face upwards.
14. Prior to applying icing, dip the icing spatula into a cup of hot water. Apply icing of the brightest pink first to the bottom layer. Then place the second layer flat-side up on the bottom layer. Wet the knife and apply the light pink. Repeat steps for the top layer while using the plain icing.
15. Using a clean icing spatula, ice the outside of the cake with the plain icing.
16. Then apply the light pink colour to the sides of the middle and lower part of the cake.
17. Apply the brighter pink around the lower portion of the cake.
18. Apply garnish and serve with your favorite tea of coffee.
Copyright © 2014. Milk & Marigolds