Today marks 1 year since I pressed “publish” on my first ever post. Funny how I started with a “take-out, fake-out” that has now grown into a category my readers love. It took me a while to find my voice. I knew I wanted this blog to be about all things food. I live and breathe on food. But then I also read style blogs and was going to do home decor posts and fashion posts..but then I realized quickly that is totally not my calling — have you seen my closet or my apartment? Yeah, I lack style in every department.
I started this blog with the sole intent of just sharing my love for food. Every crumb of it.
I honestly didn’t know what I was really getting into. Annie’s Eats was the first food blog I ever read and it inspired me to just give the food blog realm a whirl. I never knew it’d transpire into something so much more. There was no “goal” for me. I just wanted to write and photograph anything and everything food and share it.
This past year, I went to my first food blog conference where I met so many of my fellow food blog friends that I talked to all the time on Twitter, but since we all live so far apart, we have never gotten together until then. Never did I think that I’d be involved in such a great community. I love each and everyone of my blogger friends and the connection we all have. Everyone is so inspiring and so sweet.
In my opinion, no one will understand bloggers until they become one of their own. Never did I think I’d be talking about my food blog friends as if they’re my real life friends – I always catch myself saying things such as, “my friend Cassie…” or “oh, no, my food blog friend..you know the one who’s blog is…” Haha, it’s so funny. My parents don’t understand this at all, my friend think I’m crazy for spending my weekends developing and cooking recipes so I can have a “backlog,” and Jason has learned to not eat right away cause I have to style the table and have to snap thousands of pics, but he puts up with it and encourages me every day and I’m so thankful.
This blog has been life-changing. It’s helped evolve my cooking and improve my skills in the kitchen. I’m coming up with recipes from left and right and adapting several at the same time. The blog has helped me develop more photography skills. If you had told me the day I bought my first DSLR that I’d be shooting in manual mode and buying numerous lenses and switching them out throughout my food photoshoots, I probably would’ve said, “psh, why would I ever do that?” The blog has also helped me spend so much money on props and helped me grow out of my cabinets in my kitchen, haha
One final note, I’m thankful for my readers, my followers, my supporters, my cheerleaders, you. I’m so blessed to have had this blog grow to more than I ever imagined it would. I’ve been given so many opportunities that I never imagined I’d get. I’m working with companies, working with brands, working with so many amazing people in this community. I’ve been able to inspire people to get into the kitchen and get excited about all things food. That, at the very heart of it all, is what I’m most thrilled about. I just love that I’m able to impact someone else’s life through the kitchen, through my recipes, through my words. Thanks for spending time with me in the kitchen and I hope I can bring you many more years of great food, love, and friendship :)
And yes, I baked a cake for this celebration. It was one of my goals this year to bake a layered cake and frost it. And since ombre cakes are so popular right now, I decided to make a purple one since purple is my favorite color!
It was kind of a disaster, to say the least. I am proud of it though because despite most of the layers falling apart into an earthquake-like matter, it still stood up and held together. I’ll obviously be practicing more and hopefully not making a rustic frosting on the outside in the future. I hope to actually decorate it with piping on frosting with pretty tips.
Hehe, at least it looks pretty and believe me, it tasted amazing! I loved the strawberry preserves filling and the moistness of the cake. It was a white cake mix out of the box (I know, shoot me) but the frosting was white chocolate buttercream that Megan so kindly pointed me to. It is the best consistency of frosting I’ve ever used. You don’t need to do a crumb frosting layer if your frosting consistency is thin. This buttercream spread on so smoothly and no crumbs!
Purple Ombre Cake
Yield: 3 layer, 9 inch cake | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 90 minutes
For the cake:
3 boxes of white cake mix, one for each 9 inch pan
1 jar (12 oz) strawberry preserves (or whatever flavor jam/preserves you like)
Purple food coloring gel
For the white chocolate buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
6 oz. good quality white chocolate (NOT white chocolate chips or candy melts)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or whatever your cake mix says). Grease three 9 inch round pans well. Set aside.
- In three separate bowls, put each box mix in each bowl and mix it with ingredients on box. Then color each bowl a different shade, going from light to dark. I started with 2 drops for the lightest then incremented it.
- Pour the shaded batters into their respective pans and bake until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- When cakes are done, let sit in pans for 15 minutes then remove and let cool on wire racks to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make your buttercream.
- Put the chopped white chocolates in a bowl and microwave it in increments of 30 seconds, stir after each 30 seconds until all are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
- Once chocolate has cooled, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.
- In a measuring cup, measure out the whipping cream and mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the cream mixture in. Once everything is incorporated, gently fold in the white chocolate mixture with a spatula. Beat frosting with stand mixer for an additional 3 minutes on medium-high for a light and fluffy consistency.
- To assemble your cake, take the darkest layer and level it by cutting off the poofed top. Pipe a small barrier around the outer edge of the layer so your filling doesn’t go gushing out of the sides. Take the darkest layer, set it on a cake stand, and add 1/3 of the filling and smooth it out with an angled spatula. Repeat with the other layers until you’re on your final layer!
- Take the buttercream frosting and lather it all over the cake with your angled spatula. You can choose to use that as the base frosting before you use tips to pipe on a nice design or you can keep it rustic like me ;)
- Cut into the cake and stare at the beautiful ombre and enjoy!