Cooktop Cove: Chef begins with frosting, finishes cake with stunning colors
By Ness Anderson
Who doesn't love a gorgeous cake frosted with soft and sweet buttercream and drizzled with chocolate? Chocolate-drip cakes may be the hottest cake trend right now, but it's not just for the experts. If you are willing to get a little messy, you too can create one of these edible works of art.
You can make this as a chocolate or vanilla cake, but I've got to say, chocolate ganache and vanilla cake together make a pretty good pair. Plus it's sure to please even the fussiest of eaters. Especially once you top it with a crazy amount of candy!
Watercolor cake
3 7-inch cake layers
1.4 kilograms (3 pounds 1 ounce) buttercream frosting, divided into the following colored batches: 
- 1 kilogram (2 pounds 2 ounces) plain
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) pink
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) orange
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) yellow
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) blue
200 grams (7 ounces) dark chocolate ganache, made using a 1:1 ratio
4- and 6-inch angled spatulas
Cake scraper
2 12-inch piping bags
Round and star piping tips
8-inch round cake board
Macarons, candies and sprinkles
1. Using the plain buttercream, stack the three layers of cake onto the cake board, spreading buttercream in between the layers.
Wipe off any excess with your spatula, and chill the cake for 15 minutes in the fridge.
2. Once the cake is cold, add what is called a "crumb coat" to the cake, which is a very thin layer of buttercream that locks in the cake crumbs so they don't end up in the finished frosting. Chill again for 15 minutes.
3. Apply a thick coat of buttercream to the entire cake, again using the plain icing color.
Scrape it smooth using a cake scraper.
Take the smaller spatula and add smears of color onto the sides and top of the cake.
Make this really random, with big sections of color as well as smaller dabs.
Again, smooth the frosting with a scraper, being sure to only go around the cake three or four times.
You don't want the colors to blend together completely. Chill for another 15 minutes.
4. Add the ganache to the top of the cake, making sure it has cooled but is still quite runny.
Work quickly to spread the chocolate over the edge, and let it run down on its own. I find that spinning the cake helps this process.
5. Top the cake and sides with macarons, candies and your favorite sweets.
I've also used two piping bags: one with a round tip and one with a star tip to create little dollops of buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. To create this effect, all you need to do is pop some of the leftover frosting in the bags and pipe away!
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