Bex, one of my favorite 180 ladies, is leaving us.
Bex has been a creative 180 for three years, and is *gasp* moving client side to Tommy Hilfiger. I am incredibly happy for her, but at the same time, really sad I will not see her smiling face in the halls of 180 anymore. Everyone will really miss her, because aside from being an awesome colleague, Bex frequently blesses the office with her scrumptious, home baked goodies. To wish Bex farewell (or ‘doei’ in Dutch), we decided (I was nominated) to bake her a cake – to say thank you and goodbye from 180.
I didn’t know what Bex would prefer – chocolate or vanilla, so I decided to go for both. A four layer vanilla, chocolate and raspberry compote Neapolitan Party Cake, to be exact. For the cakes and raspberry compote, I followed Sweetapolita’s Raspberry Neapolitan Party Cake recipe. I only took a few snaps of the cake making process, and wont go into too much detail on the recipe here. But check out Sweetapolita’s blog for specifics – she’s one of my favorite sweet bloggers.
The recipe calls for a million and one ingredients, so after work on Thursday I hit the grocery store to stock up on eggs, butter, and lots and lots of sprinkles. I printed out Sweetapolita’s recipe, and to save time, I measured out the dry ingredients for both the chocolate and vanilla cake at the same time. Two big bowls side by side, one for chocolate, and one for vanilla. When the chocolate cake recipe called for flour, I also measured out the appropriate amount of flour for the vanilla cake as well. If you’re good at multi tasking, this will save you lots and lots of time. Once the dry ingredients were measured, I whipped together the wet ingredients for the chocolate cake. This next photo is why I love to bake. Melting, gooey, chocolate cake batter. Who gets to lick the spoon? I get to lick the spoon!
Next up was the vanilla cake. This cake comes out seriously fluffy. Before adding any wet ingredients, the butter gets blended in with the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, as if you’re making cookies! The recipe calls for four egg whites and lots of mixing, which gives the cake an airy, moist, and fluffy finish.Instead of using Sweetapolita’s buttercream frosting recipe, I used marzipan, as a cake finished with thick marzipan is much easier to transport than a gooey, buttercream frosted cake.
I cut out a marzipan circle for the top of the cake, tracing my round cake pan as a guide. I covered the white marzipan in rainbow sprinkles – again, I wasn’t sure which color Bex would prefer, so I went for them all!
Next up was the raspberry compote. This tart filling is dribbled between each layer of chocolate and vanilla cake. The compote was super easy to make, and only consisted of raspberries, lemon juice, powdered sugar, water, and a pinch of salt. You can also find the recipe for the compote on Sweetapolita’s blog. Once the compote was blended and my cakes had come out of the oven and cooled, it was time to start stacking. I started with a layer of vanilla, smothered it in a layer of raspberry compote, and then added the next chocolate layer. I repeated this two times, creating a tall, mouthwatering pile of joy.At this point, the cake was quite rustic looking. If I had been serving this dessert at home, I would have plopped some homemade raspberry buttercream on top and called it a cake. But as I was baking this beauty for Bex, I wanted to take it one step further. We had agreed that this cake would double be Bex’s leaving card, so it had to be more than a cake. It had to be a memory.I woke up early the next morning to finish. Blue marzipan for the sides, cute bunting for the top, and some white vertical stripes around the edges to hide any mistakes. I finished the cake with a swirl of chocolate frosting around the edges for good luck, and hung the bunting on two paper straws. Thanks to some help from my friendly neighbor Shawn, we managed to cary the cake to work in one piece.
The final masterpiece was bright and colorful, one step away from being finished. The last step was personalizing the cake. We cut out small Tommy flags, and handed them out for everyone in the office. Everyone wrote some kind, parting words for Bex on the mini flags, and we carefully set the flags on top of the cake. At the end of the day, we brought the cake up to Bex. She was completely surprised and absolutely delighted with everyone’s kind words and her very own farewell cake. It was delicious, and after 10 minutes, not a single slice remained. Doei Bex!