Thursday, 24 January 2013

Pink Rainbow Cake..

My eldest sister is getting married in the summer and she has asked me to bake something for the reception party. I have had countless ideas as to what to bake.  As I am a bridemaid, and the wedding being far away, I have had to rule out treats that will require baking on the wedding day, namely cupcakes (what she originally asked for) and go for bakes that I will be able to make the morning before!
So, after giving this quite some thought, I decided to try out a few ideas and then test them on her so she can decide which she likes best.

So today, I made a pink rainbow cake.  Rainbow cakes seem to be very popular at the moment, and, even though I love the multicoloured versions that are commonly seen, I think the pink rainbow is a little more "grown up" and suitable for a wedding.  It was great fun to make, however, it took in excess of three hours to bake.  I'm sure my second attempt (if this is picked) will be a bit quicker!

For the actual cake I made a basic vanilla sponge:
-Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Whilst mixing, add the egg whites a little at a time.
- Add the vanilla.
- Add the milk and flour in two equal parts, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients. 

By substituting whole eggs with egg whites, you get an overall paler batter meaning that when you add your food dye, the colour will be more vibrant. 

- Divide the batter into five equal parts ready for dying.
- The first layer should be left plain. 
- To the other bowls, add little by little more dye for each layer.
Don't be afraid to really pump up the colour for the last layer!
These can then go into your greased pans into a pre- heated oven at 180 celcius for approximately 15minutes. 

Once out of the oven, leave to cool whilst getting on with the Swiss meringue buttercream.  I decided to make this type of buttercream because I find conventional buttercream too rich, especially considering there are five layers to the cake! However, even though this buttercream had a lighter taste, it was still far too rich, and so I next time I plan to use American style meringue frosting, which cuts out the butter! I really think it is up to personal preference!

So... the big assembly.  First, whack a dollop of frosting onto your cake board. This allows your first layer of cake to stick and prevents any flying cake!! Decide whether you want to go from dark to pale or pale to dark and then place your first cake accordingly.  I went for dark to pale! In between each cake, apply a thin, even layer of frosting, so that the next layer has something to stick to. Once you have all your layers up, apply a crumb coat.  This is a think layer of your frosting around the whole cake to "glue" any crumbs and stop them from showing on your final cake. 
Once you have done this, put the cake in the fridge for around thirty minutes.  Then repeat the process.  This will be your final layer of frosting so it should be a little thicker and neater.  Use a palette knife and warm water to smooth the sides as you go.  Then decorate with sprinkles or glitter or even chocolate flowers, the possibilities are endless!! I chose strawberry sprinkles and white sugar pearls.   

Not bad, right?

 And the verdict? She really loved it!

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