I seem to have become the resident baker at my place of work, and as one of my colleagues was turning 18 (so young!) this week, I decided to make an extra special cake. She’d requested a sponge cake with butter icing in the middle and white chocolate and sweets on the top. So that’s what she got – but with a twist. I’d spotted this beauty (the blog is in Swedish but English text is below the pictures) on Pinterest and decided to have a go at making a pink rainbow cake myself. I could have made a standard rainbow cake but my young colleague loves pink!
The cake recipe I used was pretty simple, following the 6-6-6-3 rule: 6oz (170g) each of fat (margarine/butter), flour and caster sugar, and three eggs. Cream the butter/margarine and sugar together, beat in the eggs, add the flour and mix well. Pour into a couple of greased Victoria sandwich tins and bake for half an hour or so at 170C until the top of the cake springs back when you touch it. Ovens do vary, so keep an eye on your cakes and take them out if they look done! I made three lots of mixture for 6 cakes – having a spare came in handy as it broke when I turned it out of the tin! Tasted nice though 😉
For the pink colouring I used Silver Spoon pink ‘colour creator’ which did the job perfectly, though sadly it isn’t suitable for vegetarians. It was easier than trying to get the perfect shade of pink using red food colouring. I made three batches of cake mix, divided each batch into equal halves so that I had six lots of mix. One lot was set aside as a spare, and the rest were shared out among five bowls that I had set out in a row, so that I could compare and contrast the pink shade of each mix. I didn’t add any colouring to the first mix, then started with a few drops into the second mix until I got a pale pink. Moving on to the next bowl, I added a few more drops of colouring so that the pink was brighter, and so on, until the last bowl where I just kept adding the colouring until the mix was a vibrant pink colour. Sadly the pictures I took of this part haven’t come out very well, so you will just have to use your imagination.
Once all the cakes have been baked, allow them to cool on a wire rack (I cooled mine upside down, to try to flatten the tops. Not sure how effective it actually was, but it made me feel better!).
The next stage was to trim the crusts off the cakes and make sure that they were all the right size. Happily for any loiterers, this stage creates lots of offcuts for nibbling on! It also gives you the chance to see if the pink food colouring has worked its magic:
Butter icing is pretty easy to make, and I just followed the directions on the pack of icing sugar:
75g (3 oz) butter
175g (6 oz) icing sugar
a few drops of vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
Place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar, then add the vanilla essence and milk and beat again.
I made two batches of this, one for between the cakes and the other for the outside. I got to try out my new palette knife and spatula for the first time:
Looking good, huh? Both the palette knife and spatula are invaluable additions to my baking arsenal. I will definitely be using them again, as they give a lovely professional looking finish.
I then melted a couple of big bars of white chocolate and poured them over the top of the cake, spreading the molten chocolate out with a teaspoon so that it covered every trace of what was underneath, concealing the pinkness of the cake and covering all of the butter icing. I decided to live dangerously and melt the chocolate in the microwave, but it takes patience and care because white chocolate is even more likely than milk or dark chocolate to burn in the microwave. A couple of 30 second blasts interspersed with stirring, then a two or three 20 second blasts with more stirring in between worked well for this chocolate. As a finishing touch, I added some pink sweets on the top, as requested.
The cake was a huge hit, everyone was very impressed with, and surprised by, the rainbow effect, and it was pronounced to be very tasty by all who tried it. Definitely worth the five hours it took to make! Phew!
What’s the longest you’ve ever spent on a baking project?