Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rainbow cake: mission accomplised

Patricks mom was having a birthday and had planned on picking up her own store bought cake, until we intervened. It started by us simply going to the store and getting the cake, something I am not good at doing. I really hate the small roses that seem to be on every store cake. So, I found this rainbow cake recipe on Whisk Kid's Blog and hence began yet another family project. We cant stop with just a rainbow cake, so we quickly found the right papyrus card, matching gift bag, Happy Birthday flag banner and color coordinated flowers. Catalina started helping but pretty much lost interest after the food coloring was done.
 The batter and icing were really simple and easy. I copied the recipe at the end of this post. We divided the cake batter into six different bowls and added food coloring gel (the liquid wont make the colors as vibrant). There are different variations of how to distribute batter equally, but we just measured a cup each and it seemed to work fine. Make sure you have at least 2 same sized baking pans cause each layer needs to bake 13 minutes plus cool in the freezer for 7 minutes. We only had one which meant 2 hours of baking!
Hudson supervised the project in between his exhausting sleep schedule of 18-20 hours a day.
This was the final product. The icing was easy to make and tasted great! The best part about this cake is the surprise people get when you cut the first piece.

I was worried the cake would look good but not taste that great, but this was one of the best cakes I have ever tasted. My father in law, the avid chef that tells me stories of how his mother cooked everything from scratch, agreed by saying it was one of the best cakes he had ever had.
The tall striped colorful candles looked the best against the white icing and coordinated great with the colored layers.
For a small budget of $19 we were able to buy one dozen roses and 2 mixed bouquets. We used the roses as our main centerpiece with sliced lime and lemon in vases to add some color. The ingredients really comprised of flour, sugar, eggs, butter - basic things you have on hand. We gad to buy the gels - which were $2 each and can be found at a Crafts store in the baking aisle - not at grocery stores.
The smaller vases are actually plastic and tinted different colors to make the water look as if it was dyed. The plastic makes for a fun texture and the repetitive aisle of them added to our centerpiece.
This was staged and photographed by the up coming mini designer, Catalina.
here is the recipe courtesy of whisk kid.
White Cake (but not really)
I made things difficult on myself and altered a coconut cake recipe for this. I don't know why I didn't just make a white cake from a white cake recipe, but.... I didn't. Here's the source if you're looking to make a coconut cake. It looks divine, but my friends don't like coconut :(
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Someday I will make a post, besides my pancakes or mint macarons, that doesn’t involve this recipe!)
I made this recipe twice today because I underestimated the amount of buttercream I would need/ I would recommend that you do the same because you would need a HUGE bowl to make this much buttercream at one time! Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

To fill and crumb coat:
9 egg whites
1 ¾ c (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (532 g) of butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:
5 egg whites
1 c (200 g) sugar
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
1 tsp lemon extract

If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and workable.

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