We have been a bit quiet here over at Harts & Carafts lately but we have still been busy crafting!
My sweet little Mabel turned 1 this weekend (where did that time go?!) so it was only right & proper that I mark such a monumentous occassion with a monumentous cake – no pressure!! This is the first of many birthday cakes I hope to make for little M. It took quite a bit of planning & although relatively easy, it was quite time consuming. I was happy with the end result though & enjoyed making it.
A variation on the Ombre theme (used for Mabel’s christening cake – post here), I have seen many “rainbow” cakes on Pinterest and thought it would be fun for a children’s party. Here is my inspiration:
From Love and Olive Oil …
This one requires serious dedication!
I have always found it difficult to get a recipe that made a dense, flat sponge which didn’t require any trimming. It is tricky to get the cake level with so many layers. As luck would have it, this month’s edition of Good Food had a recipe for this very cake! It also had the notes for the precise food colours used (it is also difficult to get the right depth of colour). Squires SK Professional paste food colours are great. Someone had done all the hard work for me!
The sponges were baked two at a time. Weighing out each batch of batter was an extra stage which helped keep the layers even.
The next challenge was to ice the cake. I have never tried this technique before & didn’t have time to do a practice run so I spent ages on You Tube looking up various tutorials such as this one. The more I looked up, the more difficult it appeared to be. In the end a pallet knife and a bit of patience was all that was needed. It wasn’t completely smooth but I managed to get sharp edges & it wasn’t too difficult. I was also unsure whether to go for the meringue buttercream I used for the christening cake (it is light and marshmallowy but slightly oily), traditional buttercream (too sweet?) or the recipe’s suggested marscapone (would the consistency be right)? I went for the marscapone & will definitely be using it again. When whipped up with vanilla essence & icing sugar it tastes a lot like white chocolate & stays light.
I didn’t have enough icing to do a crumb coat but it didn’t make any difference in the end. The candles added the final touch.
It was fun seeing people’s surprise when the cake was cut.
Warning – cut the slices thin. This huge slab was not for the faint hearted with its 7 layers of E numbers. This cake will serve 30 people easily.
Mabel loved it too (she didn’t eat this whole slab btw, although she would have if I had let her!)