3 April 2014

Recipe - A Multi-Coloured Cake (that wasn't)

Last week I made one of my favourite cake recipes. Only, it didn't turn out the way I had expected it to. Sadly. This wasn't down to anything I did, I am an expert in Victoria Sponge, but rather a fail on the part of my food colouring! The cake still tasted lovely and was just as moist and yummy as always. Just not the multi-coloured marvel I had hoped for.

If you caught my twitter ranting last week when it went wrong you will know that I have said enough about this. And I don't like being a negative person. I will just say; when baking make sure you check that the colouring you use is bake stable. Most of them aren't nowadays!

I therefore umm-ed and ahh-ed about sharing and then I thought, no, EVERYONE can have a fail. It's what you do about it that counts. I won't make this a Pearl's Pantry entry because I do want those to all be stuff that have worked!

Right, so I should tell you what I did, first off, because it is Victoria sponge it is the most simple recipe. And really quite forgiving if you are a learner baker!

cake ingredients

I made a 3 egg mix, so for that we needed:
6oz Self-raising Flour
6oz Butter
6oz Caster Sugar 
3 Eggs.

Yup, that's it. Told you it was simple. We start off with the butter and sugar in the bowl and then you cream them together until they've gone creamy and fluffy. I do all my mixing by hand, so it took a couple of minutes for me.

Then we add our eggs in. One at a time. And I find adding a spoonful of flour with each egg makes it a bit easier to combine. Mix it all together until all three eggs are fully incorporated.

Your mix will look really sloppy but don't panic. Add in the rest of your flour and mix that in. It's best to add the flour half at a time if you're hand mixing, makes it easier on the old arms!

Once the mix was ready I split it. I left a quarter in the bowl I'd been mixing in so that would remain yellow. I then but the other three quarters into 3 separate bowls so I could add colours into them.

I added red, green and blue. Then I greased and floured my cake tin which makes it easier to get the cake out afterwards. I spooned blobs of the different colours in and then gave them a swirl to make a sort of ripple effect. 

Bunged it in the oven and waited 45mins until it was done. To test your cake insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean then it's ready. The cake will also start to shrink away from the sides of the cake pan.

When I took the cake out the oven it became immediately apparent the colours had gone wrong in some way. I did slightly hope that when I cut the cake in half it would be better on the inside. Nope. I did achieve a two-tone cake. But not the colours I had wanted at all :(

I sandwiched the two halves together with some chocolate buttercream and then made three colours of icing to go on top, figuring I could at least make it look a bit more cheerful that way. 

Madam then went wild with the icing and we ended up with a distinctly messy, rather failed but yummy tasting masterpiece!

Moral of the story? Failures are not always unsalvageable, cakes can be rescued with some random icing. It's a cake, how bad could it be! ;)

I'd love to know if you've ever had a baking disaster. I can promise you this was not my worst one... I'm still infamous for having burnt a packet mix cheesecake when about 10!

Love, Pearl.


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