Sunday, 18 July 2010

Cake Attempt

So, today I had a first crack at making the cake for my colleague's son. I'm travelling to Scotland on Thursday and have to have the cake ready before then, so I thought I'd use the weekend to have a go before I made the real thing.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, I am trying to use a recipe used by another blogger, the Whisk Kid.

That cake mixture was for the full blown six layer cake and a mountain of icing, so I cut it down for the trial. Today I went for two layers of cake and enough icing to cover.


The first thing I had to do was to work out the quantities I'd need for a reduced size cake.

This worked out as:
- 2/3 stick of butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain white flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- Food colouring (I used red and green for the tester)

First of all, I heated the oven to 180 C.

In one bowl, I sifted in the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a second bowl I creamed the sugar and butter together, and then added in the egg whites a little at a time. Then I mixed in the vanilla extract once this had all combined.

Then I added the flour and milk, stirring the whole time until the cake batter is formed.

Splitting this into two further, smaller bowls, I added the food colouring for the two different layers of cake. One red, and one green. I used a fair amount of colouring to give the cakes a vibrant look. I then poured the batters into two separate 10" cake tins.

Incidentally, I always use cake tins with a removable bottom - makes it so much easier to remove the cakes from the tins when they have been baked. Still always remember to lightly grease the tins though!

I then put these in the oven to bake for 15 minutes (they ended up needing about 20-25).


With the cakes in the oven, I could turn my attention to the icing.

For this you will need:
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks butter (FAT!)
- 1 tsp lemon extract

Thankfully, this is a very simple and easy icing to make, and is made in the following way...

I heated the egg whites in a small saucepan and whisked in the sugar for a few minutes until it had combined and increased in volume somewhat.I then poured this mixture into a large bowl and, using an electric beater, began to combine the butter with the egg mixture bit by bit.

Once all the butter had been added I cranked up the speed on the beaters to create a light and fluffy icing mixture before adding the lemon extract and beating for a further 30 seconds. Job done.


I set the icing to the side while I removed the cakes from the oven. I set these on a rack to cool before turning out and leaving for a further half an hour.

After this time, I stood the green cake on a plate and began to ice it up. Then I sat the red cake on top and began to ice it...

Then problems began.

For some reason, the cakes started to leak a load of oily liquid, maybe excess butter, I'm not really sure. Anyway, it turned into a big, sludgy, inedible mess.

Which leaves me with some problems... I have a cake to make for this Thursday with a recipe that needs some tweaking - and I'm not sure what.


My options are therefore thus:

- Try again, taking the moisture level down (less milk or colouring maybe?) and see how that goes.

- Go for a straight forward sponge cake recipe and layer that instead (however, the above cake recipe is a white cake and therefore shows up the colours better once baked).

- Try a multicoloured marble cake with a different icing.

Anyway, I'm going to run this all by my colleague tomorrow and see what she thinks. Any more ideas? Drop me a comment!


Coming up:

- My next attempt (hopefully final!) at the birthday cake.

- Foodies Festival, 28th August!

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