Friday, August 1, 2014

A Ray of Sun on a Cloudy Day

I can't believe how long it's been since I've been able to find time enough to myself to sit down and write!  Things have been pretty hectic around our house lately with lots of transitions going on for our family.  Still, through all the hubbub, I was able to help a very dear friend make a very special day a little more colorful.

I was excited about the opportunity to make a cake for a beautiful little girls Baptism.  I was even more excited when her mom sent me an idea for a cake I had never done before, a Rainbow Cake!  Ever since spending time oversees, I've had a slight obsession with "surprise" inside desserts.  So, needless to say, I was a bit giddy at getting to take on this new challenge.  Fortunately, this turned out to be a lot easier than the checkerboard cake I made for my daughter's birthday last year!  Pictures of that cake will not be posted...take my was a disaster and left me wanting to pull my hair out!  If you ever get the wild idea to try it, keep in mind, more time and lots of alcohol will be needed to keep you from loosing your mind!!

The Rainbow Cake, however was really very simple.  Time consuming only in the fact that I had to bake twice since I only had three 9 inch cake pans.  But that wasn't a problem for me since I had a cute little beauty to play with in between!  I whipped up my favorite white cake recipe, making enough batter to essentially make two three layer 9 inch cakes.  I then divided the batter into 6 equal portions and added food coloring to each portion to get all the colors of the rainbow.  It was so easy, even my own little adorable helper was able to lend a hand!

After all the cakes were baked and cooled, I mixed a batch of my "no fail" buttercream, filled the inside with some white chocolate lavender ganache I had left over from a wedding and stacked the monster.  It was tall!  The tallest since tier cake I had ever done.

For the outside, I mixed together some blue and white buttercream to give the illusion of clouds and bordered the cake to look like crashing waves.  Leaving the outside of the cake looking like this...

And the inside looking like this...

I was in love with how vibrant the colors came out!  Most importantly, mommy was happy with the outcome as well.  This will definitely be one I keep in my bag of tricks to pull out again!  After all, who could be glum on a rainy day when you have this to feast upon? Now for what you've been waiting for...the recipes for this masterpiece!

The LAST White Cake Recipe You Will EVER Need (adapted from Sweetapolita)
Makes 1, three layer, 9 inch cake

7 egg whites; room temperature
2 whole eggs; room temperature
1 1/2 c milk; room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 c cake flour; sifted
3 c sugar
3 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
18 T butter; cold, cut into 18 pieces

1 - Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans.
2 - In a bowl, combine egg whites, whole eggs, 1/2 c milk and vanilla.
3 - In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle, combine dry ingredients until mixed.
4 - Add butter to the dry ingredients, one piece at a time, until all butter is incorporated and mixture is crumbly.
5 - Add remaining milk and mix until well incorporated.  Scrape the bowl well.  Add the egg mixture in three batches, making sure to incorporate each addition before adding more.  Scrape the bowl between additions as well.
6 - Bake the cakes for 20-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing and completely cooling on wire racks.
*If making the rainbow cake, add food coloring as needed to the cake batter.  Make sure to make the batter slightly darker than you want the actual cake to be since the color will dull in the oven.

"No Fail" Buttercream (adopted from Savory Sweet Life)
Makes 5 cups

1 c unsalted butter; room temperature
1 c shortening
8 c powdered sugar; sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 T vanilla extract
4-8 T heavy cream

1 - In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening.
2 - Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 2 c at a time, incorporating completely before adding more.
3 - Once all sugar has been added, add the salt, vanilla and 4 T heavy cream.  Whip the buttercream on medium high speed for 5-6 minutes.
4 - If your frosting needs to be thinned, add more cream 1 T at a time and mixing for 2-3 minutes before adding more.  If your frosting needs to be stiffened, add more sifted powdered sugar.  Color, if desired, and use as soon as possible for best results.  Enjoy!