Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Impress Your Office

I'm the designated cake baker in my office, and it's a title I take very seriously. Most of the people in my office request chocolate cake. I have a great chocolate cake recipe, and it's something that I can practically whip up in my sleep. As delicious as it is, making basically the same thing, even with slight variations of filling & decorations can get boring. I share my office (in the suite) with someone I really like, and I wanted to make something special for her birthday. Luckily, she left the decision in my hands. YES!!! I made her the most exciting, colorful birthday cake ever. It was not chocolate.

Sitting on my kitchen table, it looked pretty ordinary, with its billowy marshmallow frosting and rainbow bee-bees :

Upon slicing, the surprise was revealed. Six layers of colorful cake, and five layers of colorful frosting stacked into a sweet rainbow. "OMG! HOW DID YOU DO THAT??" Magic. (No silly!)

The photo above is regretfully messy, but I couldn't be like "Oh, birthday lady, could you please cut that cake perfectly so that I can take photos for my blog?" No. Here's a slightly more photogenic photo of the very last piece:

The fun began with six bowls of batter mixed with gel food coloring. Gel food coloring is much more intense than typical food coloring; saturation of this quality wouldn't be possible with the drippy-droppy grocery store stuff. The recipe specified approximately how much batter to use for each layer, so I didn't have to do too much measuring.

This was a two-day deal. The baked cake layers hung out in the fridge overnight.

I liked how the remaining crumbs looked on the parchment paper that lined the bottom of the pans looked when I peeled it off the cake:

Next comes frosting! I decided to use a standard buttercream. About this point I really wished I had a dishwasher.




My, that's a wicked lot of frosting. As you can see in the slice photo, the ratio of cake to frosting is 50:50. In order to prevent each piece from containing approximately an entire stick of butter, I frosted the cake with 7 minute frosting, which is mostly egg whites and sugar. I seem to remember that the afternoon was kind of a wash, between the sugar coma and the thrill of cake victory.


This may be only the beginning of my rainbow cake experimentation. I'd love to make one of these with a series of all blues and greens, or all reds and oranges.