We had some birthdays to celebrate. And what do birthdays call for? Exactly. Cake.
And what is cake? A good excuse to experiment with colors!
For this cake I wanted a nice, traditional birthday cake. So two layers of cake, separated by a thin layer of whipped cream, and a marzipan cover.
I made a large batch of butter-less batter, separated that into three bowls, and added food coloring. Half of each bowl was then poured into round baking tins. Nothing fancy with the batter, just poured one color on top of the other.
Isnt that some mighty fancy looking batter?
Well, off into the oven it all went. After baking I removed both cakes from the tins and turned them bottom side up. Nice and yellow!
The sides you see here, I put the whipped cream on and then just put those sides together, like a sandwich. A cake sandwich.
Of course, you can never have too much whipped cream on your cake, so I put some more on the sides and on the top. Ok, you might actually have too much whipped cream if you keep at it and the cake turns soggy. But a little bit on the sides and top would make sure the marzipan stuck on nicely.
The marzipan was store bought. I choose white because it would make the surprise of the colored centre bigger. The red place mat you see in the pictures is actually a silicon mat, which is perfect for rolling out sticky things like marzipan, because its non-stick. No hassle with sugaring your counter top!
Draping the marzipan was a bit tricky, as it nearly tore under its own weight, but suddenly, we had a fancy cake!
And here is the result:
With some of the leftover marzipan, some cookie cutters and food coloring, I made some adornments for on top of the cake.
And there you have it, fancy colored birthday cake!
Since there is never enough cake, I tried experimenting with mixing normal cake batter and colored cake batter.
Again I made the batter as usual, putting half of it into a separate bowl and mixing in the red food coloring.
I had to be careful mixing them into a pattern, as the red easily bled into the normal batter. I wouldnt mind pink cake, but that was not the effect I was going for.
Having learned from my previous colored cake adventures, I put this cake into the oven for a solid 80 minutes. And it worked! The normal part was nice and soft, and the colored part was only at the very bottom a bit sticky. A good improvement. Practice makes perfect, even for cake.
This is how it looked when it got out of the tin:
And here are a couple of slices:
Mixing normal and colored batter gave a really cool effect. Next time I might have to find a way to mix the batters a bit more. All in all I am very happy with this one! Especially since I’m getting the baking time right.
Now to ponder the next cake project…
As you can never have enough cake in your life, I had to continue experimenting with the multi color marble cake.
During my first try I found out that the amount of color added was important, as it made the batter more liquid. I also found out that the color of the batter was lighter then the cooked cake, resulting in a slightly unappetizing looking purple.
As you can never have enough, this time I went for a bigger batch so I could experiment more:
This time I took more care mixing the food coloring. So I managed to get a good strong orange, a nice stark red, a purple that was nice and light, and a cheerfull green and blue. And of course, food coloring everywhere.
This time around I also payed better attention to making smooth layers that enirely covered the previous one, so the marbling would be more even.
(Is marbling even a word? Spell checker thinks it is…)
Anyway. The cake looked absolutely psychedelic when I got it out of the oven:
And it looked even better out of its tin (I have no patience, it should have cooled longer, hence the corners breaking off).
Cutting the cake revealed its awesome marbling!!!
Again the cake had needed more time in the oven. I had given it 10 minutes more then the previous cake, but I should also have taken into account that this cake was bigger.
One side was a bit underdone, while the other side was almost perfect. Still, nobody noticed that when I served it. Some people didnt believe it to be cake at first.
This type of cake is still a lot of fun to make and I am certainly going to make more of them. Its a lot more time consuming then a regular cake, but I cant wait to see what kind of results I can get with some more experimenting!
Food coloring is one of the best and the worst things ever. The best, because you can make awesome food, like cake, even more Awesome. The worst, because if you spill even a little bit, everything, including your hands will look like you killed a clown.
So. Cake. I love cake. It is tasty, easy to make, and a rather versatile type of pastry. Cake is solid, so you can make fun shapes. And over here we have these really good packets from Koopmans, that are flour, sugar and yeast together in the right mix. You only need to add butter, milk and eggs.
And its mixer friendly. So no beating till your arm drops off.
And then there is of course food coloring. I always get mine at the toko, the Chinese shop. The colors you can get tasteless foodcoloring in are green, red, yellow and blue. Yellow is easily diluted, so its something to be careful with.
These bottles are fairly cheap and will last you a long time, as the color is really concentrated. Hence the fact that it stains everything.
The colors are harmless, even if you would ingest a couple of bottles. Only thing to pay attention to is that some of its ingredients are artificial, and you have to pay attention if you know someone that is sensitive to those.
The colors mix really easily. Blue is quite dark, so if you want to make purple, use only a small bit of blue, and ample of red. Otherwise your dough will turn out quite darkly, as I found out.
I had wanted to make all colors of the rainbow for my cake, but my orange failed due to the fact that yellow isnt that strong. My purple turned out really dark. On the one hand quite awesome, on the other hand, maybe not that appetizing to look at. The green was nice and minty and the blue was an awesome shade of Smurf.
I first made the batter as normal. Get the butter soft and creamy, mix in the eggs, flour and milk until its nice and smooth. As I was afraid the air bubbles you get in the batter from mixing would eventually sag, I filled three other bowls, added the coloring, and then mixed again.
As I said, it gets everywhere. The bottles arent really made for pouring. And I’m a bit of a klutz. This was just the start…
Due to some uneven use of the coloring the different colored batters had different consistencies. The purple and red were a bit runny, while the green and blue ones were still nice and thick.
I decided to put the purple and reds on the bottom, and blue and green on top. All in layers, as I hoped I’d get a nice, layered cake.
Of course, by now the kitchen was a mess… You would think that a lab technician would know how to keep her bench clean. Nope.
Food coloring everywhere…
Normally the cake needs to be in the oven for 60 to 70 minutes to be OK. When I got my cake out, it was still a little but underdone, probably due to the fact that the batter had been diluted slightly by the coloring. Next time I will try 80 minutes. Not that a slightly underdone cake is bad. Its deliciously moist when its fresh. Sadly, it is harder to keep it that way over the span of a day or two.
I also got a bit of a surprise as I got the cake out of the oven. I was hoping for nice layers. But nope.
Not the most appetizing sight, I admit. The purple was really dark, and it had apparently risen to the top. Weird. But things actually got really good once I turned the cake over and got it out of its tin.
Due to the different densities of the batter, the batter had gone and risen in different speeds, getting an all natural marble. Its even more awesome then layers!
It still tastes like normal cake too. As this was my first cake ever with food coloring, I was afraid it might affect taste. Being at 160 degrees Celsius for oven an hour could have given unexpected chemical reactions. Thankfully, still tastes like cake.
I’m definitely going to experiment with this more. Next time another cake and maybe cupcakes.
If they turn out as pretty as this one, it will be awesome.