Monday, 20 August 2012

Sky Diving Themed Birthday Cake


This cake was made for my friends 21st birthday. He originally wanted a churro cake, but after attempting such a task, I knew it would fail. So with the element of surprise, I decided to make a sky diving themed cake (as we went sky diving for his birthday), and to continue with the theme, I made it with 7 layers (the colours of the rainbow). I have always wanted try making a rainbow cake, and this was the perfect occasion. 

Here are a few tips and things I learnt:
1. This was the first cake I have ever made using fondant, and from this experience I now know not to apply too much oil on the fondant or the fondant will crack when travelling.
2. Next time, double the recipe so I can cut bits off to make the layers more even and consistent.
3. Make and use butter cream on the day of cake preparation. If you do make it prior, refrigerate, and when you want to use it, re-whip the mixture using an electric mixer until it returns back to the normal consistency. (quite a tedious task)
4. Buy a cake base that is the size of the cake, and another for the cake to sit on, so the base of the fondant has a cleaner cut.
5. I only have 2 cake tins, so after each time, I quickly cleaned the cake tin, dried, and re greased.
6. Bake cakes a day before you plan to ice them, just so they are stable and easy to work with.

Rainbow Cake Recipe

**NOTE: I used 20cm cake tins
3 cups plain flour, sifted
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
226g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature

Colouring paste (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet)
Baking cocoa
Food colouring (blue and red)

1. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until combined.

2. Gradually at the egg whites and mix until well combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

4. Add flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture. Alternating between the 2, ending with the milk until all combined.

5. Add vanilla extract and stir with a spatula.

6. Divide the batter into seven bowls (roughly a cup of batter in each bowl)

7. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

8. Add colouring to each bowl, until desired effect. Here is how I got my colours.

Red: Add a teaspoon of cocoa and a few drops of red food colouring.
Orange: Using the toothpick, dab some of the orange colouring paste, and add to batter.
Yellow: Same as orange, but with yellow colouring paste
Green: I had two shades of green colouring paste, so I used a few dabs of both until I got the colour I wanted.
Blue: Add a teaspoon of cocoa, dabs of blue colouring paste and few drops of blue food colouring.
Indigo: This was quite a fluke, but it was composed of cocoa, blue and red food colouring. (I advise to combine blue and red food colouring in a separate bowl and testing a few bits of batter with the colour produced to see if you obtained the right colour)
Violet: Same as orange, except with violet colouring paste.

9. Transfer each colour into an individual cake pan of same size (or in batches like I did).

10. Bake for 13-15 minutes until a skewer comes out cleanly.

11. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Butter cream
454g unsalted butter, softened
6 cups of icing sugar, sifted
7-10 tablespoons of milk
**NOTE: This was just the right amount to fill my layers.

1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the butter with 2 cups of sugar.
2. Once combined, slowly add more of the icing sugar until all has combined.
3. Add milk by tablespoons full, and continue mixing until desired consistency is achieved.

Sorry but I have no photo of my butter cream, but consistency should look similar to cream cheese icing, just slightly thicker.

Chocolate Ganache
500g thickened cream
350g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate

1. In a saucepan on medium to high, heat the thickened cream until just boiled.
2.Take saucepan off heat, and add chocolate ensuring all chocolate has melted. (If necessary put back on heat, but ensure chocolate doesn't burn)
3. Pour in a bowl and set aside.

Assembling the cake
1. Line cake board with pieces of baking paper (a tip I got from my sister in law), and a dollop of the ganache so the cake sticks and doesn't move.

2. Lay the first layer of the cake (violet) and brush off any crumbs. Top with butter cream. Continue this process until the last layer (red) is placed. 
**NOTE: During the layer process, try to make the cake as even and levelled as possible.

3. Pour about half the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and run along the edge of cake to create a crumb later, and fill in any craters where there is no butter cream. Refrigerate.

4. Using the rest of the ganache, create another coat on the cake, ensuring it is smooth and levelled. Refrigerate.

5. Gently remove the pieces of grease proof paper.
**TIP: Run a knife under and along the ganache, so that when you pull away the paper no ganache gets taken with it.
6. Place fondant over cake, and decorate as desired.

Using fondant
- Knead the fondant on a clean bench top, using corn flour. (Make sure you don't over work it, or then it becomes to warm and hard to work with)
- Roll out the fondant to about 3mm.
- Wrap the fondant loosely around the rolling pin, and place on top of cake.

- Using your hands, lightly pat the fondant against the cake, smoothing around the edges.
- Trim the fondant.

- To remove the corn flour, slightly spray the cake with oil.

- Once fondant is on the cake DO NOT REFRIGERATE! 
- Keep cake and any fondant in a cool dry place away from any sunlight or fluorescent light.


Good food, good times!


thanhalang 22 August 2012 at 21:52

Thank you, was still a bit upset that the fondant cracked =(

Anonymous 25 August 2012 at 11:21

ahh rainbow cake! too cute!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) 27 August 2012 at 13:47

Love it! It's like skydiving through a rainbow!

thanhalang 27 August 2012 at 23:05

thank you! a lot of time, but i was a learning experience!

thanhalang 27 August 2012 at 23:06

Woo hoo! I was hoping that theme came across, and you got it! thank you!!!!!

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