17 April 2012

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow cake is a childhood favourite. Birthdays in our house when I was growing were always celebrated with one of Mum's sensational rainbow cakes, three layers high, filled with jam and mock cream and topped with a finger lickin' good frosting.

Mum doesn't make rainbow cakes anymore, that job has fallen to me. As we have a family birthday this week the cake tins are out and I'm getting ready to make a rainbow cake. This is the recipe Mum used and it's the one I use.

This cake looks amazing, kids and grown-ups love it, and your budget will love it - it costs under $3 to make!

Rainbow Cake
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
2 cups SR flour
45g butter
1 cup hot milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp red food colouring
3 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp warm milk, extra

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease three 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper. Beat eggs, gradually add the castor sugar and then beat 10 minutes. Melt the butter in the hot milk, add the vanilla extract and fold in to the egg mixture, combining thoroughly.

Divide the mixture into three equal portions. Take two tablespoons of mixture from the plain portion, adding one tablespoon to each of the other two  portions.

Colour one portion pink with the red food colouring. Stir well to ensure the colour is evenly spread through the batter.

Add the cocoa to the extra hot milk and stir to dissolve. Add to the remaining batter, stirring to combine thoroughly.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the centre and has started to shrink from the edge of the tin.

Turn cakes onto cake cooler. When cold, spread the chocolate and pink layers with jam and cream.  The chocolate layer is the base, then the pink layer and finally the plain layer. Frost with Seven Minute Frosting (and I have no idea why it's called Seven Minute Frosting, it takes about 20 minutes to make it, but that's what it's called in Mum's recipe book!).

Seven Minute Frosting
2 egg whites
1/3 cup water
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
Red food colouring

Combine egg whites, water and sugar in a double boiler (or a large heat-proof bowl) over simmering water. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved, then beat on high for ten minutes, still over the simmering water. Remove from the heat, add cream of tartar and a few drops of food colouring. Beat until the mixture thickens and will hold it's shape off the beater, about three minutes. Working quickly before the frosting sets, spread the frosting over the cake with a flat knife.

You don’t need to wait for a birthday to make this old favourite, anytime is the right time for rainbow cake.

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