At the moment Louise is very into pink, so I wanted to do a cake that represented her adoration for that particular hue. The sponges in this cake are supposed to range from white to dark pink, which soooorta worked. Look, this won't be the first time I bake with food colouring - I've got a taste for it now - and I promise my skills will just get better and better. And my icing more neat - I used three different shades by the way, not that it's particularly easy to tell.
Here is the recipe below, it's very simple, you just need lots of bowls. I made four sponges, so I mixed the following and then divided it into two, and then baked it. Then did exactly the same again but added more food colouring to the second batches. You'll see what I mean...
So two times:
125g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
pink food colouring (I bought two bottles - and make sure they're for baking not just for icing)
1tsp of baking powder
2tbsp of milk.
For the icing inside the cake:
Raspberry jam - about four tablespoons
300g icing sugar
1/2 tbsp of milk
For the icing outside the cake:
425g icing sugar
1 tbsp of milk
pink food colouring
Heat the oven (mine is a fan one) to 150 degrees centigrade and line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Mix the butter and sugar together until the mixture is super creamy and full of air. Add the eggs one by one, mixing as you go, and I always put in a tablespoon of the flour to make sure the eggs don't curdle. Sift in the remaining flour and baking powder, mix carefully with a metal spoon, and then weigh the mixture (I just weighed my mixing bowl). Pour half the batter into another bowl. Put a tablespoon of milk into two glasses. You can then add your food colouring to the milk. The instructions on the packaging of the food mixture will tell you how much to use, I did the darkest pink sponge first, adding about six drops, then the second darkest I added four. Pour the now pink milk into the separate bowls of batter and stir in gently. I added a bit more food colouring as they looked quite pale - making sure to remember which was which!
Bake the two sponges in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the surface of the cakes spring back when you press on them lightly.
Leave them to cool then make the second set of batter in the same way, but using no food colouring in one sponge, and only two drops (or equivalent) of food colouring in the second sponge.
For the icing - you can play around with this as you might want pink icing inside your cake. But I kept my icing inside the cake white by mixing the icing sugar and butter together and then adding the milk until the consitency was right. I put this to one side.
For the icing outside the cake I made the icing the same way as above then divided it into three and added differing amounts of food colouring so I had three shades of pink icing.
To assemble the cake I made sure all the sponges were the same height - you don't need to worry about the top one as it's nice if that's domed. When they weren't the same height I took a bit off the top with a knife. Then I iced them with a tablespoon of jam and some of the white icing and stacked them on top of each other.
Outside the cake I used a palate knife to smooth on the icing for a sort of tie dye effect. I find dipping the knife in a glass of hot water as you go helps make the icing spread on more easily and with more control. Then I covered the whole thing with silver balls, edible daisies, and royal icing spelling out 'Louise' for a ridiculous pink cake fit for a Princess.