Sorry if this all sounds a little saccharine, but I am blessed to have some amazing friends around me. AMAZING! One of my faves is Ashley. Not only does she love Buffy as much as I do; not only can we geek out together over just about anything; not only is she an incredible writer herself and really supportive of my own efforts; not only does she have her head totally screwed on and can always be relied upon to sort me, you, anyone, out; but she’s also one of the best cooks in the whole wide world. True story.
She just gets food. She knows what flavours go with what (nowhere near as simple as it sounds!). She’s a baker and a cook (if you see the difference). She makes food exciting and sexy. Yes, sexy. She has a day job (don’t we all…), but she also runs two wonderful foodie blogs. The first is http://www.peachtreesandbumblebees.com/ and the second she runs with the equally talented and passionate foodie – Amy – http://www.thegreedygirls.com/.
Sooner, rather than later, these two women are going to conquer the culinary world. You heard it here first!
In the meantime, it is my absolute pleasure to share one of my favourite recipes of Ashley’s – The Cake of Glory.
This colourful cake is totally breathtaking – especially if your guests don’t know what’s on the inside! Frost with white icing and hide the wonderful surprise within, then wait for the gasps when you cut it open! Best of all, it’s much easier than it looks and it makes a really tasty cake. Perfect for parties!
You will need:
· 250g butter, soft
· 475g sugar
· 5 egg whites, room temperature
· 2 tbsp vanilla extract
· 380g plain flour, sifted
· 4 tsp baking powder
· Large pinch of salt
· 1 1/2 cups of milk, at room temp
· Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel or paste food colouring (I use Sugarflair)
· At least 2 8″ loose based round cake tins
· Butter, oil or cake release for greasing
· 4 large skewers
For the icing:
· A kilo of icing sugar, sifted (you may need spare)
· 200g butter (you may need spare)
· 50mls milk (you may need spare)
1. Preheat your oven to 180°c degrees and grease your tins. I only have two so I just cooked them in three batches.
2. Pop your flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and mix well.
3. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy.
4. Add the egg whites one at a time and beat until smooth. Add your vanilla and beat the mix on high until it is nice and fluffy.
5. Then, alternating between the milk and the flour mix, add everything to the stand mixer. Mix on low speed until well combined and smooth.
6. Split the mix between six bowls, and add some food colouring to each bowl so you have one of each colour. You might need to add a fair bit to get the vibrant colour. Mix well.
7. Bake each layer for 15-25 mins. Keep a close eye on them as the layers will be much thinner than your average cake layers.
8. When the cake springs back, remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 mins before removing to a cooling rack. Be careful as the layers are thin and prone to breaking.
9. While they are cooling, beat the butter and half the icing sugar in a stand mixer with the milk. Beat slowly until smooth, then add the rest of the sugar. Beat on high until it is smooth and fluffy.
10. When the cakes are cold, pop the purple sponge on a cake plate and spread a layer of the icing over the top. Carefully place the blue layer on top and do the same.
11. Ice each layer until you have all six sat on top of each other. If the layers start to slide around, stick the four skewers in a square through each of the layers to hold it all in one place. While it is being held, spread a layer of icing around the outside and top of the cake. Don’t worry if you get crumbs in the icing – you’re going to do another layer.
12. Leave until the icing sets and then add another layer around the outside and the top. If you used a lot in the first round, you may need to make some more. Just half or quarter the recipe for the buttercream to make a bit more.
13. Use a pallet knife dipped in boiling water to spread it smoothly (and remove the skewers and smooth over the holes).
For more of Ashley’s amazing recipes, visit www.peachtreesandbumblebees.co.uk