Multi-layer, multi-colour extravagant and sensational cake

multi-layer cake

Multi-layer, multi-colour extravagant and sensational cake

To make the cake you will need

Three times these ingredients for six sponges

125g/41 ⁄2oz organic butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasing

225g/8oz self-raising flour

150g/51 ⁄2oz golden caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

½tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla extract

Edible food colouring For the icing:

Pre-made royal icing in white or:

1tsp vanilla extract

3 x 250g/9oz tubs cream cheese or mascarpone

350g/121 ⁄2oz icing sugar

Optional extras and alternatives

75g/3oz melted dark chocolate

1tsp cocoa powder to add to a small amount of the above for a layer of chocolate icing

Pick’n’mix rainbow drops

METHOD:

1. If not using an Aga, heat oven to 180ºC/160 ºC fan/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.

Grease 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

Tip all the sponge ingredients, apart from the food colouring, into a mixing bowl, then beat with an electric whisk until smooth.

2. Split exactly in half and put half the mixture back into the mixing bowl.

3. Pick two colours and stir a little into each mix.

4. Scrape the different batters into the tins, spread and smooth.

5. For two-oven Agas: grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven and cold plain shelf on the second set of runners.

Make sure the cold plain shelf goes in cold for each batch. For three/four/five-oven Agas: place the grid shelf on the lowest set of runners in the baking oven.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until springy to touch and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.

6. Gently turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool. Wash the tins and bowls thoroughly and start again from step 1 – this time using two different colours.

Repeat one more time to get six sponges, all of different colours. leave them to cool.

7. If you want to use butter/cream cheese icing, beat the vanilla and cream cheese or mascarpone with an electric whisk until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and gently fold in with a spatula

Be careful – the more you work it the runnier it will get, increasing the chance of splitting.

8. Smear a little icing on your cake stand or plate – just a splodge to stick the first sponge. Decide upon your base sponge then spread with some icing right to the edge. Repeat, sandwiching on top the other colour sponges. Spread the remaining icing thickly over the sides and top of the cake.

9. Alternatively, roll out the royal icing until no thicker than a pound coin and large enough to cover the cake comfortably, then gently place it over the cake easing it down the sides.

10. Decorate with chocolate buttons, rainbow drops or whatever takes your fancy.

It’s not only 11-year-olds who’ll be impressed by Elley’s Multi-layer, Multicolour, Eyes-Bigger-Than-Your-Belly Cake.

Top it with royal icing or a cream cheese covering to steal the show at any birthday party or celebration

Photo: © Photopia www.photopiaphotography.co.uk .