Thursday, 7 August 2014

Neapolitan Cake

This recipe was co-created by my best friend Elisa Morris and myself.
We’re always trying to think of new ideas to put into a cake. So this is the result of our latest catch-up; an ice-cream as a cake!
6oz caster sugar
6oz margarine
6oz self-raising flour
3 eggs (beaten)
2 tablespoons strawberry milkshake syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pink food colouring paste
Buttercream icing:
10oz butter
20oz icing sugar
Approx. 3 tablespoons milk (Plus extra for the chocolate buttercream)
2 tablespoons strawberry milkshake syrup
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Extra: holographic edible glitter

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Gas 4/ 350F. Grease and line three round sandwich cake tins.
2) Cream the margarine and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually sieve a bit of the flour followed by a drop of beaten egg into the bowl and mix to combine. Repeat this process until nearly all of the flour and all of the eggs are incorporated into the batter.
3) Make the chocolate sponge: Spoon a third of the batter into a small bowl. Sieve in the cocoa powder, add the milk and mix until well combined.
4) Fold the rest of the flour into the unflavoured batter. Put half of this mixture into another small bowl and add the vanilla extract, mixing to combine.
6) Add strawberry milkshake syrup and the pink food colouring to the rest of the unflavoured batter and mix until a strong pink colour has been achieved.
7) Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean (you may find as I did, that there is only enough room in the oven for two cakes on the same level at a time- this is totally fine- just bake the third sponge when the first two are cooling.)
8) Make the buttercream icing: Place the butter in a mixing bowl and add a drop of milk. Give this a mix until the butter is nice and soft. Gradually sieve in a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar and mix into the butter with a drop of milk. Repeat this process until all of the icing sugar has been used up and the butter icing is soft and light- you might not need to use all of the milk for this. Divide the icing into three bowls.
9) Mix vanilla extract into the first amount of icing. Into the second amount add the strawberry milkshake syrup and pink food colouring and beat until it reaches an even colour. Into the third amount, sieve in the cocoa powder and add a tablespoon of milk. Mix to combine, adding more milk if the mixture is too stiff and more icing sugar if it is too loose.
10) Assemble the cakes: One at a time slightly scrape against the sides of the cakes to reveal the colour of the sponge inside. At the same time as doing this you can ensure that you are cutting the sponges into the same shape. After trimming one cake, I like to put the second on top of it so I have an idea how much I should or should not scrape off the cake. Although the aim here is not to cut a lot off of the sponges, during this process you will naturally change the shape of them so it is important to constantly compare them so they don’t end up different sizes to each other.
11) Spread a little of any icing onto the cake board so that the sponge cake stays in place. First, place the chocolate sponge on the board and spread with half of the chocolate buttercream, leaving a 0.5cm margin to allow for the icing to spread with the weight of the sponges on top. Next place the vanilla sponge on top and spread with half of the vanilla icing. Lastly, place the strawberry sponge on top.
12) Fit three piping bags with medium star nozzles and fill with the remaining amounts of buttercreams. Use a ruler to make even markings on the sponge, scoring two vertical lines in the middle of the cake, essentially making three vertical sections on the cake (think of a tub of Neapolitan ice-cream and you’ll know what I mean).
13) Do the outside edges first: Use the strawberry butter cream to slowly pipe around the first edge section of the cake and fill in with lines of the icing (See picture below).

14) Line the corresponding bottom edge of the cake with dots of icing; gradually pipe one horizontal line after the other on top of the previous line of icing, until you reach the top of the cake. Repeat this process with the other edge section of the cake with chocolate icing (See picture below).


15) Allow to dry for a couple of minutes before you do the same process with the vanilla icing in the middle section of the cake. Now your cake should be completely covered in icing.

14) Dust with a little holographic edible glitter for an extra sparkle and enjoy!