Rainbow cake

Rainbow cake

Fiji

By
From
80 Cakes Around the World
Makes
13 cm cake
Photographer
Jean Cazals

Hinduism, the second biggest religion on the island of Fiji, refers to the rainbow as indradhanush, meaning 'the bow of Indra, the god of lightning, thunder and rain'. Apparently, those who have surpassed earthly ties are in a position to achieve the highest meditative sate and experience the 'rainbow body'. Maybe that is why they name the beautiful reef that lies between the Fijian islands of Taveuni and Vanua Levu the Rainbow Reef.

This egg-free cake is no mean feat to make. It takes time and dedication to produce all seven layers but it's worth it, so why not pull out all the stops for a special celebration?

You will need seven different shades of food colouring to create the rainbow effect. I like the small pots of gel colours, as the are very strong and don't affect the consistency of the cake mix. They are available online or from cake decoration shops.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For 2 sponge cakes (repeat 2 1/3 times to make 7 layers)

Quantity Ingredient
280g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
400ml condensed milk
250ml water
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
60g unsalted butter, melted
food colouring, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, violet

Ganache

Quantity Ingredient
400ml double cream
700ml dark chocolate, chopped, (70 per cent cocoa solids)

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C. Grease two 13cm cake tins and line the base of each one with a disc of baking parchment. Grease the paper and dust the tins with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Mix the condensed milk, water vinegar and vanilla together. Whisk into the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter, being careful not to over mix. Add the melted butter and mix in.
  3. Divide the mix between 2 bowls, using scales to make sure they are both the same. Add one of the food colourings to each bowl with a wooden toothpick until you gain the desired shade, mixing it in thoroughly. Pour into the prepared cake tins, level the surface and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sponge springs back when pressed lightly with put finger. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.
  4. Repeat twice more, using another 4 colours. For the seventh layer, make a half recipe to yield one tin.
  5. For the ganache, bring the cream to the boil and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Leave to stand for 1 minute, then whisk gently to make a smooth, shiny ganache. Cover with clingfilm and leave to firm for 1 hour in the fridge or leave overnight at room temperature.
  6. Sandwich the cakes together with a thin layer of the ganache between each one. Place in the fridge for 2 hours, then spread the rest of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake, using a palette knife to make ridges and ruffles. Await the gasps of surprise when the cake is cut open to reveal the rainbow of colours.
Tags:
Baking
cake
cakes
Claire Clark
80 Cakes Around the World
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