I apologise for the title: I couldn’t think of anything witty/pun-y to write. Its relevance will be tackled later; promise.
Before that, however, I would like to introduce you to my new toys. Two conserve/terrine jars and their sister, the stoppered bottle.
Let me begin by drawing your attention to the wrapping paper I used as a shoddy background for the picture. Is it not amazing? I found a really cool shop on my last trip to London called Tiger, which has some quirky products on the cheap (end unsolicited publicity).
You may or may not remember my previous post about making jam. As I found out in my past adventures in jam-making, the water that is used when initially simmering the fruit can be used to make syrup instead of simply being discarded like a used condom in a pool party (don’t be shocked; y’all have seen one). Well, I needed containers for this syrup that would be made and refused to use my newly acquired jam jars, as they were too small and would all be used up (a lot of simmer-water was made).
So far the liquid has been in measuring cups in my fridge (though, I could have simply left them outside, on account of the cold we’ve been experiencing). Now, their destinies will be fulfilled, which will leave a hole in their souls in which they will tumble down towards alcoholism. No, really; I’m making drinks syrup, so it’s easy (and accurate) to assume that they will end up in a vodka based concoction. Yessiree, I’m going to make myself some colourful drinks!
Speaking of colourful stuff (yes, the rainbow mentioned in the title will now be justified—did you actually think I was going to make a cheap alcohol/chunder joke? Shame on you!), I made a rainbow cake! Actually, I made two. Back in December, my friend threw a potluck cake party and commissioned me to make a rainbow cake. My idea was to make a bundt-shaped cake using sponge batter, with each section having its own colour and a slight wave effect, where each colour attempts to invade one of its neighbours. So, rainbow cake two cakes, eating too much, puking rainbow… see the connection? No? I don’t blame you, it was a bit of a stretch, after all.
Given my past experience with bundt pans, I always imagine them being gigantic and so decided to prepare twice as much cake batter (i.e. enough for two sponge cakes). The fat-sensitive should avoid the following statement: I almost used an entire pack of butter! After hand whisking the doppio batter (got to use Italian to try and keep up with the trendy pseudo-italian Starbucks likes to use. How on earth does venti—aka “twenty” in Italian—correspond to a “large”?) and nursing my cramped up arm back into functioning, I separated the batter into 6 equal parts and added concentrated food colouring (borrowed from a fellow baker-friend of mine) to each. This six-part separation can be taken in one of two ways:
- I was being political and wanted to give my friend a gay rainbow flag, which only has 6 colours, instead of the regular 7
- I only had 6 colours to use and found it futile to attempt making separate blue and indigo layers
Can’t decide on my motivation? Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter.
In any case, my bundt idea was a bust: the pan I had actually had the capacity to handle only one dose of batter and the invading colours idea didn’t really work out. Here’s a prebake picture.
What a not-really-that-hot-since-it-isn’t-baked-yet mess! Once it was done, I tried making a sugar glaze (like the one on doughnuts) to put on it. The end-product looked like unspeakable things had happened to it, so no picture there. The real star of the show was the one that I made using my round pan!
This beauty was made by putting the different colours in layers. Instead of attempting to spread each layer before putting in the next one (which would make a similar mess to the one in the bundt pan), I decided to pour the batter in the centre and let the pouring push and spread the batter naturally.
Here’s something I remembered a bit too late: sponge cakes are usually baked one half at a time. This is due to its usual presentation as a Victoria Sponge. This factoid came to me after I removed the cake from the oven after the usual baking time, which roughly translates as being there for half the necessary time.
I felt it was too late to replace it in the oven. I also couldn’t be bothered. I pushed forward, regardless.
I warily waited for it to cool; as I snowed in a layer of powdered sugar, my heart was weighed down by remorse. Oh! why didn’t I just put it back in the oven? I flinched with guilt as I cut myself a slice and stared at the slice in reticence before taking a bite…
The verdict? Best. Mistake. Ever!
See that sheen on the cake surface? That doesn’t mean uncooked. That means the cake is moist (I hate how baking makes the word “moist” unavoidable!). And the inside? The choice words I use to describe it, and not for lack of options, are “trippy” and “groovy” (comments on how the use of patently 1970’s words is simply wrong from someone my age are welcome—at least I get readers).
Does it not look absolutely delicious?! And the best part is that it stayed in the house, which means it all belonged to me and my housemates (and my friend who came to visit me while high and ended up eating nearly a quarter of it).
If anyone is interested in a recipe for a basic sponge cake, click on the link above for Victoria Sponge (or here, if you’re that lazy) or look below for lazily written instructions.
- 225g softened butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 tspn vanilla extract