Friday, August 20, 2010

Stuff to Impress Your Friends (no, seriously)

I would like to enlighten you all concerning one of the greater discoveries of my life to date: Rainbow Cake.

This baby is a work of ART, and there really are no skills necessary. Just knowing how to follow directions on a cake mix box and combining that knowledge with a little patience can yield a true thing of beauty. And I'm going to explain so that you can scamper off and create your own confectionery masterpiece.

You start with any cake batter, so long as it's white or cream-colored. We've used Betty Crocker's French Vanilla both times making this and we like the results. Anyway, you prepare your cake batter however it tells you to on the back of the box (or in the recipe if you prefer to make your cakes from scratch), and then you divide your batter into portions. Each portion will become a different color. Clearly, you can have as many portions as you'd like, but we like six.

Here is where the patience comes in, but not for the last time. Each portion is going to be dyed a different color. And if you've never used food coloring before, trust me when I advise you to START SMALL. Start out with, say, four or five drops of color in each bowl, mix the color in, and then add a couple more drops here and there as you see fit. I am fond of bold colors, and as such have used more food coloring than is probably healthy (doesn't the red kind cause cancer or something?). In case you haven't figured out yet, this cake is so much more fun to make with other people.

So you get your oven and baking pan ready according to whatever instructions you are following (we use a 9x13 dish) and pour each color in one at a time, in whatever order you fancy. It will look something like this when you've poured everything:

You can't actually tell, but there IS a difference between the orange and the pink there on top. Anywoot, you bake, you cool, you frost (this is where the patience comes back - frost SLOWLY or you're going to destroy the surface of your cake), and you get something that looks scarily similar to this:

You will feel like the coolest kid in the whole class with this cake. No lie.

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