Sunday, 22 December 2013

{Remembering Mandela} Rainbow Cake

On 5 December 2013 South Africa lost one of the greatest leaders of our time. Nelson Mandela was a man who forever changed the course of South African history and was a true South African hero. He, like many of his time, lived through such terrible times and endured so much, but came out of it a better man. Madiba did not have any hatred for the people who had put him through so much; after leaving Robben Island he said: "As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison". 

Nelson Mandela’s Top Five Contributions to Humanity
(Photo from Liberty Voice)

He has shown us all what we should strive toward in our daily lives. Madiba will forever be in the hearts of the South African people.

Nelson Mandela
I just love this photo of Madiba from his 89th birthday: such pure joy!
(Photo from The Guardian)
To celebrate his life I wanted to make a cake. At his inauguration Madiba said: "We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without and fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world." What better cake for the father of our rainbow nation than a rainbow cake?

For the cake layers I used a white cake tinted with food colouring and filled and frosted the cake with a vanilla buttercream. I made two batches of white cake and divided each batch into 3 layers.

Rainbow Cake

White Cake
Adapted from The Perfect White Cake by i am baker
2 1/4 cups flour
250ml milk (at room temperature)
6 large egg whites (at room temperature)
1tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
4tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
170g unsalted butter (softened, but cool; cut into cubes)
Food colouring in assorted colours

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Butter, flour and line three 20 cm cake pans (or bake one at a time).
  2. Mix milk egg whites and extract with a fork, in a medium bowl, until combined.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with an electric mixer on low.
  4. Add butter and continue beating for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Set aside 1/2 cup of the milk mixture and add the rest to the flour mixture. Beat for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat for another minute.
  7. Divide batter evenly between three cake pans. If you do not have three pans, pour the mixture evenly into three containers to ensure portions are correct.
  8. Add colouring into each container until desired colour is obtained.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  10. Allow cake to cool in pan for a few minutes. Remove cake from tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Vanilla Buttercream
340g unsalted butter (softened)
8-10 cups of icing sugar
180ml cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 4 cups of icing sugar, followed by the milk and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined: about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining sugar one cup at a time, beating until well combined after each addition, until icing is spreadable consistency.
  4. Store the icing at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To Assemble
  1. Decide on the order in which you would like your rainbow to appear.
  2. Please a small blob of buttercream on the cake stand or plate or cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of this. This secures your cake on the plate.
  3. Put a layer of the vanilla buttercream on top of the first layer.
  4. Place the second layer on top of this and top with a layer of buttercream. Continue until all the layers are stacked.
  5. Crumb coat the the cake. If it is unsteady while you are doing this, put it in the fridge for half an hour or so until it firms up enough to ice.
  6. Cover your cake with the final layer of buttercream.
* I doubled both the cake and buttercream recipes.

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