The best way to cheer up a friend when they’re down is to give them cake. Whether it be a rich chocolate cake, a fluffy cupcake or a simple tea-cake, there’s a slice of cake for everybody. Recently as my friends birthday approached, she had exams approaching and was recovering from acute appendicitis. Trying to think of the perfect present that would cheer her up, I saw a rainbow cake on the blog Raspberri Cupcakes that looked so happy and cheerful, I just had to make a rainbow cake of my own. (And completely steal the design! I can’t take any credit for that at all!)
The cake itself is Nigella’s rich chocolate cake that I often use for birthdays, because it is dense and fudgy and stable enough for holding decorations. The icing is a smooth chocolate ganache that holds well the crunchy topping of colourful smarties and fluffy, cloudy marsh mellows. Bring this cake for any friend on their birthday and you’ll make their day.
Chocolate Rainbow Cake: Inspired by this cake
200g (1 + 1/2 cups) plain flour
200g (scant 1 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda
40g (2 heaped tbsp) cocoa powder
175g (1 + 1/2 sticks) soft butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
150ml (2/3 cup) sour cream or buttermilk
Put all cake ingredients together in a blender and pulse until smooth and combined. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for about half an hour, but check earlier to be sure. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.
300g (1 + 1/2 cups) dark chocolate chopped and placed in a heatproof bowl
1 cup heavy cream
2 packets of smarties
1 packet of white marshmellows
Optional vanilla extract
Gently heat the cream in a saucepan until almost bubbling. Once hot, pour over the chocolate and allow to stand for five minutes. Stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate gives way to the cream. Put aside until cool and refrigerate for an hour. Once ready to ice, get a large, sharp knife and carefully cut an 8cm diameter circle out of the middle of your cake. (This is easier if you cut a piece of paper this size first and place it on the cake. Now cut your cake in half so you have three pieces. To make life easier put your two cakes on the serving plates now. Cover your two semi-circles in your ganache with a flat palette knife, about 1cm thick. Separate your smarties into colours and carefully line your cake, starting from the bottom inner curve, in horizontal lines. Cut your marshmellows in half with scissors and pile like clouds on the plate. Each half serves around 8.