Create this beautiful cake for your next gathering and your guests will be blown away.
For the sponge, preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line 4 x 20cm sponge tins. Beat all ingredients in a bowl with electric mixer until just combined, then increase speed to medium until it is paler and smooth. Separate batter into four equal amounts. Colour three portions with food colouring in increasing amounts (1st portion= 1-2 drops, 2nd portion = 3-4 drops, 3rd portion = 5-6 drops). Make sure each looks sufficiently different from the next, increasing in intensity to your liking. Spread each portion into an individual tin, bake all at 180C for approximately 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto wire rack to cool. Once cool, use a sharp serrated knife to ensure all cake are equal in height and leveled.
For the jam, combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat, bubbling, until jam sets on a small saucer (about 30-40 minutes). Remove from heat, pour into sterilized shallow glass dish until ready to use.
For the filling, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold through raspberries.
For the buttercream, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly with electric hand-held whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 65C (using sugar thermometer). Immediately transfer to standing mixer with whisk attachment and beat until room temperature. One tablespoon at a time, add all the butter. Once added, remove whisk attachment and use paddle attachment to beat until smooth. Flavour with vanilla essence to taste. Separate buttercream into four bowls, colouring each with pink gel food colouring in varying intensities (similar to cake mixes), leaving one pure white.
For the meringues, preheat oven to 100C (75C fan forced) and line baking trays with baking paper. Beat egg whites in standing mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar until all dissolved and stiff glossy peaks form. Gently fold through the raspberry powder. Using a paintbrush, paint the inside of a large piping bag with stripes of pink gel food colouring. Transfer the meringue mixture to the piping bag and pipe small “kisses” onto the baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on size, or until they can be removed from the baking paper without sticking.
For the marshmallows, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and stir. Put the sugar and boiling water into a large saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then stir in the gelatin mixture. Boil steadily, uncovered for 20 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer with vanilla and lemon and beat on high speed until thick and white. Pour into a cling wrap-lined deep 20cm square tin and refrigerate until set. Meanwhile toast the coconut in a shallow frypan over a low heat until golden. Cut into small squares with a small sharp knife, dipping in water between cuts to ensure a clean line. Roll each square in toasted coconut.
For the other decorations, lightly toast the coconut flakes and set aside. Roll out the fondant in a little pure icing sugar and use cutters to cut out flowers and butterflies; dry these on baking paper until hard.
To assemble, place the darkest pink cake on a plate and cover with a thin layer of raspberry jam, then a 1cm thick layer of raspberry cream. Top with the next lightest cake and repeat the layering process until the un-coloured cake rests on top. Using a palette knife, spread the white buttercream over the whole cake in a thin “crumb” layer and refrigerate for 15 minutes. After, cover the top of the cake in the white buttercream using a palette knife to smooth. Working down from lightest to darkest, spread the three pink buttercreams around the cake in “ombre” style. At this stage it doesn’t matter if it’s rough, so long as the three colours are distinct. Using a large cranked palette knife, smooth the butter cream around the sides of the cake so the colours blend from one to the next seamlessly and you are left with a smooth finish.
Use the fondant flowers/butterflies, fresh raspberries, meringues and marshmallows to decorate the top of the cake how you wish, to create the “fairy garden”.
This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.
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