Sunday, 30 June 2013

Three tier birthday cake

I made this cake for my sister's birthday- I knew it had to be something special, and not only taste good but look pretty too.   When making this cake you need to plan ahead, as cake is made over two days, so please read the whole recipe carefully before you start.


For the first (the biggest) tier:

  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 12 tbsp boiling water
  • 6 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 350g self-rising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g soft, unsalted butter
  • 550g caster sugar
For the cream:
  • 400g cherries
  • 800ml of double cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla paste
  • 6-8 tbsp icing sugar
For the second (middle) tier:
  • 225g self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 150g melted, unsalted butter
For the cream:
  • 400g white chocolate
  • 400ml double cream
  • 400g fresh raspberries
For the third (the smallest) tier:
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 6tbsp boiling water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50ml milk
  • 175g self-rising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 100g soft, unsalted butter
  • 275g caster sugar
For the cream:
  • 450ml double cream
  • 2tsp instant coffee, dissolved in a tablespoon of water
  • 1-2tbsp icing sugar
To decorate:
  • 2kg of white icing
  • small packet of red icing
  • edible glue
  • cake smoother
To assemble:
  • 3 cake drums: 27cm, 23cm and 18cm, you can also cut out circles of cardboard instead
  • 10 plastic straws
  • about 2m of red ribbon

Day one:

To make the first, biggest tier, mix cocoa powder with boiling water until smooth. Add all remaining cake ingredients and beat until combined- do not over beat!  Divide the mixture into two 27cm lined tins and bake at 180C for about 20-25 minutes.  Take out the oven and leave to cool.

To make the second tier, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.  In a separate dish whisk eggs with vanilla and add to the flour mixture, along with melted butter.  Mix until combined and pour into lined 23cm tin.  Bake at 160C for about 35-45minutes, the cake is ready if the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Take out the oven and leave to cool.

To make the third tier make the cake the same way as the first, biggest tier, using proportions from the 'third tier ingredients'. Pour all of the mixture in a lined 18cm tin and bake at 180C for about 30 minutes- check with a skewer if the cake is ready.

To make the cream for the middle tier warm up 400ml of double cream and pour over 400g chopped white chocolate, stir until melted and place in the fridge to set overnight.

When the cakes are cooled, cut the top off the cakes for the biggest tier, to make it as straight as you can.

Cut the vanilla (middle) cake in half (horizontally) to make two evenly thick bases. 

Cut the top off the small chocolate cake to make the top straight, then cut the same way as the middle cake.

Place the base of each cake on a cake drum (or a cardboard circle- it must be the same size as the cake).  You will need three cake drums in total.

When you are covering cake in cream make sure you cannot see a space between cake and cardboard.

To make the cream for the biggest tier, whisk double cream with vanilla and icing sugar.   When cake is completely cool, spread half of the cream on top, place the cherries on the cream and cover with the the base.  Spread the remaining cream on the sides and top of the cake, make sure whole cake is covered evenly.  Place in the fridge over night. 

To make the cream for the smallest tier, whisk double cream with coffee and icing sugar and spread the cream on the same way as you did the largest cake.  Place in the fridge over night.

The middle cake will be covered in cream the next day, when white chocolate is set.

Day two:

Spread half of the white chocolate cream on one half of the vanilla cake and place raspberries on top.  Spread remaining cream on top and sides of the cake.  Place in the fridge, while you decorate two other cakes.

Roll out a generous piece of the icing, it should be about 5mm thick- if it is too thin, you will be able to see the cake.  To stop the icing from sticking to the surface, just sprinkle a generous amount of icing sugar on before rolling out.  Put the icing over the cake, carefully with your hands, then press down to the bottom of the cake, the icing should be covering the cake drum as well.  Smooth the top and sides of the cake with a cake smoother, covered in icing sugar.

Repeat with each tier.  

Roll out the red icing and cut out circles,  brush a small amount of edible glue or melted chocolate where you want to place the dots.

Place cakes in the fridge to set and take them out shortly before you need the cake.

To assemble the cake cut plastic straws about 3mm  longer then thickness of the cake, then place 5 straws in the biggest tier (one in the middle of the cake, and remaining four about 5cm away from the centre to form a square).  

Repeat with the middle cake, then place the cakes on top of each other.

It is best not to move the cake once it has been put together.  

Wrap a ribbon around the bottom of each cake.

Before you decorate your cake, watch THIS helpful video of Lorraine Pascale, decorating and assembling a three- tier cake:


Recipe for the sponge comes from Mary Berry's Baking Bible.

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