Baking | Rainbow Cake for Pinktober … THINK PINK #birthday #pinktober

“Hope is a rainbow of thought.”
Harley King

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober Rainbow Cake for Pinktober. Ever tried baking with an 18 year old. Maybe , I should rephrase that. Ever tried with an 18 year old teen like mine who has a rainbow baking obsession? It’s a LOAD of work! LOTS!! Beware … but the fruits are sweet! Cut a slice and you know it’s so worth all the dishes, the messy kitchen, the batter splattered walls with ‘Ooops I did it again Mama!’, ‘Can Coco lick the bowl? Please?’

Coco, our cocker spaniel‘I’m gonna make Papa a rainbow cake for his birthday!  Coco’s gonna help me!‘ Coco was game of course … and the day began tediously! First to get the child out of bed, then to get her out of a shower, then to get her off the phone. By the time I was at my wits end, she was ready to paint the kitchen in rainbow colours! ‘Let’s start now!!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober

October 1st marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month all over the world. American Cancer Society uses this time to boost their campaign to raise awareness to breast cancer and to inform people that there is now a 98 percent rate of survival if the cancer is detected early. October is the month where you will see pink ribbons everywhere, which has been the national symbol for breast cancer awareness since it was first introduced back in 1991.

It took us all day to get the cake going. Six layers and a small oven, only 2 baking tins and a load of power cuts, yet we marched on. Much to my chagrin, she took naps in between while I washed and cleaned the kitchen after every ‘round‘. Once again, be warned … there is tons of washing up!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober Time for the frosting. We ‘amicably’ settled for a salted caramel butter-cream icing {after a battle of sorts of course}. It’s a delicious frosting and soon she was spooning more into her mouth than onto the cake. A few disagreements later, in this incessantly hot October, she  ‘splooshed’ the icing on. That was when the Dad called from work. ‘Is the cake PINK he asked? My cake is always the Pinktober cake.’

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober Next cue! PINK!! It’s nice to have a daughter who loves art. Also nice to have some marzipan on hand. She had fun doing the letters, the ribbon {that she was well aware of as it’s an annual feature} … the rest was a breeze. She did the whole cake on her own!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober One slice later, the rainbow knocked our hearts away! This is the absolute joy of a birthday cake. Despite it being a butter rich cake, with an indulgent buttercream frosting, the Rainbow Cake is a fantastic ‘once in a while‘ baking adventure. A big {read greedy} slice is definitely on the sweeter side, but a thin slice hits all the right chords!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober The cake tasted even better the next day, and being a butter cake, it keeps really well for a few days. However, the kids nibbled away at it and it was soon gone. The daughter later said that she was surprised I even let her make one! She knows that I barely ever make such heavily ‘buttery’ cakes. Then again, she has a thing for rainbows and a passion for baking rainbow cupcakes and cakes.

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober This cake was worth every dish I washed, worth the million times I cleaned the batter splattered counter and wall tiles, worth all the spoons she licked and all the piping bags she used up! It’s a fun cake to bake. You must try it for a special occasion bake!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | OMBRE … Almond Layered Cream Cake {for the teen who craved pink!}

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward”
Kurt Vonnegut

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream CakeHappy New Year with an Ombre Almond Layered Cream Cake. Sorry I haven’t made an appearance yet. The beginning of the year is always BUSY! Call it bad planning, but the elder teen was born on the 2nd of Jan 17 years ago. In this absolutely freezing cold, where the temperature dips and the power trips, I’ve been baking birthday cakes every 1st January for the past 16 years.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream Cake 2We’ve broken ‘cold‘ records for the past 45 years this January. With a country not planned with central heating, we are surviving in ice boxes at 0.7 C temperatures. Absolutely bone chilling here these days. It’s one thing to shiver; another to shiver and bake!! Must be a glutton for punishment as I shiver through the process every year. I made an ombre cake a while ago for a dear friends birthday. It was TALL with many shades of pink. How the daughter whined! “You never make tall cakes in shades of pink for me”, “Why have I never got one like this”, “I WANT pink for my birthday”.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream Cake 3Then I saw this beautiful piece of art at BS in the Kitchen. Stunning and inspiring. I set off to replicate it but this January has been tougher than ever. Bitterly cold, power cuts galore … and if I may be allowed some more whining, cream that refused to oblige! I got down to whipping the low fat cream thrice … every single time we had a power cut. It usually obliges. Not this time though. I almost wept.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream Cake I should have made a buttercream; really should have. We don’t particularly love buttercream at home, so I decided to innovate. Lesson learnt: roses are made from firmer stuff i.e. buttercream! In sheer desperation, I began piping my frosting which was good enough to pipe roses on top, but played slip sliding roses on the walls of the cake. Thank heavens for lace collars. When all else fails, it seems to salvage the situation somewhat.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream CakeThe cake tasted great and the birthday teen loved it to bits, pink and all. It got over really quick. In all the running around that day, I never did manage a proper picture before it was cut. It was worth the heartache though, well worth it!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Baking | Almond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake… Think deliciously pink this October #pinktober!

“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone’s eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too.”
Gladys Taber

Almond Raspberry Quark Layered CakeAlmond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake for the pink time of the year on PAB! It’s become an annual feature on my blog. Every October I bake Mr PAB pink birthday cake in support of national breast cancer awareness month. Pinktober cakes have become a quintessential part of his birthday, so much so that the terrible tiresome teen always asks about PINK a day before!Almond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake She was away for a school trip in the Himalayas this year, but came back late in the night and dug into her share. “Breast cancer?” she reconfirmed at 2am, then was back to devouring her share. “This is good“, she declared between hungry bites, “Really, really good! So pretty too.” Some things are worth the effort. This certainly was!Almond Raspberry Quark Layered CakeMan Friday came grinning from ear to ear with a bunch of flowers for the mister! Always remembers! It was a mad rush that morning so the cake was simple, very basic. A simple almond sponge cake with a dash of olive oil to add lightness and moistness. It’s an original recipe that I have developed over the years; it holds up well and tastes good too. Almond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake‘Ombre’ {n. A French term meaning “shaded.” Usually a multicolored stripe, with colors graduating from light to dark.} was on my mind but time wasn’t my friend. Hasn’t been of late so I cheated on the layers. I baked both colours in one single cake. First ladled light pink batter into the tin, then added a few more drops of pink to the remaining batter and poured it over.Almond Raspberry Quark Layered CakeArtisan ombre? Probably. Tada! Once baked, I sliced them into separate colored layers and alternated them with the cream filling. I did a light, dark, light, dark and kept the filling/frosting white. Such fun!Almond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake Not perfect but perfectly good for me. It worked kind of alright in the big cakes {my notes prior cutting the cake} and rather well actually in the small cake. Will improve the technique next time, maybe use a slightly smaller tin. Got different coloured layers that looked pretty with the white quark cream contrast.

Almond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake The filling was a joy to make. For all the ‘low fat cream anguish‘ of the years gone by, homemade quark is to the rescue. I’m having a field day with it. Used it to fill and frost the cake, and what a beautiful combination this turned out to be. Finger lickin good, thick like whipped cream and well behaved too!Almond Raspberry Quark Layered Cake Beautiful balance of flavoure and least expected goodness. Since quark is a curd cheese it is slightly tangy and pairs beautifully with fruit. Moist soft sponge layers matched by the sweet tartness of the quark raspberry filling, the slight hint of almond teasing the palette with texture and taste! For a simple cake, the flavours were unexpectedly very good; the layers stood out pretty too!Almond Raspberry Quark Layered CakeThe cake was a huge hit, with seconds being requested for even though we were just back from quite a filling Indian dinner out – chicken tikka & paneer tikka, rogan josh, butter chicken … with naan, tandoori roti and Rampuri parathas. We thought we could eat no more! {I had made the little cake topper for the teen just in case there was no cake left for her. Spot on. The cake disappeared really fast.}Almond Raspberry Quark Layered CakeA light, sweet, tangy Pinktober cake that was a delectable end to our meal! I had warned everyone that it was just a simple plain cake baked on the trot earlier that day. Plain it certainly wasn’t and I was HAPPY!

October 1st marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month all over the world. American Cancer Society uses this time to boost their campaign to raise awareness to breast cancer and to inform people that there is now a 98 percent rate of survival if the cancer is detected early. October is the month where you will see pink ribbons everywhere, which has been the national symbol for breast cancer awareness since it was first introduced back in 1991.

Think PinkHave you gone PINK this October?

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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