Monday, 7 March 2011

Rainbow Butterfly (Jew) Cakes

Yes, I know - the jew is a bit odd.  But a Hebrew-y friend of mine has always characterised herself as a rainbow butterfly, and given her imminent return from Israel, the existence of food colouring and of butterfly cakes, I promised her I would make a special effort for her coming-home party.   

This recipe gives you enough mixture for four or five of each flavour, and seven flavours to choose from, provided you dole out quite carefully.  I first learnt how to do butterfly cakes from the Winnie-the-Pooh Cookbook, although looking on Amazon it seems there are at least three different ones of those.

Rainbow Butterfly Cakes (with optional Jew)
You Will Need: Fairy-cake tin(s), large bowl, wooden spoon, scales, fork, small bowl, teaspoon, dinner knife, chopping board and small sharp knife, paper fairy cake cases.  For Jewyness or other customisation: piping bag.

6 eggs
2 packets of butter
plenty of caster sugar
plenty of self-raising flour
one lemon
one orange
glacé cherries
vanilla essence
4 lumps stem ginger in syrup (comes in a jar)
tablespoonful dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
tablespoonful white chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
icing sugar
food colourings

1) Weigh the eggs.  It should come to about 12 or 13 ounces.  Remember the figure you get; weigh out an equal amount of butter and sugar.
2) Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl until smooth and fluffy.  I am beginning to get used to the idea of using electric beaters for this, but as I didn't have one, elbow grease will do.  It helps if you cut the butter up into little cubes first, and it's quite soft.
3) Beat the eggs in the small bowl with the fork.  Add the egg  a little at a time to the buttery mix, stirring well until smooth.  Weigh out the same weight of flour as you had eggs.    Fold this in carefully; don't stir vigorously but scrape around the bowl with the spoon until it's all incorporated.

4) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line the fairy cake tins with cake papers.
5) Wash the small bowl.  For each flavour, add one or two big globs of mix to the small bowl, stir in the appropriate ingredients, then spoon the mixture into the tin with the teaspoon.  Then wash out the small bowl and spoon, make the next flavour and continue until the tin is full.  Bake about 10 minutes, til well risen and golden brown.

Red cakes: add half a capful of vanilla essence, and about 8 chopped glacé cherries to the mixture.
Orange cakes: add the zest of one orange, and a dessertspoonful of orange juice.
Yellow cakes: add the zest of one lemon, and a dessertspoonful of lemon juice.
Green cakes: add 4 lumps of stem ginger, chopped finely.
Blue cakes: add the dark chocolate chips.
Indigo cakes: add a handful of blackberries, chopped. These will go a strange grey colour as they cook, but still taste good.
Violet cakes: add the white chocolate chips.

6) While the cakes are baking, make buttercream to fill them.  Using about half a pack of butter, cream the butter with icing sugar until it is a pale blond colour, and sweetened as much as you would like.  
7) Allow the cakes to cool.  When they are cool, very carefully saw a little 'tonsure' off the top of them with the dinner knife: break the golden crust with the tip of the knife in a circle around the top of the cake, and then lift out the middle.  Save the middles, cutting them in half to make 'wings.'  Scrape a teaspoonful of buttercream into each cake, then carefully position the 'wings' back on.
8) Make up icing in appropriate colours; for the orange and lemon flavoured cakes, use some more orange and lemon juice as the liquid for the icing rather than water; make it quite thick, like PVA glue.  You could even use booze for some flavours. Spread it on the 'wings'.
9) For optional customisation, make up some more icing and pipe stars of David, or other appropriate decoration, onto the wings of each cake when the base colours are dry.