Layered Cake with Macaroons

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Layered Cake with Macaroons

Ingredients

For the cake :

355g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

225ml milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

400g caster sugar

225g unsalted butter, softened

4 medium eggs

1 tsp strawberry essence

1 tsp pink food colouring for half the cake 

For the buttercream inside:

140g soft butter

280g icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

For the buttercream icing on the outside:

50g dark chocolate

100g unsalted butter, softened

200g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the macaroons

125g icing sugar

125g ground almonds

90g egg whites

2 tbsp water

110g caster sugar

Food colouring (of your choice)

150ml whipped cream

Method

 For the cake :  

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F

 Grease four 18cm (7 inch) round cake tins. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix milk and vanilla together in a measuring jug.

Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with a spatula.

 Divide mixture evenly into 2 medium bowls

 Gently fold pink colouring and strawberry essence into one bowl. Pour half of each bowl of batter into the prepared tins so you end up with two pink layers and two white layers.

 Bake each layer for about 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester into the centre comes out clean and the outside is golden. Cool in tin for 5 mins and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

 For the buttercream inside:

Beat the butter in a large bowl. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy.

Sandwich alternating pink and white layers with about 1/2cm layer of buttercream.

For the buttercream icing on the outside:

Melt the chocolate in a  chocolate melting pot set over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool until the chocolate no longer feels hot to the touch.

Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.

Fold in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated

Cover cake with layer of icing and smooth with a spatula

For the macaroons :

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F

Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g egg whites together in a large bowl and mix to a paste.

Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan to gently melt the sugar, then turn up the heat and boil until the mixture starts to go syrupy and thickens

Whisk the remaining 50g egg whites in a small bowl until medium-stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. Add a few drops of food colouring. Tip this meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir gently until it becomes stiff and shiny again.

Spoon into a piping bag. Pipe a little mixture onto a macaroon mat.

The piping will leave a small ‘tip’ on each circle so, when they’re all piped, give the tray 2–3 taps on a flat surface to flatten them.

Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm.

Remove from the oven.

When cool, sandwich the macaroons together with whipped cream.

Add to the top of the cake.

Products used

Master Class Non-Stick 18cm Loose Base Spring Form Cake Pan

Natural Elements Medium Ceramic Bowl

Natural Elements Small Ceramic Bowl

Colourworks 3 Piece Acrylic Measuring Jug Set

Natural Elements Large Ceramic Bowl

Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Eleven Wire 30cm Balloon Whisk

Colourworks Silicone Spatula

Kitchen Craft Chrome Plated Oblong Cake Cooling Tray

Sweetly Does It Stainless Steel Cake Tester

Sweetly Does It Stainless Steel Chocolate Melting Pot

Master Class Non-Stick Heavy Duty 16cm Saucepan

Sweetly Does It Food Piping Bag

Sweetly Does It Silicone Macaroon Baking Sheet