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A decadent Christmas cake

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Bake your guests a Christmas cake that’s as tasty as it looks

We love it when festival time rolls in – it means we can indulge in our favourite foods and desserts without counting the calories. It also means that when we have guests over, most of us are scrambling about for that perfect dish to satiate their sweet tooth (and earn some brownie points). We got food blogger Swayampurna Mishra of La Petit Chef to share with us a scrumptious Christmas cake that’s bound to make it a merry Christmas.

Tiered rainbow cake with cream cheese frosting and Christmas sugar cookies

For the cake:
-    360 gms softened unsalted butter
-    360 gms all-purpose flour
-    360 gms castor sugar
-    6 large eggs
-    4 tsps Bourbon Vanilla extract
-    40 ml milk
-    ¼ tsp each of edible food colouring to be used: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green, Violet – about.

For the frosting
-    220 gm full fat cream cheese at room temperature
-    200 gms unsalted butter, softened
-    700 gms icing sugar

For garnish you can use many options
1.    Rainbow coloured sprinkles
2.    Melted white chocolate
3.    Silver sparkles or silver edible dust for a sparkly finish
4.    Fresh fruits in rainbow colours
5.    Fresh flowers
6.    Christmassy cookies or Linzer (jam drop) cookies

This is a very simple recipe, but it takes time and patience. Remember how good things come to those who wait? Bake it in batches and bear in mind, it needs time to chill before and after frosting, and after crumb coating as well. The cake must remain cold as it won’t hold well under warm temperatures. It freezes well (wrap in aluminium foil, tent it nicely and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature till soft and if needed, refrigerate till serving time). At best, it will stay in refrigerator for 4-5 days. Best consumed within two days.

You will need:
-    3 Mixing bowls, rubber spatula, either disposable cake tins to bake it in or separate cake tins (20 cm or 8 inch)
-    Hand held or stand electric mixer
-    Measuring spoons
-    Kitchen scale

To make the cake:
1.    Start by pre-heating the oven to 180 C or 350F. Grease and line the base of three tins
2.    Now using a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar. Whip till light and creamy. Then add the flour, eggs, vanilla essence, milk and
       whip until light and fluffy
3.    Divide the mixture equally into six bowls. Add the food colouring as per your wish and mix well. Add only 1/4th tsp at a time and
       keep mixing till you reach the intensity you desire. For pastel hues, add lesser colour, for a more vibrant shade, add more colour
4.    Now pour each bowl of batter into the prepared tins and bake for 15 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack
       to cool
5.    Let the cake cool completely before frosting. Try Swayampurna’s trick and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before frosting.
       It makes the frosting easier to spread

To make the frosting:
1.    Put the softened butter and softened cream cheese into a bowl and beat until smooth
2.    Add half the icing sugar and mix well. Then, add the remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth

Assembling the cake:
1.    Place the violet sponge on a cake board or plate and spread with a little icing. Place the blue sponge on top. Continue layering this
       way, following the colours of the rainbow
2.    Now do a crumb coat on the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Chill for 30 minutes. Then spread the remaining frosting
       all over the top and sides of the cake
3.    Chill until firm. Garnish as desired. For garnish use any of the above given ideas. In this case, Swayampurna has used some of her
        baked cookies and decked it up with white roses, wild gypsy flowers and Christmas tree leaves

Serving Tips:
1.    Dress it up – bring out the cake stand – choose a copper, distressed wood or even marble one for maximum effect
2.    Serve with a flourish – cut it up into slices and lay it in a way that each of the colours can be seen
3.    Use dainty dessert plates in complementing colours as serveware
4.    Decorate with white roses, you can even use some natural twigs, pinecones

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