Monthly Archives: June 2013

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Natural Colour Rainbow Cake Experiment #1)

Would you believe that it’s possible to make a vibrant rainbow cake without using any artificial food colouring?

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I couldn’t believe it myself until I saw this recipe online. I thought it would be a fun idea to try it out around this time of the year because of Toronto Pride Week.

It was a very time consuming cake to make because we had to make our own food dyes by juicing beets, carrots, spinach, blueberries, and blackberries. I made the cake with Daisy, who was Matchachoco’s replacement for the month of June 😛 This was our first attempt at making a rainbow cake, so we didn’t make any changes to the original cake recipe (we didn’t want to screw up on our first attempt which required a lot of work!). For the frosting, we used a cooked frosting recipe, which Matchachoco and I both love. It has a very fluffy consistency, tastes similar to sweetened whipped cream, but it’s not as sweet as the typical buttercream recipe.

We were really amazed with how the colours turned out for the cake. I hope that this post will inspire you as well to experiment with natural food dyes for baking.

– Ricelessasian

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Natural Colour Rainbow Cake Experiment #1

*Please check the recipe from Itsy Bitsy Foodies*
  
Natural food dyes we used:
spinach juice (green), carrot juice (orange), egg yolk (yellow), beet juice (red), blackberry juice (purple) and blueberry juice (blue)

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We divided the white cake batter into equal portions and mixed in about 1-2 tbsp. of the food dye to each cake batter portion. Since we were using 7 1/2 inch cake pans (larger than what was used in the original recipe), we divided the cake batter 3/4 cups each instead of 1/2 cup each.

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TIP: Use disposable aluminum cake pans if you don’t have cake pans for each colour.

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Results: The colours were definitely not as vibrant as artificially coloured rainbow cakes, but considering that the use of natural food dyes in baking is tricky, the results were really impressive. The taste of the fruit and vegetable juices were also undetectable.  However, we found that the cake was quite dense and too moist for our liking. We’d prefer it if it was a lighter cake. We would definitely try experimenting with natural food dyes again, but we would use a different white cake recipe if we were to make another rainbow cake.

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Cooked Frosting (enough to frost and decorate the entire cake)
We doubled the recipe from Yoyomax12

2 cups butter
2 cups milk (we used 2%)
2 cups sugar
8 tbsp. flour
1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

  1. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add vanilla extract. Continue beating until most of the sugar has dissolved.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together milk and flour. Heat milk and flour mixture in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir the mixture continuously until the mixture thickens into a paste.
  3. Transfer milk and flour mixture into a bowl and let cool. Stir it occasionally to make the cooling process faster.
  4. Once cooled, add the milk and flour mixture to the creamed butter and beat them together. The frosting should have a light fluffy consistency.

TIP:  If you end up with a runny frosting, refrigerate or put the frosting in the freezer for a few minutes.  Beat the frosting again after taking it out of the fridge until you get a light fluffy consistency.

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If you noticed, my pictures started with baking the cake at daylight and ended with photos of the finished cake at night. That’s because the whole cake was really that time consuming to make! I usually prefer taking photos of food with natural lighting (e.g. near a window during daylight), but I couldn’t finish making the cake before the sun went down. Ohh well 😛

Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta

We’re still blogging!

Matchachoco and I are currently taking a break from baking (calm before the storm?). In the meantime, do enjoy this roasted vegetable pesto pasta :).

-Ricelessasian

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Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta (serves 4-5)

Ingredients

1 Japanese eggplant
1 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic bulb
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

~300 g spaghetti
6 tbsp. basil pesto
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

Roast vegetables

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and onion into even pieces. Peel garlic cloves but do not chop.
  3. In a bowl, combine zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, 1-2 tbsp. cooking oil, and salt and pepper. Mix together until the vegetables are coated with the cooking oil. Repeat step in separate bowl with onion and grape tomatoes.
  4. Lay out zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in one even layer over two baking trays. Laying out the vegetables in one even layer will allow the vegetables to roast properly. Repeat step in a separate baking tray with onion and grape tomatoes.
  5. Roast zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in the oven for about 30 minutes. Roast onion and grape tomatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Rotate baking tray and toss vegetables mid-way for even roasting.

Prepare pasta

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is still hot, mix in basil pesto, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Top pasta with roasted vegetables. If the pesto sauce is a little bit dry, add a little bit of the starchy cooking water from the pasta.

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IMG_2832Before roasting:IMG_2841
After roasting:
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There’s something so special about the taste of roasted vegetables. The taste is not the same if you stir fry or boil veggies. By roasting vegetables, the flavours intensify and the veggies taste sweet because of caramelization. Not to mention, caramelization is my favourite non-enzymatic browning :).

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