Ombr é Easter Layer Cake
Serves 16 Ready in 1 hr 30 min
400g unsalted butter
400g castor sugar
2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 8 large eggs
100g ground almonds
400g self-raising flour
Yellow, pink and purple gel food colouring (try a specialist baking supply store) To assemble
285g strawberry jam
200g white Swiss chocolate, broken into squares
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Heat the oven to 160°C. Put the butter, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts and lemon zest and juice in the bowl of a free-standing mixer and cream together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and ground almonds. Fold in the flour.
2 Divide the mixture equally between 5 bowls. Get another 5 bowls and pour 2 tbsp milk into each one. Put 1 drop of yellow food colouring into 1 bowl and 2 drops of yellow into another bowl. Add 1 drop of pink colouring to another bowl, 2 drops to another and 3 drops to the final bowl with 1 drop of purple for the deepest shade. Stir the coloured milk into each of the bowls of cake mixture.
3 Spoon individual mixtures into 5 x 20cm sandwich tins, greased and lined (it’s fine to bake in batches if you only have a couple of tins) and bake each cake for 15-20 min, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.
4 Sandwich the cakes together with jam – start with the darkest and end with the lightest. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, then cool slightly. Beat the butter together with one-third of the icing sugar. Gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth, then beat in the cooled, melted white chocolate until smooth.
5 Divide the icing between 3 bowls – put more of it in 1 of the bowls. Add 2 drops of yellow colouring to the generous bowl, 1 drop of pink colouring to another and 2 drops of pink colouring and 1 drop of purple to the other bowl. Mix each one until evenly coloured.
6 Put the cake onto your serving plate or stand. Spread the surface of the cake with half of the yellow buttercream, then smooth it over the top sides. Add a dollop to the top centre. Use a palette knife to spread pink buttercream around the middle sides of the cake and purple around the base. Smooth the colours together by running a palette knife around the cake. Top with mini-eggs.