I write this towards the end of Pride month, a week away from Pride in London and UK Black Pride, and later this year Trans and Bi Pride events will be held in London. The LGBTQ+ community has seen an increase in hate crimes over the past few years, an increase in bigotry and violence, and even protests over teaching. We are told we don't need Pride events any more as we have equal marriage and so are asked what else do we need? Well, we need equality for all for a start. As negative as I've sounded we are lucky as a community in some ways. Those at its core have fought for each other and stood united through the toughest of times. Times I've not even experienced and can't even imagine how bad they were. This is why we, today, need to be united as ever and stand up for everyone and not just think of ourselves. Now I know you're thinking what does a cake have to do with this, well, there are many ways you can get people talking for a start, to find allies, and gain support and understanding. We all have our strengths and mine is through baking. So why not a little food for thought? I would like to think this cake will get people talking as well given it has the wow factor when you cut it open.
I'd also like to think it doubles up a better version of a gender reveal cake given they are so unnecessary. You don't need to get so hooked up on gender. So why not make a cake which includes the colours of the Trans Pride flag if you do want to make an event about having a baby, eh?
You can easily adapt the cake as well and change the colours to those of the Bi Pride flag (pink, purple, and blue for those who don't know what they are).
And as for the jams, go with whatever you like, just make sure it's sugar-free.
Serves at least 12
Hands-on Time 2 hours (plus cooling)
Chilling Time 2 hours
Baking Time 8-10 minutes
240g Caster sugar
8 Eggs, medium
230g Plain flour
Food colouring (liquid gel is recommended) in the colours: Pink & Blue
12 tbsp Sugar-free fruit jam/spread
600ml Whipping cream
200g White chocolate
3 Baking sheets (or roasting trays, basically anything measuring about 25cm x 35cm)
Large mixing bowl
3 Re-useable piping bags
3 Clean tea towels
Plate or cake board
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C (Fan)/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Line the baking sheets/trays with parchment.
Add the sugar and eggs to a large mixing bowl. Whisk on a medium-high speed for 10 minutes (yes 10 minutes) until you have a thick meringue like mixture.
For the next step I divided the mixture at this point but it does involve a little maths and use of scales. If you’re not comfortable doing this follow the steps in reverse by sieving the flour over the mix and then dividing it up before adding the colouring. If you do it this way be careful you don’t knock a lot of air out of the mixture).
Divide the mixture into 3 using the 2 other bowls, you want to ensure you have two portions which are about double the quantity of the third. This should mean you will have 2 portions of approximately 255 grams for the larger mixes.
Add 1/8 of a teaspoon of pink to one of the larger mixes and 1/8 of a teaspoon of blue to the other. You are keeping the smaller quantity plain.
Carefully fold the colouring in so you have a marble look. You don’t need to fully mix it in as you’ll be doing more folding in a second.
Sieve the flour over the 3 mixtures. Maths part again, this is 90 grams of flour for each of the larger mixes and 50 grams over the smaller plain mix.
Gently fold the flour in ensuring you scrape upwards now and then so you clean the bottom of the bowl. Once you see no specks of flour stop folding.
Transfer the mixes into your 3 piping bags.
Now, on with the piping. It’s up to you how you do this, here are the instructions for the look I went for.
Pipe a line of plain mix from one corner of the tray the other. Sandwich this with a line of pink either side followed by blue. For the blue lines pipe them double the width of the others. Go back to your pink followed by the plain. Do this with all of your trays. If you are running low on mixture the beauty of these cakes is that you don’t have to pipe to the edges of the tray, they can hold their own free-form style.
Pop one or two of the trays into the oven onto a middle shelf for 8-10 minutes until the sponge is a light golden colour.
Whilst the sponges are baking rinse your tea towels under a tap and wring them out. You want them damp but not dripping wet.
When the sponges have baked remove the trays from the oven.
Lay a tea towel across a worktop widthways. Flip a sponge onto the towel parchment-side up. Remove the parchment.
Using the width closest to you roll the sponge up in the tea towel. Don’t forget you are doing this width ways and not the typically length-wise fashion for a traditional Swiss roll.
If you have any other sponges to bake, pop them into the oven and repeat the above steps.
Leave the sponges to cool on the worktop until they are cold to the touch.
When you are ready to assemble the cake add 500ml of whipped cream to a clean mixing bowl. Whisk until stiff.
Carefully unroll the sponges. Stack them on top of each other so you can trim the edges using a sharp knife and make them uniform. Halve the sponges length-wise so you end up with 6 strips.
Place the strips in front of you. Dollop 2 tablespoons of jam onto each strip and spread using the back of the spoon.
Divide the cream between the sponges and spread out using a palette knife.
Now, on with the assembly. Essentially you are wrapping the sponges around each other. It’s best to roll one strip up, place it onto another before rolling again, and repeating until you have no more strips left. You do have to be careful with the last strip as you will have a bulky cake. Don’t worry, you can always roll the cake up and then fiddle once it’s upright on a plate or cake board.
Once you’ve encased the cake with the final sponge place the cake onto a plate or cake board. Using your hands you can gently press and mould the cake to make it a little more round.
Pop the cake into the fridge to firm up for at least an hour.
When you are ready to decorate your cake whip up a batch of buttercream.
Take a little buttercream and spread it over the top of the cake to fill in any nooks or crannies.
Using a palette knife or dough scraper, spread the buttercream around the sides and over the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, I like a little texture, but you are looking for a flat top.
Pop the cake back into the fridge to set for another hour.
The final thing you need to make is the white chocolate drip glaze.
Break the white chocolate up into a clean bowl.
Pour the remaining 100ml of cream into a microwaveable bowl and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds.
Give the cream a stir before microwaving for a further 20-30 seconds. As soon as you see bubbles switch it off. Be careful you don’t burn yourself.
Pour the cream over the white chocolate and stir using a spatula until you have a smooth ganache.
Transfer half of the chocolate into a clean bowl. Add a little blue colouring to one and pink to the other and stir using clean spatulas.
If the chocolate is a little runny and hot leave it to sit for a couple of minutes and give it another stir before proceeding.
Transfer the chocolate into two piping bags. Pipe the chocolate around the edge of the cake, gravity will do the work for you. Once you are happy with your drips pipe the rest of the chocolate over the top of the cake. You may need to use a palette knife to spread it out a little.
Pop the cake back into the fridge one final time before serving.