I admit I was a bit carried away by the enormous possibilities that the hidden cake technique allows. My idea for another hidden cake was to hide colourful eggs inside. I had the egg cookie cutter shape already (I must confess here I've got lots of cookie cutter but am more a cake person than a cookie person I'm afraid. So hidden cakes are perfect for me.) What I needed more was cake in four different colours and I was thinking of yellow, green, red and blue.
For the yellow and green eggs I was to use shapes cut out from the leftover better from the cake I already made - the hidden chick one.
So I needed blue and red colours. I thought of blueberries for the blue and beetroot for the red.
And that's where the failure happened.
Staring with the beetroot - I made a paste of cooked beetroot and a very little bit of warm water. However, I had the impression beetroot is very colouring so I decided to use it gradually until I get the required colour - that was exactly 2 tbsp. The batter had a very nice dark pink shade and I happily put it in the oven. It had a pinkish crust too so I expected to see a light pink inside. But the result was pure yellow on the inside - a mystery. I either used not enough of the paste or something went wrong between the batter ingredients and the beetroot. Still needs improvement.
The blueberries idea did not work either so I thought I should use a little bit of blue food colouring this time and mix it with part of the pink (from the beetroot) batter. It went violet as expected.
Until baked - when the colour was blue-green ... a total mystery if you ask me. Still not sure how that happened.
So I should either use much higher quantities - as with the spinach from previous cake, or I should change the colouring agent.
However, I could go only with the green and yellow eggs anyway. (I did put the blue one too though).
For encasing the eggs I thought of a chocolate pound cake and adapted a recipe. I was lucky to have some Valrhona Dutch-process raw cocoa powder (read all you need to know about cocoa powder on David Leibovitz's post) to give it a really chocolaty feel.
The quantity I used are for two cakes, although I have to admit the second cake got less batter and had different shape as the cut out eggs were not well covered under the batter.
I believe if there is no second cake inserted the quantity will be well enough for a one pound tin.
The recipe is adapted from the Mango pound cake and Joy of Baking's Pound cake .
Chocolate pound cake for encasing a hidden cake
(makes two loaves)
4 medium eggs
170 g sugar
100 g butter at room temperature
4 tbsp milk
160 g self raising flour
25 g unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
Beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and beat until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one beating with a mixer for 20-30 seconds after each.
Finally add the flour and vanilla essence and mix with a mixer for 15-20 seconds until well incorporated. If needed finish by hand.
Assembling the hidden cake:
Line a cake tin with baking paper. lay a very thin layer of the batter on the bottom and place the cut out forms closely one behind the other.
Cover with the batter up to almost entirely covering the forms, just a very little of the top can be left peeking. Spoon over the cut out egg forms so their tops are covered with the batter too.
Bake at 160 C fan n oven (180 C) for exactly 30 minutes. Leave on a wire rack to cool.
Sprinkle some icing sugar and cocoa powder on top or don't. It's great both ways!
Happy faces guaranteed when you cut!