Multi-layer cake with Italian Meringue Butter Cream
Ingredients410ml (1¾ C) Huletts White Sugar
6 extra-large egg whites
500g unsalted butter, cut into 1-cm cubes, room temperature
Celebration Layer Cake
225g unsalted butter, softened
560ml (2¼C) Huletts Castor Sugar
5 extra-large egg whites, lightly beaten
750ml (3 C) cake flour, sifted
20ml (4t) baking powder
15ml (1T) vanilla essence
A few drops of pink food colouring
50g cocoa powder, sifted
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir until it resembles wet sand.
- Turn heat to high and bring to boil till sugar thermometer reads 120° C. While the heat is on, DO NOT stir or disturb the sugar solution. Agitation will cause unwanted crystallization. If any sugar splashes onto the sides of the saucepan, use a clean pastry brush soaked in water to dilute any crystal formation.
- While the sugar is cooking, whip the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Keep it at low speed until whites are foamy (it should look like the foam on top of beer). Once foamy, beat at medium speed.
- Before you add the sugar, lower the speed slightly. Once sugar reaches 120° C, pour it into the egg whites in a slow and steady stream.
- Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high. Continue to beat until the mixing bowl is slightly warmer than room temperature to the touch.
- Turn mixer to medium speed and slowly add the butter, a couple cubes at a time. Continue to beat at medium speed until all the butter has been added. Beat until buttercream is smooth and creamy.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C.
- Grease and line 3 x 23cm spring form tins or 6 x 18cm tins with baking paper
- Using an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
- Gradually beat in the egg whites, a little at a time and mix well after each addition.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder, a quarter at a time, mixing in 5 tablespoons of milk with each addition. Be careful not to add too much milk, otherwise the mixture will curdle.
- Stir in the vanilla essence and divide the mixture equally between 3 bowls.
- Stir the pink food colouring into the first batch.
- Fold the cocoa powder into the second batch until well combined.
- Transfer each mixture into one of the prepared cake tins (or two smaller tins) and bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave in tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Split the 3 cakes horizontally or use the 6 smaller cakes as is.
- Stack the cake layers with a layer of Italian Meringue Icing in between. Cover the whole cake with the remainder of the Italian Meringue Icing.
SEPARATING A LAYER CAKE:
When you have to split a cake, it’s best to use a long serrated knife. Do it very slowly and carefully. Cut horizontally through the middle of the cake with a gentle sawing action. As you go, check that you are in the centre.
Note: If you add the butter when the meringue is too hot, it may melt and the buttercream may not emulsify. If this happens, place the mixing bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes to cool down the mixture. Once cooled, beat again. If the butter is too cold when added to the meringue, the buttercream may end up chunky. Use a torch to warm the bowl or place over a bain-marie to soften the butter.