Sunday, 7 August 2016

Neapolitan cake

There's so much more to Neapolitan than the ice cream we grew up with as kids. Back in the day, vanilla and chocolate were the predominant flavour options. We hadn't heard of cookies and cream, goodie goodie gum drops or salted caramel yet. Neapolitan added a touch of exoticism, even if we didn't really like it. Hokey pokey was another whole level of excitement for kiwi kids.

Birthday time calls for a special birthday cake. I wanted to use my Fresh As freeze dried strawberry powder to bake with and Neapolitan cake came to mind. After unsuccessfully searching for Neapolitan cake recipes, I decided to double and modify the standard Edmonds Cookery Book butter cake recipe. It's incredibly versatile and produced three layers for turned out to be a very large cake once assembled and decorated.

Neapolitan cake

  • 300 g butter, softened
  • 3 t vanilla essence
  • 330 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 420 g flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 375 ml milk
  • 1 t freeze dried strawberry powder
  • pink food colouring
  • 2 T cocoa
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line three 20 cm sandwich cake pans.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold into creamed mixture.
  5. Add milk gradually to give a soft dropping consistency.
  6. Divide mixture into three equal portions (about ~568 grams each) as follows.
    Vanilla cake
    : Pour one third of the mixture into a prepared pan.
    Strawberry cake: Pour one third of the mixture into a separate bowl. Add freeze dried powder and enough pink food colouring to achieve your desired colour. Pour into second prepared pan.
    Chocolate cake: Add cocoa to remaining mixture and combine thoroughly. Pour into third prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cakes are cooked when a skewer comes out clean and cake shrinks a little from the edges. Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Assemble cake layers with chocolate on the bottom, vanilla in the middle and strawberry on top. Spread buttercream in between each layer before icing and decorating the whole cake.

Decorate any way you choose. I made 700 g of strawberry buttercream by adding one tablespoon of freeze dried powder and food colouring to a standard buttercream recipe, then decorated the cake with fondant ruffles in the same order as the cake's layers. The finishing touch was fondant roses using my new easiest rose ever cutter.

Neapolitan cake with fondant ruffles

Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate layers

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