Winter may be drawing near, the air getting a bit nippy, but for me there’s a part of summer I just can’t let go of. This year I developed a bit of an obsession with a certain ice lolly: the Fab. The sweet sugar hit of the multi-colour encrusted chocolate top third. The smooth vanilla middle. The refreshing, juicy lolly bottom section. Yum, yum, yum.
For my birthday in July a friend even bought me a Fab purse:
Yet as the nights draw in and the degrees drop, I’m feeling less like ice lollies and more like… well, cake.
So, somehow, I had to work out a way of combining my love of all things Fab with my love of cake. That’s right: a Fab cake. I had an idea for each section: red velvet cake, followed by a plain sponge coated with white icing, topped off with chocolate cake covered in sprinkles. Unfortunately, my plan was thwarted straightaway. I went to three different supermarkets, but none sold the red food colouring I’d need for the velvet cake. What they did have was rolled red icing. I almost bought it, but changed my mind when I reached the checkout. Does anyone over the age of five actually like eating icing-covered cake? I wanted a cake that was yummy, not just one that resembled a Fab but tasted awful.
It was back to the drawing board for the red third of my Fab cake. Meanwhile, I got on with the mixture for the sponge cake…
Delving into the fridge for inspiration, I discovered a punnet of raspberries. A-ha! Red! Time to get mashing. Mixing up the crushed berries with the plain cake mixture, I was pretty pleased with the colourful effect. Licking the stirring spoon, I was pretty pleased too.
The next bit was the trickiest. I needed to get all three of my mixtures (raspberry, lemon and chocolate) into the loaf tin in equal sections. I decided to make dividers, using parchment paper, to pour each colour into, which I’d then pull out to join the three parts. Unfortunately that didn’t work as well as I’d planned. The paper wasn’t strong enough to hold the flood of the mixture, which started seeping around the edges and crushing the dividers. Second stage of my plan thwarted. Not going too well so far…
The recipe said the cake would need 20-25 minutes, so I waited patiently until the timer rang. When I tried to lift the tin out of the oven, though, the cake was wobblier than a jelly. Definitely not ready. Back in the oven for another twenty minutes. I tried again – still runny. Back in the oven. A while later the outside of the cake was turning a charcoal black, but the inside was still almost liquid.
Eventually I took the loaf of cake out of the oven, and hoped that inside the black mess would be something looking rather more like a Fab.
Fortunately, carefully slicing off the edges revealed a vaguely Fab-coloured cake!
And here’s the finished cake: