So off to Aberdeen I went to buy red and purple gel colouring.
I tried The Range first as they sell a small selection of cake stuff plus I love that shop with all of my heart. Its massive and has a huge range of products to browse over. Its cheaper than Hobbycraft, too. Like exponetially so. But alas, no. No gel colouring was to be seen although I did spot a childrens piping bag set which was all i needed to pipe the frosting on after the bake-off. It was a pound. A POUND! I almost wept with joy.
I picked up some craft supplies too and as I was about to go to the til, I noticed an in-store demonstrator in the craft section. I knew who it was immediately and was delighted to discover it was one of my facebook pals whom I'd NEVER even met. I was chuffed to bits. The 48 mile return journey seemed worth it after that point.
Sally and I had other errands to do before slumming it over to Hobbycraft. Coffee being one and the discovery that Whittards sell Lemon Verbena Tea and Rose Teas, too. At Hobbycraft I was pretty impressed with their array of colourings. Dr Oetker sat smugly on the shelf and I thought you can bloody well stay there and all. It left me with the choice of powders or gel paste. Wilton, yet again (and whom make the pro-gel I raved about yesterday) came up bobby trumps. Hooray.
Then Sally and I hot hoofed it back to the cottage to allow me to finish the cake from hell.
I weighed and measured the very few ingredients for the cake and applied the red paste to the batter. YES YES YES! Success!
And oooh look - rich red cake !
Then to the next colour, orange. I blended red with yesterday yellow pro-gel to get this orange
But it wasn't orangey enough so I added more red.
Before I made the gargantuan tower of rainbow loveliness, I decided to bung a few spoons of leftover mixture into a cupcake case to make some delightful mini rainbow cakes. And yeah yeah, judge all you like at my crappy twirly whippy cake top decor. IM NOT A BAKER nor confectioner, it would seem. PS - it was minus 43764 degrees when i took that picture.
When I came back in I went to empty the piping bag (and also take a huge mouthful) buuuut my hair got in the way. Honestly, of all the potential disasters that could have happened, didn't. Except for this annoyance. I just licked it all off and carried on regardless. As you do.
Non-plussed till, I began to pile the cakeage with cream. I used the company's dairy cream alternative mix which is incredibly light, slightly sweet and oh so more-ish. Its superb to work with and super smooth.
By the 6th layer, the cement work was lacking lustre and became a chore. Chiefly because I kept eating the cream and I was feeling queasy.
I filled in all the gaps and regained my mojo as I paid meticulous attention to finishing the sides and top
Delicate little silver balls was all this baby needed to finish completely
But decent daylight had ran out by then - bloody hell.
This meant an overnight store before a nice little photo session in delicious daylight. The cream has an ambient shelf life of five day, that wasn't the problem. However the cat was. So I had to store it safely in the foot well of my car. Until this morning, for the big reveal.
I could barely sleep a wink, honestly I couldn't. I was like a child in anticipation of a gorgeous little surprise and even though I knew how the reveal would look, nothing could prepare me for the spill of incredible colour. And as if anything could be more pretty, Sally's polka dot plate really enhanced the presentation. Thanks, Sally.
And of course, the proof of the pud was............well, erm, BARF.
I am sick of the sight of cake already. It tastes lovely, don't get me wrong. Its fed a good number of my colleagues today, too, but really? The spoils of this experiment has had me run ragged, feeling sick and shelled out ££££££'s on food colouring - more than the couple of quid I spent on cake mix.
**note - this plate is a dinner plate not a side plate!!!**
If I sit back and think seriously for a minute or two, it actually was a great adventure. An epic bake-off, of gargantuan proportions. I made a mess, I got things wrong, smeared cream in my hair, made a hole in the blue sponge, slightly burned the orange layer and hacked a coughing fit into the cream mix. But I didn't tell any of my colleagues that :)