Mix about a tablespoon of the beer with the baking soda and let settle.
In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, eggs, salt, cocoa, vanilla and red color until light.
Alternately beat in the flour and the beer.
Stir in then dissolved baking soda.
Pour into two greased 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350º for 30 to 35 minutes, then cool and split the layers to make 4 layers.
Spread white frosting between layers, on top and sides.
1 1/2 C. milk 1/2 C. unsifted cake flour
1 1/2 C. sugar 1 1/2 C. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
Blend the milk and flour in a small saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until thick.
Cool, then beat the sugar butter and vanilla until fluffy.
Add the cooked mixture a tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed with the electric mixer until smooth. The frosting should be the consistency of whipped cream.
After the cake is frosted, keep in the refrigerator.
The frosting which makes this cake so special, is that French Whipped Cream Frosting which isn't whipped cream at all, but looks like it.