Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Castle Cake Fit For A Princess

It was Poppet's THIRD birthday recently (where has the time gone?!) and she requested a castle cake for the occasion. Thankfully, there was a castle cake in my mum's old Children's Birthday Cake Book from the Australian Women's Weekly that I used as a basis for this cake, with a few changes.

To make this cake you will need:
  • A square and loaf chocolate cake
  • Butter icing
  • 4 ice cream cones
  • Sweets to decorate
  • Pink wafer biscuits
  • Cocktail sticks

I used a chocolate fudge cake recipe from Lindy's Cakes and it was (without sounding too immodest) the best homemade chocolate cake I have ever tasted. Very moist and almost brownie-like but not too heavy and perfect for carving up. It surpassed even the Ultimate Chocolate Cake from BBC Good Food that I have used in the past.

I doubled the quantities given in the recipe so I was making an 8 egg cake mixture, which would not fit into any of my mixing bowls so I had to improvise with a toy tub. I divided it (not equally) between a high-sided 20cm square tin and a standard 2lb loaf tin and baked it at fan 140 for nearly 2 hours. This made a really high square cake which was perfect for our castle.

Once cooled, and with help from my dad as shapes and estimations are not my strong suit, we carved up 4 rectangular 'turrets' from the loaf cake. There was plenty left over for us to taste test which is always a good thing. We used some of the scraps to create a pathway and drawbridge to the castle. We shaved a bit of the domed top off of the square cake and then flipped it over to give a flat surface to fix the turrets onto and sellotaped tinfoil to a big wooden cutting board to use as a cake board.

I made a big batch (or what I thought was a big batch) of butter icing by beating together a whole block of unsalted butter with double the weight of icing sugar and a few drops of food colouring. This still wasn't enough as we ran out before we could ice the turrets but they still looked good left bare. We used the icing to 'glue' everything together and then coat the entire cake (minus the cones). I forgot the rule of chilling the cakes in the fridge before doing this so it crumbed quite a lot during icing, but it looked fine once covered in sweeties!

The fun part was the sweetie decorations! I bought smarties, jellytots, liquorice allsorts, fruit pastilles, mini-marshmallows and pink wafer biscuits. Two pink wafer biscuits became doors to the castle with jelly tot handles. Mini-marshmallows lined the pathway. Smarties and jellytots lined all the edges and the pastilles and allsorts became windows. I used a couple of cocktail sticks to make a drawbridge and the rest to make some flags for the tops of the turrets.

I added Poppet's little Cinderella figure to the cake board and raided the toy box for anything else to add - I found a goose and a plant so we ended up with a goose happily roaming around the castle's gardens too.

The cake was brought out after Poppet's requested birthday tea of sausages, crisps, milkshake and pizza. She had also asked for hot chocolate (which we had earlier in the day inside Cinderella's carriage!) and jelly (which I forgot to make). I think she liked her castle cake!

Poppet: 3yrs!
Little: 15 mos

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