Thursday 13 February 2014

Surprise Cake!

   It really is. I love it. I admit actually that I'm dead chuffed with how it came out. Seriously. I've said time and time again that things in the kitchen tend to go badly for me, but that never stops me from trying. But this thing turned out amaaaazingly!!

   I don't understand, what's so surprising about it? It's just a cake.


   *Ahem* Oh come on, you know what I'm like!
   This cake was so easy, but admittedly you may need to buy a new cake tray for it.

   You Will Need:
• 2 different cake mixes. I used a Betty Crocker box mix for the chocolate cake, and a simple sponge cake made from scratch for the coloured bits.
(For my sponge cake: 4oz self raising flour, 4oz sugar, 4oz butter, 2 eggs)
• Cake tin (I used a 5 inch tin 3 inches deep)
• Cake pops or cupcake tray
• Different food colourings

1) First of all, you need to make the coloured balls. I mixed up my basic sponge cake and separated it into five different colours: red, blue, yellow, purple and orange. Spoon the mixture into a greased cake pops tray, OR a greased cupcake tray, the smaller the better. If you've used a cupcake tray, use a circle cookie cutter to cut the diagonal edges away once baked. They won't be balls but they will be round.

2) Put them in the oven but don't cook them completely. I cooked my balls for about half the time I usually would have, about 15 minutes. This is because they will go back in the oven later - you want them to keep their shape now, but you don't want them to dry out when they go back in. When they're done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool enough to get them out of the tins.

 3) While your balls or cupcakes are cooling, mix up your next cake mix. I used a box mix because, as I've said before, whenever I make large cakes from scratch they never work - they either burn on the outside and don't cook on the inside (regardless of oven temperature), they burn completely, or they don't come out of the tin. Every time I've used Betty Crocker's Devil's Food Cake box mix it's come out perfect every single time, so it's my go-to box mix now.

4) Grease your cake tin and pour enough of the mixture in to cover the bottom of the tin. Then, pop in your cake balls or trimmed cupcakes. Arrange them how you'd like. Then pour more cake mixture over them. Make sure that you get the cake mixture all around the coloured balls and that they're completely covered. I emptied enough mixture to come up not quite to the top of the balls - the cake does rise, afterall!

5) Put the cake in the oven for however long it needs to bake, but be careful where you poke your skewer when testing how cooked it is. I found that I could see where the balls were because the top of the cake dipped down at four points, and when poked I found that they were the balls. If you poke into the balls, you won't get a good idea of how far along the baking is, so see if you can work out where they are.
   I found when I baked the second cake that the balls began rising in the oven after about 5 minutes, so I used the flat edge of a knife and pressed them back down. They didn't rise after that, but I did have to add a spoon of new mixture on top of each ball because where I pressed down I'd broken the sponge that had already began to bake, but when it came out in the end you'd never have known.

   When it came out, nothing looked unusual (but you can see little dark lines around the cake, like little indents - this is where the balls are.

6) Set up your cooling rack and tip your cake out upside down. I like to do it after it's been out of the oven for a minute or two so that it's still soft and hot. I tip it out upside down and then press the bottom of the cake tin onto the bottom of the cake (now facing upwards) gently for a moment to squash it down a little more. I do this to flatten the top without having to slice too much off to get it flat. I left it and the empty tin to cool before regreasing the tin and pouring in the next mixture. I made a total of four cakes - one was for my nephew's 4th birthday, and the other three were for this project.

   Moving back over to my nephew's cake, I did slice a bit of the top off - the tiniest bit - for a smoother surface, and look what I found! The first hint that all was going to plan! The other balls were lower down in the mixture, evidently, leaving just this little yellow one to point out after I sliced the top off. My nephew's was the first of the cakes I made, and the one I've shown the process of, so you can see that when it came out of the oven there was no trace of colour.

  When I tipped the cake upside down onto the cooling rack, I could see 5 small dark patches on the bottom that hinted at the location of the balls. Whether this would happen for any cake, I don't know, but it occurred with each of mine, so I could use them as a guide to make sure I either alternated or lined up each cake. Unfortunately, I forgot this, and just plonked them all together, which is why the top two are lined up and the bottom isn't. Oops.

   For Riley's cake, I used some of my new piping nozzles! What fun! Yaaaay! It didn't turn out perfectly, but I'm happy with the outcome. Riley is never usually very excited about anything I give him, but he seemed very pleased with his birthday cake!

   The pinwheel cake toppers are adorable, and are from my new celebration shop Ebony Fawn on Etsy. They're available in pink, yellow and blue, with more colours coming, at £15 for a set of 2, as above, in different shades of your chosen colour.

   The cake topper shown here is also available, as 'Happy Birthday', 'Happy Mother's Day', 'Happy Easter' and 'Welcome Home' and while they're £12 for just one large cake topper, they also have 5 water colour painted rose cupcake toppers, too!

1 comment:

  1. what a great idea! love the cakes they look so delicious! and your pin wheels are adorable too.
    Lauren | OhHay Blogs!


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