This was Ethan's birthday cake of choice this year. It's got two key ingredients: Maltesers and Matchsticks but you could substitute with Smarties and Cadbury Fingers or Maltesers on the sides and top. It is completely impractical. Cutting it is a nightmare, but it looks good without much effort.
I'm going to split the recipe into two bits, the cake bits and the buttercream and decorating bits.
This is a deep sponge that is light in texture. I'm sure this is possible using the all in one technique but the ingredients one at a time doesn't take much longer - that's the way my mum made cakes and she made a Victoria sponge or similar every other day.
You will need two 8" (20cm) cake tins. I have non-stick tins with removable bases. I swear they aren't properly non-stick. I line and grease the base but if your tins are not non stick then grease the tins and then shake a mixture of flour and cocoa powder over the surface of the tins. My mum had cake tins and she always greased and floured them. I'm lazy and use Lakeland's magic paper that doesn't need greasing.
- 225g margarine (Stork in a tub is what I use)
- 250g caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour (I used Marriages)
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 eggs (I used large eggs)
- 6 tbsp milk (I used skimmed)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (not essence)
- pinch of salt (I forgot this)
- You can pre-heat your oven now to 160˚C fan (or 180˚C conventional oven) or if you have a speedy oven then wait until the folding stage.
- Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. This is not a quick process and the mixture does become bigger in volume and lighter in colour. I turn the mixer on high for a few minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. This will curdle. You can avoid this by adding a little flour with each egg or you can live with the curdling. You will fix the curdling before it goes into the oven. Trust me.
- Stir in the milk and vanilla.
- Add the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder (ideally by sieving into the mixture).
- Fold together using metal spoon. If your mixture curdled earlier it is this process that can undo this - so keep going until you fix this (I resorted to a bit of stirring as well as folding).
- Divide between tins and pop in the oven for 30-35 minutes on the middle shelf. Take out when an inserted skewer is clean when inserted and removed.
This is essentially a very unhealthy chocolate buttercream that you can stick things to.
- 250g softened unsalted butter
- 500g icing sugar
- 100g dark chocolate
- Maltesers/Matchsticks or whatever you want to stick to your cake.
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or carefully in the microwave.
- Beat the sugar and icing sugar together. If using a mixer then go easy because otherwise you'll be wearing the icing sugar. Once it's combined then you can turn up the volume until it's light and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix.
- Add the cooled, melted chocolate and beat for a further two minutes.
To add the decoration to the cake you need to carefully sandwich the cooled cakes together using the buttercream and then cover the cake with buttercream on the top and sides. If you have leftover buttercream it can be frozen.
Stick decorations carefully into the buttercream et voilà.
I store it in the fridge because of the buttercream but I'm not sure that's necessary.