Gastronomically Terrific

September 27, 2014

Annabel’s no-bake train cake

Filed under: biscuits, Cake, party — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 8:49 pm
The evening before...

The evening before…

And so, the piece de resistance – a birthday cake that a 2-year old will love. As the title suggests, this cake actually required very little baking. This was a choice I made for two reasons; I recently made a work-intensive cake (see my baby in a pram party cake), and as I have already mentioned, my son isn’t a huge cake lover. What he does love, however, are chocolate fingers and biscuits. And trains. He really, really loves trains. That made this cake the perfect choice for him and me.

The idea behind this cake is that you buy a whole load of food that you wouldn’t normally let your child eat (chocolate fingers, chocolate swiss rolls, sweeties, jammy dodgers, chocolate Matchmakers etc), that put them together in order to form the shape of a train. It actually works really, really well – and took less than an hour to do, which I wasn’t expecting at all. We’d given ourselves a whole evening to put it together. The only things I did make were some chocolate buttercream (so that the sweeties and biscuits stuck on to the carriages), and I melted some chocolate to coat the engine. The latter wouldn’t have been necessary if we’d bought chocolate-coated swiss rolls, but we hadn’t.

... And the evening after

… And the evening after

The reaction from our son, and other guests alike, was totally worth it. Everybody was impressed beyond the effort that had gone in to creating the cake. Plus, you can make the train any length you like, meaning it can feed as many – or as few- guests as you want it to. Needless to say, we made way too much.

Who made it: Anna and Dan

Recipe: Annabel Karmel’s Complete Family Meal Planner, pg. 164-5


March 16, 2010

Chocolate button frosted traybake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , — thinkingdan @ 9:44 pm

This tasty traybake was made for Ben’s birthday – it was simple and portable, and could be cut up for lots of people.

What happens if I push the button?*

This is your common-or-garden** sponge cake, smothered in chocolate butter icing and decorated in buttons.  There isn’t much more to say – it is of course very tasty, and very simple.


Who made it: Anna did all the work then made Dan load it into the tupperware.  As usual this was a mistake and lots of cake was sadly lost on the way, although you’ll be pleased to hear it went to a good home.  Briefly.

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book, page 75, but actually Anna made up the topping!

* I get told off.

** Ooh, I wish we could grow cake in the garden!  Maybe that is where I’ll make my millions…

March 12, 2010

Chocolate Hedgehog Cake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:56 pm

It turns out that hedgehogs taste amazing.  I’d given up being a veggie for this guy, until someone pointed out that he probably wasn’t made of real hedgehog.

He's wearing spectacles on the tip of his nose, as all good hedgehogs do.

The body of the hedgehog s a chocolate cake cooked in a Pyrex bowl to give that characteristic shape.  Then he’s sliced in half and filled with “blood”: raspberry jam mixed with butter icing.  This works amazingly well – somehow the fruit sweetness really makes the cake.  Then of course he’s smothered in butter icing and decorated with halved buttons for the spines.

The butter icing is a little wetter than it should be, leading to a slightly shiny texture, but that is really the fault of the camera work which was done in poor light with a flash.  It looked very good and tasted amazing.  We ate him from the rear forwards, cruelly extending the pain just like you do with jelly babies…

Who made it: this is all Anna’s fine work – she made it for my birthday.

Recipe: “Hallelujah! Chocolate!”, by The Chocolate Squad, page 22.

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