It seemed a simple thing to do, make a chocolate cake for Easter using a tried and trusted recipe. I was going to use ordinary sandwich tins, but then thought maybe something a little bigger, ad then I had what seemed like a brilliant idea. Well, in fact it was a good idea, it just didn’t work out exactly as I anticipated. I decided to use one of those cake tins with fluted sides and a pipe-shaped bit up the middle so when you turn the cooked cake out you can fill the space with fruit or sweets or something, or just leave it as an elegant shape… that’s the theory.
I thought I would also do a normal cake in a sandwich tin of the same diameter and sit the fluted cake on it. I’m not very confident with butter icing, it always seems to greasy, or too sugary, or doesn’t taste very nice, and as my daughter who loves chocolate cake would probably be the one enjoying it most, I actually bought some chocolate spready icing for it. I bought some Cadbury mini-eggs, some edible sparkles, and edible flowers, and some sugar hearts.
All began so well until one of the beaters on the mixer decided to drop out of its housing. Nothing daunted I stuck it back in, but no, it wibbled and wobbled and dropped out, and I think it is broken. Never mind, I have another mixer, except the boggart has tidied away the beaters and I couldn’t find them. I decided to use the blender to cream the sugar and marg, and that worked fine, but it’s too small to do a whole cake, especially as I’d tripled the mixture so I could make the cake I wanted. Hundreds of years of cooks and cake-makers have done without electric beaters so I got a wooden spoon and set too. I began to mix in the eggs and the flour and cocoa, only to discover I hadn’t enough eggs. Fingers crossed the village shop was still open on a Sunday, and Easter Sunday to boot (I’d forgotten about shops being shut on Easter Sunday, so instead of roast chicken for dinner, we had chicken breasts instead) I hurried round to the shop and yes, it was open, and yes it had eggs, and yes I bought a dozen local free range eggs. All was now well, I finished making the mixture, to which I had added several tablespoons of Biscoff spread as well as vanilla extract, thoroughly greased my tins, poured in the mixture, put the tins in the oven and all was good.
The cake in the sandwich tin came out of the oven and i turned it onto a cooling rack, and it sat waiting for its sister still baking the tin with a hole in the middle which I think is called a bundt tin. It took a little longer than I expected. It was beautifully cooked when I took it from the oven, but you probably have guessed what happened; despite my thorough greasing, my gentle easing, the deployment of a knife, the cake did not exit the tin as complete as it should have. There was cake left in the tin, stuck all round the edges. Waste not want not, and with a couple of spoons my husband and I taste-tested the stuck on cake,and it was very tasty.
Because I had bought the chocolate icing, I wasn’t too worried about the appearance, although I was disappointed the cake had been so attached to its tin. The instructions said ‘stir well’; the icing was extremely stiff even after I had stirred well. Time to deploy the palate knife dipped in very hot water. Because it went on quite thickly on the bottom sandwich layer, there wasn’t as much as I had hoped to go on the outside, in fact there wasn’t very much at all.. Panic not; I would find a trim to go round the outside, I was sure we had plenty of different ones. Sadly either I was mistaken or the boggart had been tidying again. Panic not, take two: I would make a trim from tin foil, except we only had a small amount left. By careful cutting and folding I managed to make a trim, and then the easy part decorating it.
The mini-eggs were between the layers, so I sprinkled the sprinkles and the heart shapes, arranged the edible flowers, and then in a stroke of genius, well, accidental inspiration I deployed rose petals. My daughter had been given some roses on Valentine’s Day and for some reason (maybe the central heating) instead of all the petals falling off, they dried on the heads. They had been put to one side so my husband could paint/drawer/photograph them which he hadn’t got around to. They became the perfect way to finish my decorating.
I’m glad to say it tasted as good as it looked!