Easter Bunny Boiler Cake

Recipe #14

I love Easter, because it is the time when good intentions meet their hour of reckoning.  If there are any New Year Resolutions to eat sensibly and get skinny that have still survived into the spring, this is the point of their ultimate defeat.  This is the hurdle where they tumble and shatter their fetlocks.  The screens go up, the vet whips out his double barrels and it’s nighty-night Dobbin.

At this time of year, chocolate is everywhere.  You can’t avoid it.  It’s oozing from the walls, it’s seeping up out of the floor, it’s in the air you breath, it’s hiding in your underpants drawer.  No matter how far you run, how cunningly you hide, eventually it will find you.

I know what some of you might be thinking:  “I’ll be okay.  I’ve got an army of rug rats and ankle biters.  They will hoover up all the chocolate eggs and candy treats and thus remove temptation from my path.”  Ah, but there is a flaw in you plan, my friend.  You see although it is true that the little ones have an undying love of chocolate, you cannot get around the physical reality of their tiny tummies and their inbuilt puke limit.  There is no possible way that they can eat all those eggs that they pestered you to buy while you were in the supermarket desperately trying to track down a box of Weight Watchers ‘Go Ahead’ Chocolate Thins.

There will be leftovers.  And once your little ones have gorged themselves into a cocoa coma, those cracked remnants scattered across the kitchen counter will start calling to you.  Then your doom will be sealed…

STAGE 1 – THE CAKE:

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • A large bowl
  • A smaller bowl
  • A mixing spatula
  • A mug
  • A measuring jug
  • An electric mixer
  • Two 8 inch sandwich cake tins
  • A cooling rack

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of self raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 65 grams of cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of coffee granules
  • 180 millilitres of boiling hot water
  • 280 grams of butter, soft at room temperature
  • 280 grams of dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 75 millilitres of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 16 Cadbury’s Mini Creme Eggs

This recipe is dedicated to my good friend and fellow super villain The Easter Bunny.  I have a long way to go before I become as expert at ruining diets as he is, but slowly I am learning…

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.

Grease the cake tins and line the bases with rounds of baking paper:
IMG_4257First we need to do some prep work.  In a small bowl measure out the flour and salt and set aside:
IMG_5424Into a mug measure out the cocoa and coffee.  Pour the hot water into the mug and then mix until you have a rich chocolate paste.  Set aside to cool:
IMG_5425 IMG_5426Into a measuring jug crack all the eggs and whisk in with the milk.  Set this aside:
IMG_5427In a large bowl whip the butter until it is pale and smooth.  Then whisk in the sugar until you have a smooth and creamy mixture:
IMG_5428 IMG_5429Pour in the egg/milk mixture a little at a time.  Whisk thoroughly after each addition until all of the egg mix is incorporated:
IMG_5430Whisk in the chocolate paste and vanilla:
IMG_5431Fold in the flour and salt until you have a smooth mixture:
IMG_5432 IMG_5433Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins:
IMG_5435This next stage was a happy accident.  I had put the cakes into the oven for five minutes when I realised that I had forgotten to add my secret weapon of mass diet-struction; the mini eggs!  I wanted them to be baked into the centre of the cake as a devilish surprise.  Hurriedly I donned my oven gloves and extracted the cake tins.  The cake batter had started to bake around the edges, but luckily the centres remained quite liquid.  So I was able to pop in the little chocolate eggs as per my original plan.

As it turned out, this momentary absentmindedness worked to my advantage.  For you see the bases of the cakes had started to cook.  This created a semi-solid layer for the eggs to rest on and prevented them from sinking all way to the bottom, thus enabling them to stay suspended in the middles of the cakes.  If anyone asks though, you can tell then it was a deliberate and carefully thought out technique – all part of my diabolical genius….
IMG_5436 IMG_5437Bake the cakes for around 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the centres comes out clean.  Leave the cakes in the tins to cool for around 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely:
IMG_5442While the cakes are cooling, we can move on to the next stage….

STAGE 2 – THE ICING:

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • A large bowl
  • A smaller bowl
  • Mixing spatulas
  • An electric mixer
  • A pallet knife
  • A straight edged scraper
  • A 10 inch cake board
  • A cake decorating turntable
  • A piping bag
  • A number 199 piping nozzle with coupler

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of butter, soft at room temperature
  • 200 grams of dark chocolate
  • 9 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • Approximately two dozen two finger dark chocolate Kit-Kats

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and leave aside to cool slightly:
IMG_5461Whip the butter in a large bowl and add the icing sugar two or three tablespoons at a time until thoroughly incorporated.  Then whisk in the vanilla:
IMG_5462 IMG_5463IMG_5464Pour the melted chocolate into the butter cream and whisk thoroughly until you have a smooth mixture:
IMG_5465 IMG_5466Place a cake board onto your turntable and smear a little of the butter cream onto the board to create a sticky surface upon which the cake can rest securely:
IMG_5467Place one cooled cake layer with the flat side down onto the board and spread about a third of the icing onto it:
IMG_5468Place the second cake layer with the flat side facing up onto the butter cream, pressing it gently into place so that it is centred and has a level surface.  Then scoop out most of the remaining butter cream onto the top of the cake (keep a little back for some frills which we will add shortly).  Use the pallet knife and scraper to spread the butter cream evenly all over the the cake:
IMG_5469 IMG_5470Attach the nozzle to the piping bag and fill the bag with the remaining butter cream.  Pipe a border around the base of the cake.  This will not only look nice, but also it will provide a little support for the Kit-Kats:
IMG_5472IMG_5473Unwrap the Kit-Kats and start to arrange them around the sides of the cake, making sure that they rise at least on inch above the top:
IMG_5476 IMG_5477Place the cake in the fridge for the icing to set and then commence to the next stage – this is where the real fun begins….

STAGE 3 – BUNNY!!!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • Cling film
  • Fondant modelling tools
  • A metal ruler
  • A big knife
  • A thin paint brush
  • Edible gold paint

Ingredients:

  • Renshaw fondant icing in the following colours: White, pink, red, green, yellow

My friend the Easter Bunny works only one day a year, but unlike Father Christmas he doesn’t have an army of elves to help him.  So I thought I would do something nice for him and make him a chocolate jacuzzi in which he can relax.  Hence the name oft his cake….

To make the bunny, proceed as follows:

Lay down a double layer of cling film across the work surface.

Take some white fondant and roll it into a ball about the size of a mandarin.  Then slice it in half:
IMG_5510
Take one half to form the torso.  Roll the other half into a smaller ball and slice that into half as well.  Use one of those halves to form the thorax and then the remaining half to form the head.  Bunny is taking shape:
IMG_5511 IMG_5512IMG_5513Take a quantity of white fondant and shape it into an oblong with rounded edges.  Slice this in half and use a modelling tool to form the cut ends into toes.  Roll out 6 small round of pink fondant.  Flatten them and fix them under the toes.  Form two larger pink rounds and place them each beneath the three toe rounds.  Bunny now has feet:
IMG_5514IMG_5514 IMG_5515IMG_5516 IMG_5529

Shape a strip of white fondant 6 inches long and half an inch wide with rounded edges.  Slice in half and flatten the rounded edges to make them even rounder:
IMG_5517 IMG_5518Shape a quantity of pink fondant to 3 inches long.  Round the edges and slice in half:
IMG_5519Narrow the flat ends and place the pinks into the whites.  Then using fondant tools score a line down each centre, press a ball into the top and pinch to close the lower ends into points.  Bunny now has ears:
IMG_5520 IMG_5521IMG_5522Roll a flat round of pink and place it onto Bunny’s torso.  Form a small half moon of pink and place that onto the thorax.  Bunny now has a tummy:
IMG_5523 IMG_5524Roll two pea sized pieces of white and place them on the head.  Form a tiny triangle of pink and place it in between the two rounds of white.  Shape a tiny square of white and score a line down the centre.  Place this under the two rounds.  Poke three holes into each small round to indicate a place for whiskers.  Bunny now has a nose and a handsome set of chompers:
IMG_5525 IMG_5526IMG_5527Using the same technique that you used to make the feet, only using slightly smaller quantities of white fondant, form another pair of appendages:
IMG_5530 IMG_5531Place them on the sides of the body.  Oh yes and poke a hole in the tummy while you’re at it.  Bunny now has hands and a bellybutton:
IMG_5530 IMG_5531IMG_5532Let’s have a look at Bunny.  You know what would like nice?  A snazzy bow tie:
IMG_5533Roll out a strip of green and square off the edges:
IMG_5536Fold over the edges and pinch the centre.  Roll a tiny strip of green to make the knot in the bow:
IMG_5537 IMG_5538You know what?  This looks a bit big for Bunny.  We don’t want the weight of it pushing him down – he might drown in the jacuzzi.  We must always be mindful of Health and Safety.  So lets cut the bow down to size.  Then we can finish it off with some yellow dots:
IMG_5539IMG_5541There, doesn’t Bunny look smart?
IMG_5542Now let’s make him look sharp with a cool pair of shades.  Roll out two tiny rounds of red.  Press some dents into the centre and place two even tinier rounds of yellow into the hollows:
IMG_5543IMG_0363Add a bridge across Bunny’s nose and some spectacle handles.  And for that extra cool look, paint the lenses with some edible gold:
IMG_0365 IMG_0366IMG_0367Bunny is almost ready to take a dip…..

STAGE 4 – JACUZZI TIME!!!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • A saucepan
  • A bowl
  • A mixing spatula

Ingredients:

  • 150 millilitres of double cream
  • 150 grams of dark chocolate
  • White chocolate sprinkles
  • Coloured mini chocolate eggs

Break the chocolate into a bowl and then heat the cream until it just starts to bubble around the edges.  Be careful not to overheat.  Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and leave for a few moments:
IMG_0368 IMG_0370After a short while, stir the mixture until smooth and glossy.  If there are still some bits of chocolate that haven’t melted, just place the bowl over a pan of boiling water on a low heat until the chocolate is smooth and liquid.  Leave it aside for about 15 minutes to cool:
IMG_0371Pour the cooled chocolate onto the top of the cake, taking care not to spill any over the sides:
IMG_0372Now it is time for Bunny to dive in, with some white chocolate bubbles and some leftover over Easter eggs:
IMG_5559 IMG_5558 Oh, but look!  The jacuzzi has sprung a leak!  Never mind; I’m sure Mrs. Bunny won’t mind mopping that up later.  For now, let’s leave Bunny to enjoy the bubbles……
IMG_5560

NUTRITIONAL ADVICE
Chocolate, uh, finds a way.

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