Ok, if you haven't read last night's very late posting, Easter Egg Crisis! - Part I, please do it now (otherwise I'm going to sound like a deranged woman to you on this post). Done it? great! so by now you know that I stupidly forgot to buy Easter Eggs for the Forans, that they don't take nicely to people forgetting Easter Eggs and you have learned of my cunning plan to avoid in laws' utter damnation.
So let me bring you up to speed with my day so far: it's 1:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday and my kitchen has been up and running since 8 a.m. - so what's the big deal, I hear you asking? - well, I did not go to bed till 3:30 a.m. this morning, so this is a BIG DEAL! I prepared the chocolate batter for the cake, which due to my lack of Easter novelty shaped tins, had to be divided in three 5 inch square cakes with a 7 inch round one as base.
Remember this cake has to make it up to seven very angry Forans, so I need flavour and visual impact. I found a bag of Cadbury's mini eggs in my cupboard as well as some Dr. Oetker edible decorations called "Barbie Fun Sprinkles" (go figure why they're called that?) consisting of red, white, yellow and purple balls, hearts and flower shaped bits (refuse to read ingredients in case of too many scary E numbers!), I also found jellies and some blue sugar balls, so they'll be perfect for putting the finishing touches to my Easter Egg Cake.
The chocolate cake recipe I'm using came out of a great book called "Chocolate Cakes for Weddings and Celebrations" by John Slattery, it is a fabulous rich sponge, with bounce and body, perfect for carving or sculpturing cakes. It is not very straight forward to make, but when you've done it once, it will feel far easier to make the next time. I doubled the recipe below to have enough for all my cakes.
I wanted to make a sort of grown up icing, but I did not have enough ingredients to make fondant, so I had to make do with buttercream. It is funny how I always associate buttercream with children cakes. So I decided to experiment with the flavouring of the icing. I love Baileys chocolates, so I made buttercream and flavoured it with Baileys: I will never see buttercream the same again: it was delicious! The Baileys gave it a lovely punch and complimented the flavour of the cake really well. I coloured the butter cream with coco powder for the nest cake and used yellow food colouring gel for the egg icing.
At the end, the cake came out really good, the carving of my egg shape was really difficult so it came out a little wonky, but all was forgiven when they cut the cake and ate it: crisis averte
Preheat your oven at 180° Celsius and grease your tins. Now the book recommends vegetable margarine and flour to do this, but as a rule of thumb, I always use butter and I never use flour to line chocolate cake tins, as the cakes will come out full of white dust! You can use good quality coco poweder or instead or one of those fancy Wilton's cake release sprays (you can find it in Avoca).
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and set aside.
Using a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water, melt the chocolate until it's all liquid. Take the chocolate off the heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl and while the chocolate melts, beat the egg yolks with a small whisk or a fork until light and add the warm water to the yolks, mix well. As soon as chocolate is melted, add it to the egg yolk mix and stir until combined (I use a small whisk for this, not the electric mixer).
Add the chocolaty egg yolk mixture to the creamed sugary butter and stir thoroughly until all ingredients are combined. Follow by folding the sifted flour and salt into this mixture. Set aside.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold carefully into the cake mixture without over-working it and pour it into the prepared tins. Bake the cakes for approximately 40 minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven, leave in the tins for a few minutes before removing them and set them in a cooling rack to rest. Cakes must be completely cold before attempting any carving or decoration.
One cakes are completely cool, you can let your imagination run while with the decorating. I did not have an egg shaped tin, so I use two square cakes sandwiched withe butter cream icing and carved the shape of the egg. It was a tiny little wonky, but nobody notice. After that, I used more of the bailey's butter cream icing to decorate and a few edible jewels.
When the Forans got their Easter Egg, they were delighted, it was all thumbs up for the recipe. The cake freezes well and keeps for about 5 or 6 days in an air tight container. Happy Easter Everybody!