Oh no! It's a gruffalo (cake)!
Before i start this post i shall hold my hands up and admit i haven't shared Eloise's second birthday cake with you all yet. Terrible of me as it was 2 months ago now but i promise to this week. In the meantime it was Eloise's BFF Ben's second burthday last weekend. You may remember his mum Laura (my BFF) and I made Ben's first birthday cake together. This year Laura flew solo and made Ben a cake representing his favourite storybook character The Gruffalo;
For those of you not familiar with The Gruffalo it is a very popular childrens book. The main character is a little mouse who during a walk through a forest encounters dangerous animals who all intend to eat him. The mouse invents a character called The Gruffalo to scare off the predators. Imagine the mouse's surprise when he stumbles on a real Gruffalo! To avoid being eaten by the Gruffalo the mouse claims to be the scariest creature in the forest. To prove it he walks back through the jungle with the Gruffalo and all the animals he met along the way run away and the Gruffalo believes the mouse really is the most feared creature in the forest and doesn't eat them.
So it is a childrens book about cunning and deceit (and how not to get eaten).
Laura wanted to make a cake which represented the Gruffalo himself but the design was tricky. She didn't want to fall into the trap of ending up with a sloppy brown mess (there are a few pretty shocking Gruffalo cakes found on Google search, hopefully they are homemade not professional disasters but if they are i'll leave it to Cake Wrecks blog to publically shame them) The best thing to do was to simplify the design down to a few key features which would instantly be recognisable as the Gruffalo without being too fussy or complicated. Laura decided to make a brown cake and add on the big orange eyes, hairy eyebrows, big ears and horns. She then used food colouring to detail around the eye area. Finally she covered the board in green fondant to represent the forest.
I was very impressed with Laura's fondant finish covering the cake. It was only her second cake and she didn't even need to ribbon the bottom of the cake as it was so neat. The modelling also was very effective and Ben instantly recognised his cake as a Gruffalo! Despite a false start with a silicone baking tray disaster (mental note not to try turning out until cake completely cool) the chocolate cake inside was deliciously moist and tasty. Happy Birthday Ben and well done Laura!
This is a first for the blog. Very exciting. Chris made me a dessert! Chocolate orange cheesecake! My personal favourite chocolate flavour.
The base was crushed chocolate digestive biscuits mixed with melted butter. For the topping Chris mixed together Terry's milk chocolate orange with Lindt dark chocolate orange. He layered it in a flan dish and decorated with orange segments. It set in the fridge and tasted very rich - like eating a chocolate bar. Delicious but decadent! Thanks baby xxx
Baking with the monkeys
This weekend we had Eloise's big cousins James and Emily to stay. This called for some group baking making clever use of the copious amounts of Easter egg chocolate Eloise received.
James supervised Eloise's bowl whilst Emily rode solo. The recipe was a chocolate oil cake (oil used instead of butter) We added cocoa powder and melted milk and white chocolate in the mix to make a very rich flavour. The mixing went well but transference into the cupcake cases proved a little messy - especially with Eloise involved!
Amazingly the cake rose really well and we topped them with a chocolate ganache and butterscotch pieces.
The cakes were demolished in record time and Eloise was so enthusiastic she required a bath afterwards!
Mum. Wife. Artist. Baker.