Bookish Bites : moomin cake for Milo
A while ago I posted about Milo’s request for his birthday cake for his birthday this year and well, that is pretty much the reason I haven’t been around here very much recently. Sorry about that. Between the moomin madness here and being busy, busy with work I’ve not had very much time. So, where to begin.
Yes, the enormous chocolate cake that leans to the right and has some sort of pink splodgy stuff all over it and some sort of decorative wiggly bits on the front. Well, Milo didn’t give up. This was the chocolate cake he wanted for his birthday so this is what I made.
It took 16 eggs, 800 grams of flour and butter and sugar, 1,200 grams of icing sugar and a whole lot of time. Almost a whole day! I used my ever reliable Peggy Porschen chocolate cake recipe. I’ve made a wedding cake using this recipe before and it is super tasty and super sturdy and for a cake that’s four tiers I figured sturdy was completely necessary. I made two quantities of the 8 inch cake recipe. The first quantity for the bottom tier, just your regular 8 inch job, the second quantity for the remaining tiers – a six inch, a five inch and a little souffle tin. I had some mix left over from this and made some little chocolate cupcakes out of it.
Preparation was key… I got all the ingredients out the night before, all measured and what not and then managed to bake one of the sponges by 9am with the other one completely ready to go straight after (had a few other party items to bake that day so needed to create as much time as possible.)
Once the sponges were baked and cool, I cut them down to size ready for icing. A serious amount of chocolate cake off cuts.
Had some great suggestions as to what to do with them other than trifle or cream and a spoon. Fresh raspberries and cream (yum), chocolate sauce (also yum). Then it was time to get on with the chocolate buttercream. I decided to cover and fill with buttercream as it felt more birthday cakey. The picture in the book looks more like a smooth chocolate sugar paste finish but I’m really not a fan of the taste of chocolate sugar paste so chocolate buttercream it was. A lot of chocolate buttercream. I had to cover my mixer with two towels to prevent a huge amount of icing sugar dust escaping all over the house.
I then iced all the four tiers. The bottom three were made as actual cakes with buttercream filling, and the fourth top tier was just covered over in buttercream. The bottom tier was sat on a cake board, and the second tier up on a very thin cake board.
In order to secure all tiers so that they didn’t sink into each other I used dowelling rods in the bottom tier to hold the second tier up on its thin cake board. You can’t see the thin cake board once you’ve covered with chocolate buttercream. The top two tiers were small enough that I didn’t think their weight would create any problems though I didn’t want to construct the whole cake until the day of his party just in case! So, instead I got each tier completely finished ready to plonk one upon the other. This meant tackling the pink splodgy bits and for this I used pink and white sugar paste.
I cut out the shapes for covering the bottom, third and top tier freehand using the appropriate sized tin to work from.
Once the sugar paste was moulded onto the tiers, I then cut out the curlicues for the second tier and stuck these to the buttercream. All the cake then got boxed up ready for the next morning and the final construction.
It was surprisingly easy to put it together, literally just a case of popping one tier upon another and adding a few glace cherries around the top of the first tier. Instead of the curlicues on the very top of the cake, I used three purple candles because my boy loves the colour purple and candles. Milo didn’t do the gasp of excitement I was slightly hoping for, probably because he’d seen the cake in its many stages but he did seem pretty happy with it. And then pretty happy with eating a huge chunk of it too! So here’s the final cake.
On the whole I was pretty pleased with the result. There are a few things I’d have done a bit differently if I were ever to make it again. There’s a little polishing up between the tiers that I intended to do using piped buttercream and piped pink royal icing that I just didn’t get time to finish and I rushed my curlicues as I needed to get a little person into his bath and to bed the night before so they could definitely have been better, but on the whole, pleased with the effort.
Milo’s verdict: “It’s my chocolate cake, I will eat it all up.” He hasn’t by the way and there’s a whole tier in the fridge for whenever we fancy a piece of chocolate cake.