Night of the Living Dead?
I know, I know. NOT the prettiest cake on the blog!!
But, for a little boy’s seventh birthday, it had to be gross, right? He’s obsessed with zombies, but the funny thing is, if you mention zombies when he doesn’t want to talk about them, then it’s “don’t say zombies else I won’t get to sleep!” It’s okay to attack us and try and eat our arms when we’re cooking tea, or making the beds, though. THEN it’s funny!
The cake was a basic four layer chocolate cake, (using the recipe below), sandwiched together with chocolate buttercream, with green food colouring swirled into it. Depending on the size of your cake you may need more or less mixture…. if you have any left over, make some scary cupcakes!
Use this guide to help…. Lindy’s Recipe Quantities
Also, here’s how I WISHED my cake looked…. Karen Portaleo (I LOVE LOVE LOVE her work and she’s doing some classes – hopefully she’ll get to the UK!)
Chocolate Tray Bake Cake
340g (1 and 1/3 cups PLUS 2 tbp) unsalted butter
340g (3 and 1/3 cups) caster sugar
280g self-raising flour (2 cups PLUS 1/3 cup) (or plain flour, with baking powder/soda added)
60g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
Extra chocolate chips!
* Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / Gas 4.
* Grease and line two 3″ deep 6″ cake pans.
* Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
* Beat the eggs, then add to the butter/sugar gradually. If it curdles, add a small spoonful of flour.
* Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Slowly mix the flour/cocoa powder into the butter/sugar/egg mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips.
* Spoon the mixture into the tins and bake for 45 – 60 mins. Keep checking them towards the end of baking – they are done when you can insert a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean or when the cake is springy to the touch.
* Allow to cool, then turn onto a wire cooling rack.
Chocolate Ganache Buttercream
85g (1/2 cup) plain chocolate
285g (2 and 3/4 cups) icing sugar
340g (1 and 3/4 cups) unsalted butter
1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
120 ml (1/2 cup) double cream.
* Make the chocolate ganache buttercream: Melt the chocolate. Allow to cool slightly.
* Sift icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl.
* Beat the living daylights out of the butter, until smooth and fluffy. (And I mean beat the living daylights out of it!)
* Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder mixture and re-beat.
* Whisk melted chocolate and cream into the icing sugar mixture. Beat for about 3 minutes.
* Separate the buttercream into three bowls, leaving some brown, adding deep, dark green to one bowl and either red/yellow or a different shade of green the the third mix. Tip them into one bowl and swirl around, to create a ‘muddy’ effect.
* Spoon onto the Zombie Cake, leaving peaks, rough spots etc….
Once the cake had been layered and sandwiched together, we cut a hole into the centre, large enough to take the body of our sugarpaste zombie. Then we made the zombie!! I was aiming for a zombie like Karen Portaleo’s, but sadly, I’m no artist and I got pushed out anyway! D wanted to make it! He fashioned it, adding stability with spaghetti sticks and painting it with powdered food colouring. Yak.
Cue adding the zombie to the cake with obligatory scary music…..We crumbled the leftover cake around the board to look like dirt and added a little to the top of the zombie’s head! We also made up a little royal icing, coloured dark, dark green and piped it around to look like goo. Oooohhhhh.
Did the boys enjoy the cake?
I think so….
BUT they enjoyed eating the zombie far more….!