Recently we held my daughters 5th birthday party, complete with a disco light machine, glow-bracelets and coloured hair extensions for the party girls. They had a great time dancing and running around!
I thought long and hard about how to produce some kind of 'dance' themed cake and really didn't come up with anything that grabbed me. So since turning five is such a huge milestone, my thoughts came full circle to produce a numeral 5 cake. I started by baking my favourite moist chocolate cake recipe 2 days in advance of the party.
I cooked a 9" round cake (with an upturned greased ramekin in the centre to make a ring cake) and an 8" square cake to achieve my number 5. I knew I was going to need two cakes to sculpt so I doubled the quantities in the recipie that follows...
Dreamy Dairy-free Chocolate Cake
Sift dry ingredients together in a big bowl:
2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 c cocoa
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Whisk wet ingredients together:
1/3 c oil
2 c tap water
2 t vanilla essence
Pour wet ingredients into dry mix and keep whisking until mixture is completely combined and lump-free. Pour into a greased and lined cake tin and bake at 150degrees C for 45 - 60 minutes. Cool completely before starting to decorate.
This mixture fills a 9" round tin and will serve 12-15 people. I often use this exact recipe for two dozen+ cupcakes and they come out soft and dreamy too, obviously they will cook a lot quicker though.
The dairy-free part of my cake stops right here! Again for this huge cake I doubled the butter cream icing quantities listed.
Dreamy Butter cream
Whip together in your stand mixer for up to 5mins until pale and fluffy:
100g butter (softened but not melted)
400g icing sugar
Colouring and flavouring to suit
Fill your large piping bag fitted with any large star-like tip.
Place your carved cake pieces onto the board one at a time (this will save trying to pipe into teeny spaces!) I started from the bottom and piped individual swirls all over the sides and top of the cake. As long as they are consistent, any design will look nice!
Use buttercream to join the cake pieces together. If you're left with small holes between any of your swirls simply pipe a wee star into the gap. The addition of the meringue powder means your swirls will hold their shape nicely.
The result is a delectable moist cake that looks pretty and way more technical than it really is. Here is the finished product...
You may recognise the speckly white chocolate hairdressing set from an earlier blogpost. And finally here are my two favourite little people in the whole wide world (from a proud mummy!) Happy birthday and happy school-days darling X