21 December 2011

Giant Cupcake: Take Two

Success! I attempted the giant cupcake again and, unlike the unspeakable disaster that was the first attempt, this one went well with absolutely no issues, even when I discovered that there was no icing sugar!

I baked this cake for K as a Christmas present (hence the tiny Christmas tree sprinkles adorning the cake). For the innards I made the sponge a festive combination of red and green using the same method as for the rainbow cake. Unfortunately, because this was a gift, I couldn't cut the cake open to show you the inside but I do have a picture of the bits I cut off the cake to make it flat to give you some idea of what it will look like:

A stripy yet festive red and green effect.
The difference between the process behind this beauty and the Disaster Cake (DC) was that I followed my own instructions from the DC post rather than the instructions that came with the cake mould. As a result, I did not end up with a cake and hat situation; the two cakes fit together seamlessly. Since making DC I have also learned how to sort out my buttercream issues, but that didn't matter in the end because there was no icing sugar in the house, and being the lazy soul that I am I didn't want to go and buy some more so I made a sugar syrup and stirred it into some cream cheese, then put it in the fridge until it was solid enough to decorate the cake with.

I am hence very pleased with this cake, and hope that K enjoys it! Monday's chocolate & banana loaf cake has already nearly gone; my sister called it very moreish and my Dad ate a fair amount too. I liked it as the bananas make it nice and moist and the chocolate gives a nice contrasting texture, and who can deny that banana and chocolate is an awesome combination? (Banana haters, pipe down!)

I hope this cake repulses you less than DC did, and maybe it'll even encourage you to try your own. Of course, you do need a giant cupcake mould, but these are widely available now so it shouldn't be hard to get hold of one. Try not to cringe too much at the quantities of ingredients coming up: remember, it's a giant cupcake!

  • 400g Butter
  • 450g Caster Sugar
  • 400g Self Raising Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 200g Cream Cheese
  • 10-15 Tbsp Milk
  • Green and Red Food Colouring (Or any colours you please)
  • ~100ml Cold Water
  • Sprinkles
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan and grease a giant cupcake mould.
  • Cream the butter and 400g of the sugar together, then add the eggs one at a time and combine them into the mixture.
  • Slowly add the flour. You may find that the mixture becomes so glutenous that it is hard to stir, in which case just stir in some of the milk until it is more manageable before continuing to add the flour.
  • When the flour is fully combined, add milk until the cake has a soft dropping consistency.
  • If you want to make your cake stripy, separate the cake mixture into two bowls. Add red food colouring to one bowl and green to the other, then stir it in. Add as much colouring as you need to make the mixture the colour you desire.
  • Take the cake mould (there should be a top and bottom section - you don't need any middle part that it may have come with unless you want to fill the cake) and add a layer of red mixture to the bottom of each part, spreading it to make sure it completely covers the bottom. Add a layer of green mixture now, making sure all of the red mixture is covered. Repeat this process until all of the cake mixture has been transferred to the cake moulds. Don't worry if they don't fill to the top, the cake will still work when it is put together after cooking.
  • Put the cake moulds in the oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  • Carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and leave them to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed or non-stick pan, then cover it with cold water (you don't need too much - the water just makes sure that the sugar melts evenly so the more you add the longer the syrup will take to make). Heat the pan over a low heat until all of the water has evaporated and the sugar has melted into a syrup (about 10-15 minutes, depending on the heat applied).
  • In a bowl, stir the cream cheese to soften it before pouring the sugar syrup into it and stirring well.
  • If there are any peaks on your cakes, slice them off with a sharp knife and discard/eat the excess.
  • Allow the cream cheese topping to cool, then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours until it is solid enough to spread over a cake without running off it.
  • Take the bottom portion of the cake and spread enough of the cream cheese topping over the top of it so that it is covered. Carefully place the top portion of the cake on top.
  • Either pipe or spread the icing over the cake using a spatula. I only wanted to ice the top, but you could use a piping bag and some coloured icing to make a 'cupcake case' for the cake around the base.
I let the icing run down the sides a little bit because I liked the effect.
  • Add sprinkles, if you like!

If you don't know what some of the above terms mean then please refer to The Basics. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask me either.

On Friday I'm doing some baking with S, so if it goes well I will post about it. If not, I've got an entry to the We Should Cocoa Challenge that also doubles as a Christmas present for my mother for you to look forward to on Christmas Eve. Happy baking!

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