Here, as requested, is the recipe and explanation for the birthday cake I made. I didn’t follow any particular instructions, but sort of made it up as I went along, based on several other cakes I had seen. I had a very capable assistant helping me (my sister and family were staying with us at the time), which made it easier to assemble.
I used to be indecisive’s Chocolate Overload Cake
I made two traybake sponges because I needed to make a cake large enough for about 25 people, but I have given the ingredients and method for just one traybake here. The mixture could also be split between two cake tins to make two ‘normal’ sized sponges. I also doubled up on the buttercream so that I had enough to go all round the cake.
My cake was a coffee sponge, with coffee buttercream, but you could make a plain sponge, or a chocolate one, or a marbled one, or a lemon one …
To make the cake you will need:
Coffee sponge (recipe below)
Coffee buttercream icing (recipe below)
Two-finger KitKats (I used 30)
Maltesers (I used 3 – 4 large bags)
M&Ms (I used 2 – 3 large bags)
All in one Coffee Sponge Traybake with coffee buttercream (based on a Mary Berry recipe)
For the cake:
6oz (175g) soft margarine (or unsalted butter)
6oz (175g) caster sugar
8oz (225g) self-raising flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee powder
For the coffee buttercream:
3oz (75g) margarine (or unsalted butter)
8oz (225g) icing sugar
2 teaspoons coffee essence (made by dissolving 2 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee into two teaspoons of boiling water)
You will also need:
One roasting tin about 12 x 9 inches (30 x 23 cm) greased and lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C)/Gas Mark 4.
In a small bowl beat the eggs lightly and dissolve the instant coffee powder into them. Into a large bowl measure the margarine (or butter), sugar, flour, baking powder and milk. Add the beaten egg and coffee mixture. Beat everything together for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared roasting tin and level the top.
Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin.
To make the coffee buttercream beat the margarine (or butter), icing sugar and coffee essence together in a bowl until smooth. You can add a little more coffee essence if you like a stronger flavour (which I do!)
Making and assembling the cake
When the traybakes are cooled, take them out of the tin and create the secret ‘well’ in the middle of the cake by cutting a long rectangle out of the centre of each cake, making sure that they line up exactly. (If you are making a circular cake, then the central well should be circular.)Cut off and put aside a thin slice (about half an inch) from the top of one of the removed sections to use as a lid on top of the M&Ms.
Place one sponge on the cake board (or whatever you are going to present the cake on) then carefully spread buttercream over the whole cake. Place the second sponge on the top, lining up the edges and central ‘well’. Fill the ‘well’ with M&Ms then place the thin slice of sponge over the top to hide the M&Ms, and make the top of the cake level. Spread buttercream all over the top of the cake. You might need to tidy up the edges of the sponge at this point to make them perpendicular to the cake board. When this is done, spread the remaining buttercream all round the sides of the cake. Unwrap the KitKats and place them carefully round the edges. Pour the Maltesers into the reservoir that has been created between the surface of the cake and the tops of the KitKat palisades. Tie a ribbon round it to make sure the KitKats stay in place.
Don’t forget to post a photo of your cake when you have made it!