Sunday 8 April 2012

Easter Egg Confetti Cake!

Hello and Happy Easter everyone! However you celebrate this holiday, I want to wish you and yours all the best.

I also want to show you this cake that I totally winged all the way through.

I have never made a confetti cake from scratch before. I kind of thought it was the sort of thing you could only do with a mix. Gosh, I'm silly. Sweetapolita proves how ridiculously easy it is to make over on her blog. I'm stubborn and wanted to do things my way, though, so I started with my favourite white cake recipe, the same silver white cake I used for these white cupcakes...

... and instead of adding the recommended 1/2 cup of rainbow jimmies, I chose Easter/spring-coloured ones.

... And then I added way more than half a cup!

They just looked so pretty while I was pouring them, I just kept going! But, hey, you can never have enough sprinkles, right?

Gently fold the sprinkles into your batter until well distributed, like so.

Then prep your pans! Or, if you plan ahead, unlike myself, you will have done this already. As you may have noticed, I have special silicone baking molds for this cake! These were a gift from my mother, she gave them to me with a free additional gift of heavy-handed hinting at what I should bring to Easter dinner. Subtle.

In any case, though I am usually a proponent of the grease & flour pan preparation method, I used cooking spray here because I was worried about too much shortening or flour building up in all those nooks and crannies.

The directions said to fill the pans half-full and bake as if they were layer cakes. The directions lied. I baked these babies for 30 minutes, as if it was layers, and they came out jiggling.

I had to let them go another 20 minutes before they were done enough! And by then the outside was a bit too crisp. I wonder if I`ll ever have success with shaped cake pans.

Worse, when I turned them out of the pans, the one on the right stuck and sort of fell apart. I don't know if I tried to de-pan them while they were still too hot, if my cooking spray was just made of fail, or if my over-zealous sprinkle additions simply caused the cake's surface to become sugary-sticky.

Most likely, it was a combination of the three. Learn from my mistakes, folks! Use good quality cooking spray, measure your sprinkles properly and let the cakes cool a bit before taking them out of the pan. Hopefully, that will prevent this same cake-tastrophy from befalling you.

I didn't let this setback stop me for long, however. Oh no, I'm much to stubborn to be stopped by a bit of crumbled cake.

Once I'd trimmed the cakes to be as level as possible, I set right to it with simple syrup and worked to 'glue' the cake back together. First I mended the broken stuck-in-the-pan bits back onto the main cake as best I could.

Then I spread a generous, and I mean generous, amount of simple syrup on the flat, cut sides of the layers. I carefully put the broken-ish half atop the whole one, cut sides together, of course, wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer overnight.

Though it certainly didn't get any prettier overnight, it sure did solidify into one pretty stable cake. Even the loose bits cemented on pretty well. I let it thaw a tad while I got the coating ready...

That's one pound of Merken's light chocolate coating. My original plan was actually to do a glaze on this cake, but when I saw how much the (excessive) sprinkles' colours showed through the cake, I knew that it would be difficult to mask it with glaze.

So chocolaty coating it is!

I slopped a good blob of coating on the cake over a wire rack, then shook the dickens out of it until the chocolate formed a pretty even coat. I used a spatula to smooth the stray drips along the sides and placed it in the fridge to set up.

Once the coating was set - which didn't take long at all, maybe 10 minutes, if that - I flipped it over and poured the rest of the coating over the other side. After semi-vigorous shaking, it settled into all the right grooves. I cleaned up the edges and underside a bit with a spatula once more. You can clearly see the patterning from the cake mold, but the coating is thick & dark enough to hid the confetti surprise inside.

Once it set up in the fridge again, the whole cake was encased in nice solid chocolate coating, and by gum, it looks just like a giant novelty chocolate Easter egg! Am I ever glad I didn't go with that glaze.

Now, you could just stop here and have a fantastic chocolate-coated, confetti surprise cake, but I wanted to go a tiny step further.

See, I still had colourful royal icing left over from the baby shower and Easter cookies, and I kept thinking back to when I was a little kid, and the neatest part about Easter was getting a big hollow chocolate egg with my name written on it in hard, sweet icing, often with a pretty flower or two.

So, you can probably see where this is going.

The zigzag is simply the pink icing piped on with a petal tip, the blue stars piped on with a star tip, and the little flowers are the easiest icing flowers in existence - drop flowers. Maybe I'll talk more about them someday.

At the moment, though, I have stayed up way too late - again! - and really ought to catch some sleep before it's time for Easter Sunday brunch with the family. Of course, what I'm looking forward to is after Easter dinner, when I can cut into this baby and find out first-hand how successful this endeavour has been!

I'll be sure to let y'all know how it goes. In the meantime, have a fantastic Easter everyone!

Until next time!


In case anyone wanted to see what it looked like sliced up & served:

Yeah, that one big dot kind of slid off the side overnight... I really should have let it set up longer, but I can be pretty impatient sometimes, especially when we're talking about chocolate-covered cake. Can you blame me?

This is a cake best served with a nice dollop of ice cream on top. I think if I do this cake again, I may substitute a thin coat of raspberry filling in place of the simple syrup. It held together pretty well, but... Well, as I've said before, I'm not a big fan of white cake, and I found the flavor a little lacking.

What a super fun project though! Would definitely make it again, and I'd suggest giving it a try yourself, too.

Not sure what's next for the blog now that Easter's passed, but rest assured, there will be something new within a week or so, so stay tuned!

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