Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Green Monster Alien Cake with Cake Pop Eye Balls

Here it is my son's Green Cake Pop Monster Cake.... more cute than scary I feel!
Green Monster Cake with Cake Pop Eye Balls

Green Alien Cake with Cake Pop Eye Balls

I recently came across this brilliant monster cake while browsing on-line, and decided this was going to be my next cake challenge for my son's birthday. Saying that with the Halloween round the corner it would be the perfect Halloween cake too. If not the cake, the cake pop eyeballs would be a hit this Halloween!
  1. The first thing I did was to make the round chocolate cake for the body using my "Can't go wrong chocolate cake" recipe. I made three layers here to make the monster cake slightly taller than normal.
  2. While the cake was baking I embarked on making butter cream....
Butter Cream Mixture

I'm not great at determining quantities to cover the cake, but I always try and make more than needed, especially as I'd be colouring the cream and it would be difficult to make another batch the same colour (learning from previous experience). You can always use any left over to top some cupcakes as and additional extra.

You need:
  • 250 g (8 oz) unsalted soften butter
  • 375 g (12 oz) Icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • Colouring - of your choice (I used a mixture of leaf green and yellow)
  1. Beat butter and a little bit of the icing sugar until smooth
  2. Slowly beat in the remaining icing sugar a little bit at a time and then the hot water until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  3. Add in your colouring slowly until you get the desired colour. I wanted bright green so chose leaf green mixed with yellow to brighten it up.
Decorate the cake
  1. Firstly I cut the cake in half and pasted a layer of the coloured butter cream on the bottom half and placed the top back on top. 
  2. I used a metal 'grass effect' icing nozzle. It looks like a thimble with small holes in the end. 
  3. Place it in your piping bag and start with vertical lines at the base of the cake (about and inch up from the bottom. Work your way around the base of the cake. 
  4. Next pipe the next band of "fur" around another inch above the last. You can make your hair overlap the bottom layer slightly.
  5. Keep going until you get to the top and then centre of the cake.
  6. Finally I finished off by rolling out a small quantity of some pre-coloured red and black icing (about 3mm thick) - make sure you put lots of icing sugar on the surface you are rolling onto stop the icing from sticking. Once rolled out I cut out the mouth shape (black) and then the tongue (red). Stuck them together by placing a teeny drop or two of water on the back of the red tongue. Then pressed the whole mouth into the green fur.
  • I found that the icing became runny as I went as butter cream heated up while my hand was holding the piping bag, so had from time to time have a 5 minute break and put the bag in the fridge.
  • I put some left over cake mixture and made some mini cup cakes, and iced them with the green icing to match the cake. Perfect to hold candles and give to anyone who just wants a taster.
  • I've finally found a piping bag I love, yippee!! Honestly, when I see a project which involves the dreaded piping I always embark on it with trepidation... how on earth do they make it look SO easy on the British Bake Off? There I am with my various bags of the cheaper variety, spewing butter cream out the wrong end, needing refilling after every cupcake and worse still splitting half way through the job. But no longer! I found this piping bag in Hobby Craft - and it's SO good. It holds a decent large quantity, is large enough so when you twist the top it doesn't all spill out and made of a tough silicon so doesn't split and better still is washable and therefore reusable. Needless to say my baking drawer has now had a de-clutter and all the old bags paid a visit to the bin.
Once all the fur is on the next stage is to make the eye balls... You could make the same number of eye balls as age of the child... that was the original idea but you know cooks need to sample, so seven became six!

Close Up of Cake Pop Eyeballs for my Green Monster Cake

To make the Cake Pop Eye Balls you need:
  • 100g Madeira Loaf Cake (I had to buy a 200g loaf and cut it in half)
  • 75g dark chocolate broken up into chunks
  • 150g white chocolate broke up into chunks
  • Green food colouring
  • Black coloured icing
  • Cake pop lolly sticks
  • A few glasses filled with deep with sugar
I kind of went into a panic here at first as I didn't have one of those cake pop makers, but after being handed a cake pop leaflet which my sister in law picked up from Waitrose (you know the ones with the free recipes on which you pick up when you walk out the shop)... my mind was put at rest ... OK I can do this.

So here is what I did...

1) Popped half of the Madeira cake into a food processor and whizzed it up to make fine crumbs. Then I placed the dark chocolate into a microwavable bowl and zapped it for 10 second blasts until it had melted, stirring in-between each blast & once runny I mixed in the Madeira crumbs.

2) I then rolled the chocolate mixture into 24 small balls, just slightly smaller than a ping pong ball. I placed them on a plate lined with baking paper and put them into the fridge to cool and set.

3) The next step was to melt the white chocolate in a microwavable bowl in the microwave, using the short 10 sec blast method. Once melted I dipped the end of a cake pop stick in the white chocolate and then into one of the chilled chocolate balls. Then I coated the chocolate ball with a thin layer of white chocolate and carefully stood the chocolate lolly upright by sticking the stick down in cup of sugar. Once a cup was filled it was put in the fridge to set. You have to work quickly here and occasionally put the white chocolate back in the microwave to remelt it.

4) Next the eye lids. I coloured the left over white chocolate with some green colouring to match the fur, again got it to melting point, took the white coated pop stick balls out the fridge and dipped the top half and back of a ball and repositioned it back in the sugar and then back in the fridge again to set.

5) Nearly there... I then rolled out a small layer of black icing and cut small circles using some small circle cutters, then stuck the icing onto the "white" of the eye.

6) Finally stick the cake pops into the top of the cake and there you have it... my monster cake!

Monster cake with cake eyeballs with extra cup cakes

Waitrose for their Daisy Cake Pop recipe card... sister in law Sarah had a go at... (when I have a mo I'll share her amazing cake daisy cake pops - clever little thing she is), and not forgetting the Balancing Motherhood blog for the original inspiration.