Halloween layer cake

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Ingredients

For the cake

350 g g butter butter
softened
450 g g soft brown sugar soft brown sugar
6 eggs egg
125 ml ml sunflower oil sunflower oil
450 g g self-raising flour self-raising flour
75 g g cocoa powder cocoa powder

To decorate

350 g g frozen blackberries frozen blackberry
defrosted
125 g g dark chocolate dark chocolate
5 mini marshmallows mini marshmallows
chopped in half
5 Neo biscuits Neo biscuit
500 g g butter butter
softened
1 kg kg icing sugar icing sugar
sieved
0.5 baking soda baking soda
5 chocolate thins chocolate thin
snapped in half

Haunted forest Halloween chocolate cake

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2:15 h
(38)

Method

This impressive chocolate layer cakes takes a bit of time and effort to put together, but the result is a spectacular centrepiece to haunt your Halloween tea table. When adding the coloured buttercream to the cake, wait until you've added every layer before smoothing it so you achieve the blended ombre effect.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4 and grease 2 18cm cake tins.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar, then whisk in the eggs and oil. Sift in the flour and cocoa, folding in with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Divide the mixture between tins and bake for 55 minutes. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack. Once completely cool, level off the tops if required and carefully slice each cake in half to form 4 layers.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the natural colouring. Mash the blackberries and strain the juice through a sieve into a pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and chill until required.
  5. Melt the dark chocolate and pipe forest shapes onto a piece of baking parchment. Leave to set in the fridge, and use the remaining melted chocolate to dot pupils onto the marshmallow ‘eyes’ and fix these onto the biscuits.
  6. For the buttercream, blend the butter until creamy with an electric hand whisk and gradually add the icing sugar. Use a spoonful to fix one of the cakes to a cake board, then sandwich the layers together using roughly 100g buttercream between each layer.
  7. Spread on 400g buttercream as a crumb coat, using a palette knife or scraper to fill in any gaps and leave a smooth surface across the top and sides of the cake.
  8. Weigh out 300g buttercream and set to one side, then divide the remaining buttercream between two bowls to colour. Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the colouring until it begins to fizz and turn purple-grey. Add varying amounts into the buttercream, aiming for a light and dark lilac.
  9. Spread the darker icing on the bottom third of the cake, followed by the pale lilac and the plain buttercream. Blend where the colours meet to leave a smooth finish, then carefully stick on the chocolate shapes.
  10. Press the chocolate thin pieces into the sides of the biscuits to form wings and slide the biscuits onto wooden skewers. Trim the skewers to different lengths and insert into the top of the cake.

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