The brief from our son for his birthday cake this year was a chocolate cake, and as it was a Muppets party, it had to be Kermit. As I had not made a chocolate cake before I did a test run last Monday (without the icing) and spent quite a while researching the best recipe. Loosely based on Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Orange Birthday Cake, which based on his guarantees, seemed the easiest one to make. We had more guests than one muppets birthday cake would provide for, so we decided to also make a Miss Piggy cake as well.
The recipe makes two 8″ cakes, so you need to cover the base of two cake tins with baking paper and then grease the sides of the tins, before you start the mixture. I cook the cakes at about 160°C-170°C for 24 minutes.
200 g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
200 g caster sugar
200 g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder (mixed with 5 tablespoons of boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 large/ 4 medium eggs
Mix the butter and sugar together in a mixer (or by hand) until they become light and fluffy (about 30 seconds).
Add all of the other ingredients to the mixture and mix for about another 30 seconds.
Evenly pour the mixture into the cake tins and cook for 24 minutes at about 160°C-170°C.
Icing the cake
Having previously made a mess of the last time that I iced a cake, I decided to look for some tips. I first watched the following, but the icing is white and so did not completely help as I was using coloured icing.
The following used coloured icing, which described the process of polishing a little icing sugar into the top of the icing ball prior to rolling and not using any more during the process.
Miss Piggy was a little more difficult in that I also added a cup cake under the icing for the nose. As long as you are gentle in smoothing the edges and do not force the icing into the shape it should cover the area without creases or cracks.