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Saturday, 27 October 2007

A Fang-tastic Biting Halloween Cake

Introducing Count Dracula who waits to greet you form his marbled coffin in Transylvania!! I dare you to be frightened as you step into his lair, the Lord of Vampires may take a * biting* to you!!!

I wanted to have fun with my Halloween cake this year and I’ve been debating for a few weeks what theme to choose, when this idea sprung to mind. I’m a self-taught cook/baker and still learning and having fun along the way. Making this cake I felt like a kid making something off “Blue Peter” programme with sticky-back plastic lol.

This cake is basically a Victoria sponge baked in a 3lb loaf tin. I added red food colouring to the sponge in keeping with Dracula’s theme of blood. Fondant icing was used throughout to cover a 10 in cake board, coffin base and lid, also to shape Count Dracula himself. For the little figures and spiders, they came from a Halloween section at my local store.

Here is my recipe

Count Dracula Coffin cake

For The Sponge Cake
175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
50g (2 oz) coco powder
225g (8 oz) soft butter
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp edible red food colouring pastes (sugar flare)
2 tbsp milk
For The Icing
2 x 450g ready-made fondant icing in white
Edible food colouring pastes (sugar flare) Black, Red, Pink
Edible icing writing pens, Black, Red
Icing sugar, for rolling the fondant icing
4 tbsp Apricot jam, for sticking the fondant icing
A little water (about 2 tbsp)
For The Coffin Lid
Flexible plastic, cut out the shape of a coffin lid large enough to fit
4 wooden cocktail sticks
Apricot jam to stick the icing to the plastic lid
Fondant icing
Edible food colouring pastes (sugar flare) Black
*See note at the bottom*
Bat, ghost, pumpkin and spiders or of your choice
Edible food glitter

You will also need a 25.5cm (10 in) square cake board, 3lb loaf in greased and lined with baking paper.


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

For the sponge cake, in a bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla a little at a time until all combined. Mix in the food colouring until incorporated into the mixture. Sieve the flour and coco together and fold in lightly. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top of the sponge with a spatula.

Place into the preheated oven and cook for 35 – 45 minutes or until it feels firm to the touch and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Make the marble fondant icing, Take 700g (1½ lb) fondant icing and with a cocktail stick dip it into the black colouring and place the colour onto your fondant icing. Working the fondant icing and colour in with your hands just enough to give a marble effect. This will be used for covering the board, coffin, RIP sign and lid. Cut into 3 pieces and store in cling film to stop the icing drying out, using each third at a time.

Apricot jam, in a saucepan place the apricot jam and water and heat gently on a low heat stirring with a spoon until it combines together for sticking down the fondant icing. *See note at the bottom*.

Covering the board in marble fondant icing. Sprinkle icing sugar on a work surface and roll out the icing thinly to cover the board. With a pastry brush and some of the apricot jam, paint the board just enough to stick the icing onto. Roll the icing over your rolling pin and cover the board cutting off any excess overhang. Smooth the fondant icing down on the board.

For the sponge cake icing, brush the bottom of the sponge with a little apricot jam from the saucepan. Position the cake on the board in the middle and stick down. Brush over the rest of the sponge with some of the apricot jam. With three quarters of the remaining marble icing, roll out making the icing large enough to fit over the sponge cake. Lift the icing over your rolling pin placing the icing over the sponge, ease the fondant into place and smooth out, cutting away the excess icing carefully, not marking the board. Roll out the cut offs of marble icing to make strips to cover the sides and edge of the coffin as in the picture. Stick down with the apricot jam and smooth out. Make a sign of R.I.P with icing and stick this to the side of the coffin.

For the coffin lid, with the remaining marble icing or make more if you’ve run out, roll out thinly to cover the plastic shaped lid that was cut out. Place 4 cocktail sticks, (leaving enough of the tips to stick into the top back edge of coffin) onto pieces of fondant icing and stick to the back of the plastic lid with a good dollop of apricot jam. Spread apricot jam over the plastic lid front and back and carefully place the marble icing over the lid. Smooth it all down and cut away any overhang.

For Dracula, with some white fondant icing make the body as in the picture also make two fangs and eyeballs. Now colour some fondant icing pink for the head, ears, nose, arm and hand. Form into the shapes on the picture sticking down the shapes with apricot jam. With the remaining fondant icing colour this black and make the hair, buttons and cloak (the cloak is a circle folded into pleats around the body and a roll of icing for the collar), place and stick them on. Colour the fangs on the tips with edible icing writing pen of red and also for the eyes as in the picture, then make the eyebrows with the black colour pen.

Final assembly, place Count Dracula onto the middle of the coffin sticking the base of him with apricot jam and secure. Take the lid and line it up before sticking the cocktail sticks down into the sponge, making sure the front is the smooth side of the lid. Sprinkle a little edible glitter over Count Dracula’s cape and hair. Place the figures and spiders around the board and coffin.

Note. I have read that vegetable fat can be used to roll fondant icing instead of icing sugar, this stops the icing sugar marking the coloured icing. If you want to quickly make the coffin lid and only showing the front of the cake, you can stick the cocktail sticks on to the plastic with cellotape and just line the front with fondant icing. You can also use water to ‘glue’ Dracula together.


Chris said...

WOW WOW brill cake!

Maria said...

Amazing cake and you've really done yourself proud here ;o)

Rosie said...

Hi Chris :) thanks for popping by and please call back again!

Hi maria, Congrats on your new Blog and thanks as always on your kind comments :)

Rosie x