Loch Ness monster cake

After a week of planning and indecision, I tackled the Loch Ness monster cake on Sunday. It definitely took me a lot longer to complete than I’d originally thought! However I think the result is kinda cool.

Loch Ness Monster cake

Loch Ness Monster cake

I found my base cake recipe and did my ingredient shopping on Friday night, but afterwards realised that I’d neglected to plan what I was going to do for the actual Loch Ness monster part of the cake! Whoops. This meant I had to make another quick trip to the shop on Saturday to pick up some final ingredients.

I also visited my favourite Canberra baking supply store, Cooking Coordinates at the Belconnen Markets, but they didn’t have a sheet pan in the size I wanted. Also they are a LOT more expensive than Cake Decorating Solutions the online shop I’ve been using lately. They had a Fat Daddio 7×11-inch rectangle cake tin for $39 at Cooking Coordinates, but at CDS it’s only $21.95. So even when you add shipping, CDS is still a better deal. (Actually in hindsight, it’s probably a good thing I couldn’t buy a nice, big sheet pan. I don’t know enough people to have eaten a cake that size!)

For the base, I ended up making two Nigella Lawson Devil’s Food Cakes using my 8-inch square cake tin. The recipe says to use two 20cm sandwich tins, so I thought that I’d be able to combine it into one 8-inch square tin and it would be tall enough to torte, but no go. It was only about 4cm high after removing the dome! Although I think I under-creamed the butter and sugar, so perhaps it should have been taller. Once I realised how short the cake was, I had to rush to get another in the oven.

For the Loch Ness monster, I halved this orange cake recipe and used three 4-inch round springform tins. I only actually ended up using two of the cakes, but I didn’t want to waste any of the batter so I made three. The first round was cut almost in half to form the Nessie body, then I used a small circle cutter to cut a small dent into the straight edge so that the final shape was like half a ring. I used the leftovers from the first round to make a tail, and used the second round to make a head/neck.

Loch Ness Monster, cake only

Loch Ness Monster, cake only

For the icing, I made up a one-and-a-half lot of German buttercream (recipe below). What makes this buttercream German I have no idea… I tried to Google “German buttercream” with little success. It’s a recipe I got off the instructor of the cake decorating course I was doing earlier this month. I trimmed and sandwiched the two devil’s food cakes together with the buttercream, then dyed the remainder with royal blue Wilton paste. I tried for a smooth finish on the square cake with mixed results… I just can’t get my buttercream to be perfectly smooth! The flat surfaces are generally okay, but what do you do about the edges? And what about the corners?! I put some royal blue piping gel on the top to make a water-like surface, but I didn’t have enough piping gel for it to look really cool. I also think my buttercream should have been more pale blue than the greenish-blue shade I got from adding the blue dye to yellowish buttercream. But anyway. The end result looked pretty neat.

Iced devil's food cake base

Iced devil's food cake base

For the Loch Ness Monster itself, I iced it with a light layer of buttercream and covered it with chocolate clay scales. Chocolate clay is an alternative to fondant, and I have to say that I’m definitely going to continue using it over fondant. It hardens much faster than fondant and actually tastes good! Making the scales was actually quite a lot of work. I dyed the chocolate clay green, then rolled it out as thinly as it would go (which was about 5mm thick). I used a small circle cutter to cut out the scales, but they were still too thick to lay on top of each other. It took me awhile to realise that I had to flatten each one with my fingers before putting it on the cake. Blergh. It was slow, but I got a little faster as I went along. Practice makes perfect I guess.

Loch Ness Monster cake

Loch Ness Monster cake

German Buttercream

440g butter
275g icing sugar
2 1/2 eggs
25ml vanilla essence

Cream the butter and sugar together for around 10 minutes until very pale and it has the consistency of whipped cream

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl down between additions

Add the vanilla and beat for another few minutes

 

White Chocolate Clay

454g white chocolate
1/2 cup light corn syrup (liquid glucose)

Melt chocolate in a microwave or double boiler

When smooth, stir in corn syrup and mix the chocolate forms a ball. Spread the chocolate with a spatula onto waxed paper to 2cm thickness. Leave uncovered for about 2 hours.

When ready to use, break off the desired amount and knead until pliable. You can also microwave it for 3-7 seconds to soften it up before using. The chocolate can also be coloured at this stage by kneading the colour into the chocolate until all the chocolate is a single colour.

Note: this chocolate clay can be made using milk or dark chocolate, but the ratio of glucose to chocolate changes depending on the type of chocolate. For dark chocolate, use 2/3 cup of glucose to 454g dark chocolate.

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2 thoughts on “Loch Ness monster cake

  1. Pingback: Winter Wonderland cake « Misteri's Randomness

  2. Pingback: Harry Potter Quidditch cake « Misteri's Randomness

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