Ive really gotten into baking since my 24th Birthday last October as I enjoy coming up with new ideas for cake flavours and decoration. With it being Easter Weekend last week, I didn't need anymore of an excuse to make an Easter Themed Cake! I decided to create a Vanilla Sponge layer cake filled and decorated with Caramac Flavoured butter cream! I have also wanted to try my hand at spun sugar for a while so what better reason than to create a nest for my favourite Galaxy Golden egg chocolates.
225g very soft butter, plus more for the tins
225g golden caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
2 level tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE CARAMAC BUTTERCREAM ICING
175g room temp soft butter
350g icing sugar
3 (90g) melted Caramac chocolate bars
1 tsp vanilla extract
Baking the Vanilla Sponge
Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. Being careful not to over mix as this will create a more dense cake. Divide the mixture evenly between two 8 inch cake tins or if you only have one tin ( like me ) divide the mixture in two and bake one at a time.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25–30 minutes until golden brown, shrinking away from the sides of the tin and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed. Leave your cakes to thoroughly cool on a wire rack whilst you prepare the icing. Once cool, carefully use a wire cake cutter or sharpe knife to slice each cake horizontally in half, giving four layers of cake.
Caramac Buttercream Icing
To make the icing, beat the room temperature butter for around 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer so that the butter creams and becoms less yellow. Whilst your creaming the butter, place your Caramac bars in a glass heat safe bowl over a pan of boiling water to melt the chocolate without burning it. Then mix the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. When your Caramac bars are completely melted, add the chocolate to your sugar and butter along with 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 tsp of milk to combine your buttercream.
Sit one base on a cake stand or cake board and spread with a quarter of the mixture. Continue layering up with cake and icing so you finish with icing on top. Totally cover your cake evenly with your remaining buttercream and either smooth over the whole cake or leave it a little messy as I did.
You can decorate your cake how you wish with some beautiful Galaxy Golden Eggs for a simple yet delicious finish or create the spun sugar nest for added 'WOW' factor!
Spun sugar nest
250g Granulated Sugar
Add the sugar to a dry pan or saucepan and leave it to melt a little on a medium heat. Keep an eye on your sugar as you don't want it to burn. Using a wooden spoon carefully move the sugar around the pan to mix until the sugar has turned golden brown and is a syrup consistency. You can add food colouring or any flavouring to the syrup at this point to create your own look and flavour. I didn't add anything to my syrup.
Using a sugar/jam thermometer, cook the syrup until it reaches 155°C or if you've not got a thermometer, keep stirring your syrup until it's more of a thicker consistency and more golden. You will know the correct consistency once you have it, a little goey and honey like.
Once your syrup is at the correct temperature and consistency, Immediately remove from the heat and plunge the pan into cold water to halt the cooking.
To spin the sugar, take a whisk with the bottom snipped off with pliers, so that you have a whisk that is simply a handle with spikes. Alternatively you can take two forks placed back to back and hold tightly. Dip the whisk into the syrup and flick the whisk back and forth over a rolling pin that has been cooled in the fridge for half an hour to create long hair like strands. The cooling of the rolling pin ensures that the spun sugar doesn't stick to your rolling pin. I also enlisted the help of my fiancé Craig to hold the rolling pin , alternatively you could spin the sugar between the edges of a bowl or dish.
Keep spinning the sugar until you have the amount you need. Next gather up the strands of spun sugar and create your shape by simply moulding the strands in your hands. The nest was so easy to create as you just fold the strands into a round and form the nest shape.
As you can see my spun sugar has a lot of drips within the strands as this was my first attempt at spun sugar but with a bit of practise I'm sure to minimise/eliminate those droplets.
Add your Galaxy Golden Eggs or your chosen chocolate eggs to your nest and your cake is finished! Unfortunately I totally forgot to photograph the inside of my cake which is super annoying as it looked so yummy with the four layers of cake and buttercream.
I'd love to see if you create this cake or a similar cake using this recipe so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and tag me in your pictures so I can check out your bakes!
I hope you all had a fantastic Easter Weekend!