Friday, 11 November 2016

After Eight-y Birthday Cake - Recipe

 Sometimes an idea just presents itself. Playing with words. I wanted to make a cake for Himself's mum for her 80th and we just talked about the number and what she likes. It was then I wondered if there were such a thing as an After Eight cake. Of course there is! Rachel Allen to the rescue!
I followed this recipe pretty much to the letter. It really is minty! Love it. I might have to make this again for no particular reason...I smothered the whole cake in the icing and then wanted to 'glam' it up a little, so I made some easy chocolate mint glaze to drizzle over.
Simple royal icing for the writing, stick a few After Eights on top, et viola.
 
 
 
 
 
Prep Time: 30 mins
Bake Time: 40 mins 
Decorating Time: 45 mins
 
 
Ingredients:
 
For the Cake:
 
125 g dark chocolate
50 ml milk
150 g butter
150 g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
200 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
100 g After Eight mints, broken
 
For the Icing:
 
10-15 g fresh mint leaves, chopped (remove any stalks)
250 g icing sugar, sifted
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp peppermint essence
 
For the Chocolate Glaze:
 
50 g butter
100 g dark chocolate
1/2 tsp peppermint essence
 
For Decoration:
 
After Eight mints (as many as you wish)
100 g icing sugar
1-2 tsp water
1/2 tsp peppermint essence
1/2 tsp mint green food colouring (optional)
 
 
 
Method:
 
 
Heat the oven to 180 C or 160 C with fan.
 
Prepare a 20 cm square cake tin.
 
Place the dark chocolate and milk in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to melt, then set aside to cool, giving it a slow mix.
 
Cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer until light and fluffy.
 
Carefully add the cooled melted chocolate mixture and then the eggs, one at a time, mixing continuously.
 
Next, add the sifted four and baking powder and fold through thoroughly. 
 
Finally add the roughly broken After Eight mints and stir through.
 
Pour the mixture into your cake tin, and bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
 
Allow to cool completely on a wire before adding the icing.
 
 
For the icing, chop the fresh mint roughly, remove any stalks and whizz it up in a food processor with 2 tbsp of the icing sugar. This gives a beautiful minty green colour so I don't think it's necessary to add any food colouring, but of course you can if you wish.
 
Add this to the rest of the icing sugar, the butter and the lemon juice, with extra essence of peppermint to taste. Beat all together with a mixer until smooth.
 
Carefully half your cooled cake and spread the icing in between the two layers. It is quite a thin cake, so you don't need to if you prefer not to risk breaking it...
Spread the rest of the icing around the rest of the cake, as smooth as you can.
 
Prepare the chocolate glaze by melting the butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Let it cool enough so it still drips, but is not too runny - this may take 20 mins or so. Slowly drizzle it over the top of the cake in the centre, and let it slide out and down the sides. You can help it along a little if it doesn't drip enough! This part really is trial and error and you need to judge the consistency of the chocolate. Allow to set.
 
For the writing, mix 100 g icing sugar with a little water, add a bit at a time until you have a good consistency for writing. Add some peppermint essence or mint green colouring if you wish. Use a piping bag with a small nozzle to write your message.
Stick on any number of After Eights at random or in a pattern, before the chocolate glaze is too set.
 
Eat the rest of the After Eights with a nice cup of tea...
 
 
 
 
 
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