Friday, July 23, 2010

a pinata cake for Thomas's 7th birthday

Thomas turned 7 a couple of weeks ago. In the grand tradition of complicated cakes, and due to some parental prodding (I've always wanted to make one) he asked for a pinata cake! It was LOTS of fun.

After a couple of false starts, we got it to work ... it's pretty easy once you know how! I'll tell you how in case you ever decide to make one, so you don't make the mistakes we did.

I bought a chocolate mud cake from the supermarket (the gluten free cake I baked failed) and we piled chocolate coins and lollies on top. (You're supposed to hollow out the top of the cake and pour the lollies in but this didn't seem necessary, and the icing looked too yummy to disturb!)

You have to mould chocolate in a pudding bowl so you can put it over the cake. After one failed attempt to remove the hardened chocolate, I realised that it's best to line the bowl with Glad Bake (use more than we did - or you can just grease the bowl like the recipe says if you're brave) and put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes (next time I'll read the instructions!) before you pour the chocolate in. (Check the comments: apparently if you use a metal bowl, the chocolate slides out easily and you don't need Glad Bake - sounds like a much better solution to me!!)

I melted 450 g of chocolate, and poured it into the bowl. You have to swirl it around until it begins to set and evenly coats the sides of the bowl, especially the edges; then stand it until it almost sets; then freeze until it sets completely.

Once the chocolate is completely hard, the instructions say to upend the bowl over the cake and rub the outside of the bowl with a hot cloth, which I did (but don't overdo it or you'll melt the chocolate, like I did the first time!).

Then, with lots of thumping and shaking (no, it didn't just slip neatly from the bowl, despite what the recipe said) the chocolate should demould - SUCCESS!!

Stick some Smarties and M&Ms on the cake and some candles around it with a little more melted chocolate (giant Smarties look better than little ones, but we couldn't find any).

Sing "Happy Birthday", blow out the candles,

then SMASH the cake with a toy hammer!

If at first you don't succeed,

try and try again.

Okay, so maybe you should put the cake in the fridge for a while to get the chocolate REALLY hard before you smash it. Ours squashed rather than smashed! But we had a LOT of fun anyway.

Here's what was left of the cake after everyone ate it *sigh*. Yum!

Happy 7th birthday Thomas!

This cake is from the Australian Women's Weekly cookbook Fantastic Cakes.


Mel said...

I made this cake for my son's 4th birthday Pirate party. So instead of doing the random dots on top, I decorated it with the smarties (and mini m&ms)to look like and island and had an 'X' marking the spot. I also used a metal bowl to make the chocolate shell and had no trouble - I think because the metal conducts the heat and the cold better than glass or plastic.

Deb L said...

Love the cake! We did that one last year and as you say it really is a very simple one once you've got the hang of it. It took me four tries to get the dome. The trick (discovered on attempt number 4) is to use a metal bowl not a glass or ceramic one (as I used in attempts 1 - 3). Slides out no worries at all then! Isn't it fun when the birthday boy or girl gets to whack the cake? All the oohs and aaaahs from the assembled children make all the chocolately mucking around worth it.

Katrina said...

I love your cakes posts, Jeanne. Good ideas.

Jean said...

Aah ... metal bowl ... that explains why I couldn't get ours out! Much better than glad bake!! I'd better add that to the post! :)

Jess Green said...

You could also use clingwrap rather than glad bake if you don't have the right metal bowl.

Jean said...

That's just too smart, Jess, here I am thinking baking - Glad Bake - but of course cling wrap would do if it doesn't go in the oven! :)

Handmade in Israel said...

Came across your post when I was searching pinata cakes. Just wanted to say that I just made one and the chcolate came out of the METAL bowl beautifully! Seems that yes, that is the trick. Great cake anyway. Your son looks very happy with it.

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