Friday, 13 September 2013

Piano Cake

Hey Kids, 

Satch here. On friday, it was Mummy Satch's birthday and I was in charge of the organising/food etc. (I would say Daddy Satch was also in charge, but as he spent the majority of Friday afternoon in the pub, I'm gonna go ahead and say Cobb and I take full credit!) 

Obviously, a birthday is a fantastic reason to get creative with cake, and as my Mum is a pianist, I gave myself a bit of a structural challenge and decided to make a piano cake.
Apologies for the camerawork, I'm taking photos on my phone until I can get a nice new camera!
It's a little smaller than I would have liked - I think if I used 4 eggs and 8oz of everything it would have stood up on its own without the box, so you may want to change the quantities of ingredients. However, I'm not sure about this, so I'll write it how I made it. 

To make this cake you will need:

6oz Caster Sugar 
6oz Butter (I used dairy-free) 
3 Eggs 
1-2oz Cocoa Powder
4-5oz Self-Raising Flower (With these last two ingredients you need to make it up to 6oz, so it depends how chocolatey you want it. I think I just did 1oz cocoa and the rest flour). 
A Lined Square Cake Tin 

To decorate:
Icing Sugar
Cocoa Powder 
Dark Chocolate
Chocolate Fingers
Possibly a cardboard box covered in greaseproof paper to stand it against!

It's your basic chocolate sponge recipe so I won't go into too fine a detail. Cream together the butter and sugar, mix in the eggs (I don't bother whisking them first) and add in the flour and cocoa powder. Then, pour your mixutre into your cake tin and place it in a 180 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. 

When your cake is done, leave it to cool on a wire rack while you make your chocolate buttercream. I don't really have a recipe for this, I just mix together butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar and keep adding different components in until it tastes good! Also, I used dairy free butter which is why the icing looks a bit speckled, as soya butter doesn't mix in as thoroughly. Meh, it still tastes the same! 

You basically want to divide your cake into thirds, and trim a little off the top of one of them so that it's thinner than the other two (Hence the random extra bit of cake in the photo) This section will form the bit with the keys on, so you don't want it so thick that it makes the cake topple over. 

Cover your sections with the icing, making sure to cover the sections where the cake will connect. On the keys section, you're obviously going to need keys so add a line of marshmallows along the bottom edge. To make the black keys I melted dark chocolate and piped it on using a really thin nozzle, and I also piped "Squire Ealing" on the top section, as this is what it says on my Mum's piano.

Then it's time to assemble your piano! You may need an extra pair of hands for this (Cobb came in very handy at this moment!) Stand the bottom section against the back of your box (or on its own if you're feeling confident!) and stick four toothpicks into the top, spread out evenly. I tried to do this without toothpicks and it all just fell over, so don't try to be a hero. 

Then, pick up your middle section - the one with the keys - and push it down so the back joins on at the toothpicks. Here's where you need a second pair of hands: while someone holds the middle section in place, slide two chocolate fingers underneath either end of the keys, to make the piano legs. I found that the fingers were slightly too high, so I chopped the ends off. 

With the other person still holding the middle section, slide two toothpicks up underneath the middle of the piano, making sure they cross at the centre. This stops the cake from collapsing in the middle. Then, insert four toothpicks along the back of this section - in a slightly different place to where the bottom toothpicks are - and slide on the top part. 
Here it is close up.

It's a little messy when you examine it closely, but it's so delicate I didn't want to touch it once it was together! Plus, this isn't the Great British Bake Off or anything, so I'll take that. I chose buttercream because it tastes better, and makes it look more like my mum's piano, but using fondant icing might give you a better finish, especially if you did a grand piano version. Just remember to warn everyone about the toothpicks before they eat it! 

Until next time, 
Satch x


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