Lighthouse cake

July 18, 2016

Baking a cake at midnight is not always wise. But heck, it can be fun (provided you don't get caught for making too much noise!)
So why am I guerrilla baking in the middle of the night? Because uni doesn't stop when you want to bake a lighthouse. Yup you heard me. I am baking a lighthouse. And whether it succeeds or flops, I'm going to blog the process.
Let's begin with the cake base, I think I've discovered the easiest cake recipe ever. Like seriously, I now have no need for a packet mix ever again because this is that easy.

In order to have plenty of cake to make the lighthouse I decided to double the recipe. Please note this if you just want the best cake recipe on a normal scale.

What you'll need is;
4 cups self-raising flour
4 tbs cocoa powder
4 eggs
a pinch or two of salt
1 cup milk
2 cups caster sugar
250g butter 
and a slosh of vanilla (very technical term 'slosh')

Basically, you just chuck everything into a very large bowl and mix it with either an electric beater or stand mixer for around 3 minutes. I don't think I've ever made so much cake, or filled my kitchenaid big bowl so close to the top. It was quite an experience.

I poured my mixture into 2 lamington tins (long rectangular tins) and a square cake tin and even had a little left over which I put into a couple of muffin cases for the top 'light' of the lighthouse.

These are then baked in a moderate oven for around 30 minutes and left to cool in their tins. I left mine for the next afternoon (as it was like 1am by then).
Next I cut my cakes out using a large circle cutter.
Each of the cakes layers were covered with raspberry jam and stacked to make the body of the lighthouse.
I decided that the next thing to do was to make up a batch of butter cream to use as a crumb coat before appling the final white coat. Here's the approxmate recipe I followed:
125 g butter
1 1/2 icing sugar
a slosh of milk

Which I gradually creamed together until soft and creamy.

I figured I could gently apply the icing to the cake and that would hold the crumbly edges together. However I underestimated the amount of crumbs on the raw edges. There were so many crumbs! It really became a ball of buttercream with cake crumbs attached...
And this is where things went downhill.
As more and more crumbs came off the side of the cake, the icing started to be  an added weight rather than a coat holding the crumbs in, then I started to notice a slight lean...

And then this happened
Structurally I had seen people use straws as supports but it was too little too late.
There goes my dreams of a 3D lighthouse cake...
But what to do with all the cake?
Besides eating it of course!!

Tune in very shortly to find out! (I promise the next instalment will actually be out really soon)

If you feel the need to give this a try and find it works for you please share, I'd love to know what I should have tried to stop it falling over so many times. Or, if you know cakes (obviously better than me), then I'd love to know.



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