For the cake:
- 270g Butter (unsalted)
- 120g Unrefined golden caster sugar
- 9 Egg(s) (free range) (separated)
- 450g Dark chocolate (melted)
- 270g Self-raising white flour
- 90g Unrefined golden icing sugar
For the buttercream:
- 50g Dark chocolate (melted)
- 100g Butter (unsalted)
- 200g Unrefined golden icing sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the decoration:
- 500g Green sugar paste icing
- 50g White sugar paste icing
- 25g Pink sugar paste icing
- 25g Yellow sugar paste icing
- 50g Red sugar paste icing
- Pre heat your oven to 180C (160C, gas mark 4) and grease and line three 6" round tins.
- Cover your cake board in green icing, it is best to do this the night before if possible so it goes hard. You should have some left over for final decorations.
- To make your cakes, cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Seperate your eggs in a different bowl and beat in the egg yolks. Once they are mixed smoothly, add in your melted chocolate.
- Set your mixer to a slow speed and carefully add in the self- raising flour.
- In a separate bowl whisk the 9 egg whites (that have previously been separated) until stiff then add in 90 grams of icing sugar and mix further.
- Add the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and slowly combine. Split the mixture evenly into your three cake tins and bake for 45 minutes. A crust will form once baked, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean the cake should be cooked. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, cream the butter and icing sugar together, add in the vanilla extract then carefully pour in the melted chocolate. Stir until the mixture is combined thoroughly.
- To assemble the cake, cut a hole using a large circular pastry cutter in the centre of 2 of the cakes (make sure the holes are central so the cakes line up with each other). Using the buttercream as glue, attach the first cake with a hole onto the board, buttercream the top of this cake and put the next cake with a hole on top. Fill the hole with your chosen chocolates; we used Ferrero Rocher chocolates (unwrapped).
- Cover the top of the 2nd stacked cake with buttercream and add the final cake (without the hole) to enclose the sweets in the cake. Cover the whole cake with the remaining buttercream, you can use a pallet knife or run a fork through the icing to give a wood effect.
- To make the tree trunk top, roll out a large circle of light brown sugar paste and cut to the same size as your cake (you could use your cake tin as a guide) Place on top of the buttercream to fix into place, then lightly brush circles of brown food colouring using a small brush to give the tree ring effect.
- Decorate the top and sides with sugar paste butterflies and flowers by using cutters and secure onto the green sugar paste base by lightly brushing with water.
- To make the squirrels, firstly make the body. With the chocolate icing make a cone shape, then add feet and hands made from small balls of icing. You can glue these on using water. Make some ‘lighter’ brown icing by adding a bit of white icing to the chocolate and roll out an oval shape for the squirrel’s tummy, attach this using water.
- To make the squirrels head, make a smaller cone shape with the darker brown icing, roll 2 small lighter brown balls for the eyes and a larger light brown ball for its ‘muzzle’ and attach using water again. Make the nose using darker icing shaped into a triangle, and 2 small triangles for the ears, fix all of these on with water. To make the squirrels tail, roll out some icing and make a sausage shape, roll it up onto itself to make an S shape, affix with water to your squirrel.
- To make the acorns, with the lighter brown icing make some small cones shapes, with the darker brown cut out some small circles, wrap the circles around the larger end of the cones so they look like a hat. Affix a small stem out of icing to the acorn using the darker brown icing to complete your squirrel pinata cake.
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