Yesterday, Summer officially started in Sydney. Not just the 40*C heat wave, but the festivities and eating way too much!
|Happy birthday Winky Poo! :)|
Nathan has always loved LEGO. At a very young age, he was completing LEGO sets way beyond his years. A couple of years ago, I even lugged 2 kg worth of LEGO back from my trip to the US just for him. (Apparently they didn't have this model back in Sydney, as it's for 16 years+!) So I thought this LEGO cake was a fitting theme for him. But the challenge lied with his dairy and egg allergies. Like I've said before, you can't not eat cake for your birthday! So I present to you a completely dairy and egg free chocolate LEGO cake.
This cake definitely had its challenges but all in all, I think it turned out well. Complements from fussy family members means it's a winner. I based this on a previous cake and modified it slightly and doubled the mixture. The frosting I worked off the principles of a butter frosting and added vanilla and lemon essence to mask the margarine taste. The design and method of constructing this cake I followed this picture from flickr and this video from Betty Crocker.
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 tspn bicarb soda
6 tspn baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
1/8 tpsn salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 1/4 cups desiccated coconut
2 tspn vanilla essence
1 tspn pandan essence (optional)
2 1/4 cups almond milk (or water)
275g dairy free margarine (I used a canola spread)
170 to 200g icing sugar mixture - depending how sweet you want it (or icing sugar)
2 tspns vanilla essence
2 tspns lemon essence
Food colouring (use red pillar box for the red brick)
~extra icing sugar mixture to dissolve food colouring
Black writing icing gel
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line base and sides of a 9 inch square cake pan with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl sift together, flour, bicarb soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and cocoa. Add almond meal and coconut.
3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, and add vanilla, pandan and almond milk. Using a whisk, slowly mix to incorporate. If the mixture looks a little dry, add a dash of almond milk or water.
4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cake is cooked (prick with toothpick comes out clean).
5. Sit in tin for 5 to 10 minutes then turn the cake out on to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
1. Using a cake mixer, beat together margarine, sifted icing sugar mixture, vanilla and lemon essence until well incorporated. Taste as you go for the appropriate level of sweetness. Bare in mind you'll be adding a few more teaspoons of icing sugar at a later stage to dissolve the food colouring.
2. Separate mixture into 3 small to medium bowls, 1 for each colour.
3. For each colour, in a separate small bowl add a fair few drops food colouring to about 1 tablespoon of icing sugar mixture. Stir to form a paste. Add paste to 1 of margarine frosting bowls and mix to combine. Repeat until you get the desired colour.
Tip: Becuase the LEGO blocks are very vibrantly coloured, so don't be shy on the colouring - otherwise you'll doing this process for ages! You'll probably use about 10 to 20 ml of food colouring.
4. Repeat step #3 for the other two colours. For the green, I added some pandan essence which helped but needed the food colouring to get the vibrancy. I also added a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the red mixture to get that deeper colour.
Building the cake
For a more detailed 'how it' check out the Betty Crocker video.
1. Cut the cake into 3 rectangles.
Tip: You can put the off cuts together to make another 'brick'.
2. Crumb coat each rectangle with respective colour. This means very lightly coating the cake with frosting then refrigerating for about 30 minutes. This seals in the crumbs before the main frosting layer.
3. Place the first rectangle onto the serving plate/board and using a butter knife (or offset spatula), spread frosting to coat the side and top of the brick. Coat 4 marshmallows with the same colour frosting and place on top the cake. Smooth out any untidy sides.
4. Place second rectangle next to the first with an offset. Frost and top with another 4 coated marshmallows. Smooth out any untidy sides.
5. Place the third rectangle on-top of the first two rectangles to form a bridge. (refer to my crude picture below). Frost and top with 2 marshmallows. Using the black writing icing gel, write your message (or birthday person's name) on the top brick and number on top of the two marshmallows.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!