I’m not going to mess about. I have stuff to do. The kids are at their Dad’s house over the Easter weekend so it is DIY central here. There’s a drain to unblock, a fence to erect, shelves to drill in and lino for a playhouse to buy. I have even painted the inside of the playhouse with rogue tester pots. Yes, I’m THAT kind of busy.
Anyway – this cake is really very good indeed and it has a nest on top, which makes me infinitely happy. It also has Cadbury Creme Egg buttercream and well, do you need me to talk to you about why that’s a good thing? Come on. Creme egg buttercream. If I were hosting a big Easter celebration I would make a spiced leg of lamb like the one I made here and then I would serve this with cups of tea. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful Easter weekend. May it be full of chocolate and Bond films.
This recipe first appeared in Back to School magazine where you can hear my musings about Easter as well as see this recipe.
Photography: Scott Choucino
Board: Woodrow Studios
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
- For the cake:
- 150g butter, salted or unsalted but I tend to use salted
- 250mls water
- 250g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 300g plain flour
- 60g cocoa
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 550g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 30mls olive oil
- 90mls milk
- 10mls lemon juice (from a bottle is fine)
- For the bird's nest:
- 50g butter
- 30g golden syrup
- 200g milk chocolate (broken up Easter egg remnant are perfect)
- 100g Shredded Wheat (4 pieces), crumbled into pieces
- For the icing:
- 125g salted butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 5 x Cadbury Crème Eggs
- To decorate:
- 2 x 90g bags Cadbury Mini eggs
- Yellow fluffy chicks (optional)
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark 3 and line 2 x 20cm round tins. Melt together the butter, cold water and chocolate for the cake in a saucepan. Once melted remove from the heat and set aside. Mix together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and sugar. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the dry mixture along with the eggs and oil. Beat for 4 minutes until smooth. In the meantime add the lemon juice to the milk to sour it. Add this to the cake mixture and beat for another minute until really creamy and smooth. Divide equally between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, until well risen a toothpick comes out of the centre of the cakes clean. Cool on a wire rack, out of the tins. Whilst the cakes are baking make the birds nest cake topper by melted the butter and syrup over a very low heat in a saucepan. Add the chocolate and stir until it’s melted. Stir through the Shredded Wheat until completely coated. Draw a 20cm circle onto a piece of non-stick baking paper, turn it over and then spoon the Shredded Wheat onto the paper, being careful to stay about 1cm within the line. Build the nest up towards the outside to make it slightly higher using your hands. Leave in a cool place (not the fridge though) to set. Make the icing by beating the butter for 5 minutes in a stand mixer/using a hand held mixer or with a wooden spoon. Add the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the double cream and beat for 7 minutes until light and fluffy. Break the Crème Eggs up into pieces and stir through the buttercream. (If using a stand mixer you can add them whole to the bowl and beat on a low setting). Assemble the cake by using half the icing to sandwich the cakes together and the rest spread on top of the cake. Carefully use a slice or cake lifter to move the nest to the top of the cake, add Mini Eggs to the top and a few fluffy chicks if you wish.
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