On April Fools, I went out with my childhood best friend or rather BFF, for the first time as two adults and I’m going to be honest here (I place high importance on honesty), out of anyone I’ve ever met she has had most probably the toughest road to walk and her strength and spirit give me a constant sense of awe.
Her difficult childhood, her child diagnosed with cancer at 3 and the fight for his life that followed, her smile and determination and strength have never disappeared.
Our friendship has not had an easy road either, yet we know, no matter how often we see each other, no matter how short a time we spend together, we are the same people with the same views, values and passions.
Quite frankly, if there ever was such a thing as a best friend soul mate, she’s it!
We have had no ordinary journey here and to mark this and the person she has become. To celebrate her utter beauty, strength and spirit. I have made an unordinary cake; baked in one location and iced in another and served in another.
I came up with this recipe that involves a ‘surprise,’ perfect for April Fools.
Once again in my honesty I am going to reveal that this is my first tiered cake I have ever made. It involves a minty surprise between the chocolate tiers and beneath the chocolate icing. Now I’m a beginner in both icing and clearly tier’s so I share this with you in the hope that if you have not made a tiered cake before then you can be inspired to know it works.
That you don't need to attend a cooking class to be dared to attempt this, your own or any old kitchen will do.
I also share with you knowing it looks extremely imperfect, but we all have to begin somewhere don’t we?
Chocolate Mint Surprise Cake
2 ½ cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
50g dark chocolate, melted
¾ cup sunflower oil
½ cup black coffee
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F and grease a cake tin.
Place the flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar in a bowl and combine. Make a well and add the eggs, oil, yoghurt, melted chocolate and mix until a smooth batter. Next add the coffee and stir until well combined. You want the mixture to be thick and smooth, yet runny.
Pour one third into the cake tin and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Repeat this with the other two layers.
Set aside to cool, preferably a few hours.
1 egg white
1 cup confectioner’s/icing sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon mint essence
Place the egg white and half the sugar in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the mint essence and mix until well combined. Add the butter and remaining sugar and beat for a few minutes until a fluffy, white mixture.
Spread half the icing on the bottom layer of cake then allow to set for approximately half an hour. It shouldn’t stick to your finger when you touch it. Add the second layer and proceed as with the first layer. Once the third layer, set aside for another hour to ensure the mint icing is well set.
Rich Chocolate Icing
80g dark chocolate, melted
50g butter, melted
¾ cup confectioner’s/icing sugar
Place the melted chocolate and butter in a bowl, mixing until they are well combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat for 2 minutes until fluffy. You want this to be thick enough to pipe, yet loose enough to spread. If it is too thick add warm water. If too thin add more confectioners’ sugar.
Fill the gaps between the layer’s with icing to create a smooth surface and next spread the icing over the entire cake, not too thickly, just enough to cover the mint icing and create a uniform surface. Lastly, place the icing in a piping bag and pipe medium star shapes on the entire top of the cake.