Chunky Chocolate Spider Cake
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- 3 oz (85 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
- violet paste food colouring
- orange paste food colouring
- 16 chocolate covered biscuit sticks, such as Pocky
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) chocolate sprinkles, approx
- licorice allsorts candies
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) butter, softened
- 2-1/4 cups (550 mL) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
- 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) buttermilk
- 1 cup (250 mL) mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
- 5 cups (1.25 L) icing sugar
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) whipping cream
- 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
- Cake: In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt ; stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of buttermilk. Stir in chocolate chips. Scrape into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
- Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for about 50 minutes for small cake and 60 minutes for large or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks; peel off paper from large cake. Let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and store for up to 24 hours or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
- Icing: In bowl, beat butter until light; gradually beat in sugar and cream, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of cream. Beat in vanilla. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; beat to use.)
- Remove 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) of the icing to small bowl; beat in two-thirds of the chocolate. Tint 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the remaining icing deep violet. Tint 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the remaining icing orange. Reserve remaining white icing for masking and piping eyes and mouth.
- Place large cake on cake board or tray; spread 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the white icing over top and side to mask and seal in crumbs. Spread small cake with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the remaining white icing to mask. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut uncoated end of biscuit sticks on an angle. Dip cut ends of 2 sticks into remaining chocolate; press together to form spider legs. Place on waxed paper-lined tray. Repeat with remaining sticks. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Spread top of large cake with orange icing. Spread sides of large cake with violet icing. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Spread small cake with 1 cup (250 mL) of the chocolate icing, using back of palette knife to make tufts of “hair.” Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- With piping bag fitted with small plain tip, pipe remaining chocolate icing on top of large cake to resemble spiderweb. Pipe about 7 threads halfway down side; place licorice candy at end of each to make small hanging spider. Pipe legs on spiders.
- With piping bag fitted with small plain tip, pipe remaining white icing to make eyes and mouth on spider. Cut licorice candies for eyes and teeth; place on icing.
- Place spider on top of large cake close to back so web is visible. Poke 4 holes each on opposite sides of spider's body. Insert spider legs in holes.
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