I never think perfection can be improved upon. M&S' legendary Colin the Caterpillar cake has been imitated by all the major supermarkets with their own version, but none have that je ne sais quoi that Colin has. I've done a bespoke birthday cake in the Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, but that definitely wasn't a fake bake, where the rules are rather strict:
1) Strict £10 max budget
2) One shop only
3) No oven, no mixers (microwave allowed)
4) No extra ingredients (water allowed)
So if I can't improve on Colin, I'd have to reimagine Colin. That too within an unforgiving budget of £10...at M&S. If you're familiar with M&S you'll know £10 won't get you too far. And if you're not familiar with M&S, you should know £10 won't get you too far. So I had my work cut-out for me. This is possibly the most challenging Fake Bake to date.
But I was bolstered by the success of my previous M&S Percy Pig fake bake and went forth as soon as I saw some yellow stickered mini Colins. I filled my basket with a large Colin face, some Colin chocolate button-y type things, and had just enough left to get one chocolate layer cake, a chocolate Swiss roll, and a bar of chocolate.
There was nothing left in the budget to get any frosting. So what's a pastry chef to do?
Make a frosting out of my favourite cake decorating hack of course - the water ganache! It was a mega punt. And it paid off!
Sure, after all the whipping of the ganache my arm was ready to fall out of its socket but getting a two-tiered birthday cake, from spending just £10 at fancy M&S, based on a beloved children's' character...FAKE BAKE RESULT!
Fake Bake Recipe - Colin the Caterpillar Cake
1x Ready-made Chocolate Sponge Cake (5" or 6" size)
1 bar of Dark chocolate
Mini Colin the Caterpillar cakes
Colin the Caterpillar face
1 chocolate Swiss roll
1 bag of mini colourful eggs
Colin the Caterpillar chocolate buttons
1. Prepare the cake decorating station with a cake turntable, angled palette knife, cake scraper, a cake board, a tablespoon, a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle, a small paring knife and a spatula.
2. Break up the chocolate bar in small pieces and place them in a heat proof bowl. Melt it gently over a water bath/double/boiler/bain-marie or in a microwave in 30 second bursts. When melted add 3-5 tablespoons of warm water and stir into a ganache.
3. When the ganache has cooled a bit, whip with a whisk till light and fluffy. The frosting should hold a soft peak. Smear a dollop of frosting in the middle of the cake board on the turntable. Unbox the layer cake and place it on the cake board. Smooth the frosting on the top of the cake with an angled palette knife.
4. Pipe the frosting around the cake and smooth it with the edge of the palette knife, or a plastic cake scraper. Smooth the top of the cake. Place in the fridge to chill and set. Cut one one end of the Swiss roll and place on top of the frosted cake, cut side faced down. Pipe the frosting around the cut Swiss roll top tier and smooth it with the edge of the palette knife, or a plastic cake scraper.
7. Chop some mini eggs. Sprinkle them around the cake.
Cut the other end of the Swiss roll and stick it on the base of the cake with some ganache.
Stick the Colin face and some Colin buttons on the Swiss roll with the ganache.
8. Carve two holes with a small paring knife in the bottom tier and top tier of the cake - big enough to fit mini Colins. Place the two mini Colins inside.
This really does not look like something for £10 from M&S. That too a cake decorated with genuine COLIN decorations!
Lots of love,