I really wanted to name this the "Polishing a Turd Series". The premise of this blog series being that I try to create the most stunning looking cake using a pre-made supermarket cake, ready-made icing, and decorations such as bottled chocolate sauce etc. However, after lots of deliberation, we decided to go with something a bit more professional and inoffensive (because let's face it, someone was bound to take offence).
Tight on time? Don't stress. No fancy KitchenAid stand-mixer? No biggie. Have hooves for hands when it comes to baking? Don't beat yourself up. This blog post series is all about "Fake it till you make it". Fake Bakes is here to help all the hapless bakers.
There's no debate about what tastes better. The objective of this series is NOT to make the best cake you have ever tasted. That's simply not a reasonable deliverable when you rely on ready-made, off-the-shelf bakes and ingredients. Home-made from scratch, or a professional craft bakery will ALWAYS taste best. I am not trying to achieve a total knock-off of our own famed birthday cakes. But if you are short on time, there's been a baking disaster, or there's a cake emergency, and you need a cake to have a visual impact at the very least, this is the recipe for it.
I set myself a target of under-£7-and-7-minutes. I went to Tesco and grabbed their Finest chocolate cake, a bag of maltesers, a tub of ready made chocolate frosting, and a jar of own-brand chocolate spread. It all comfortably came under £7 in total (interestingly, Asda was more expensive for everything except the sponge cake).
Fake Bake Recipe - Chocolate Malteser Cake
Ready-made Round Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake (5" or 6" size)
1 tub (400g) of ready-made buttercream-style Chocolate icing
100g Chocolate Spread
1. Prepare the cake decorating station with a cake turntable, angled palette knife, cake scraper, a cake board, a knife, and a table spoon.
2. Unbox the cake. Smear a dollop of buttercream in the middle of the cake board on the turntable, and then placed the cake on the board. Remove any paper wrapping along the edges and pull off any decorations from the top of the cake (in this case, I had a few chocolate curls).
3. Decant the buttercream into a bowl and loosen it with a spatula or whisk until soft enough to spread. Spread and smooth over the top and sides of the cake using an angled palette knife and cake scraper.
4. Unscrew the lid of the chocolate spread jar. Warm 100g of it in a microwaveable bowl either in short bursts of 10 seconds in the microwave or over a double boiler. Stir in between bursts to check it's reached a smooth flowing consistency (around 32 degrees Celsius). Use a tablespoon to drip the spread along the edges and flood the middle of the cake.
5. Chop 4-5 Maltesers. Decorate the top of the cake with whole Maltesers, and the base with the crushed chopped ones. Any remaining crushed Maltesers can be sprinkled over the top.
I must admit I was a bit peeved at some points during this exercise. Upon unboxing the cake I was miffed to find that it was domed and oval-shaped, and not round with a flat top. I ended up using more buttercream to round out the oval shape and not having any left for piping cute swirls. Not the end of the world, but the picture shows a round cake, and that's not what's in the box. The chocolate curls on top...I would've been able to use them but they were too scant anyway. Again, a bit misleading compared to the photo on the box with a full crown of chocolate curls...but it's £3 and having so few saved me time taking off a whole bunch anyway. And then, I may have saved a bit of time over the chocolate curls, but I lost more using ready-made buttercream that's so much stiffer than our gorgeous Swiss meringue buttercream. I'd say I spent most of my time trying to smooth out the oval shaped cake with stiffer-than-usual buttercream. Swings and roundabouts!
Despite my minor grievances, I think the cake turned out really well and is possibly what a really nice supermarket cake should look like.
But did I do it in under 7 minutes?
Nope. It freakin' took 8 minutes and 49 seconds. Ugh.
Did it taste good? Definitely not as good as our Chocolate Malt Milkshake Cake. But you already knew that.
Lots of love,