Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Popcorn Cake

While I'm in decorated cake mode, I thought I'd also share with you my dear husband Dean's birthday cake from this year. His and Hope's birthdays are only 1 day apart, so it's always a busy week in the kitchen! He is a film-maker and this cake was inspired by a photo of him that was in the paper ages ago. He is in a movie cinema with a box of popcorn, and the kids absolutely LOVE the photo, so that's why we chose this cake! He loved it and it was delicious...this recipe is from www.taste.com.au.

You’ll need a 30cm x 40cm cake board.

2 x 340g packets golden buttercake mix or 2 quantities Homemade buttercake (see related recipe)
10 strawberry sour straps
12 x 4cm pieces strawberry licorice twists
1 1/2 cups caramel-flavoured popcorn
1/4 cup white chocolate melts, halved
White chocolate writing fudge, to decorate

Buttercream icing
250g butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar mixture
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 7cm-deep, 11cm x 22cm (base) loaf pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing 4cm overhang at long ends.

Prepare packet cakes following packet directions, or homemade cakes (see related recipe). Pour three-quarters of batter into prepared pan (see tip). Smooth surface. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through. Stand cake for 5 minutes in pan. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make icing: Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until pale. Gradually add icing sugar mixture and milk, beating constantly until combined.

Using a serrated knife, level top of cake if necessary. Cut cake into 2 pieces crossways, 1 piece measuring 10cm (base) and 1 piece measuring 12cm (base). Taper cut-side of 10cm piece so base measures 8cm. Taper cut-side of 12cm piece so base measures 10cm (see Cooking class, below). Secure larger piece of cake onto smaller piece (cut side of small piece facing left and cut side of large piece facing right) with a little icing.

Transfer cake to board. Reserve 2 tablespoons icing. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. Cut 11 sour straps into 2cm-wide lengths, reserving trimmings. Starting from 1 bottom corner, press 1 piece of wide sour strap up side of cake to form a stripe. Repeat process with remaining cut pieces, alternating wide pieces with thin trimmings.

Using a little reserved icing, secure licorice twists to top of cake to form a border, trimming to fit. Insert melts under twists to form a scalloped edge, using icing to secure if necessary. Arrange popcorn on top of cake within licorice border. Cut remaining sour strap into a 5cm-long piece. Using writing fudge, pipe 'POPCORN' onto sour strap. Set aside for 5 minutes to set slightly. Using remaining icing, secure to front of cake. Serve.

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