Archive for the ‘novelty cakes’ Category


Sacha’s Box of Chocolates

May 17, 2009

chocolate box cake

My cousin Sacha is a confirmed chocoholic. With this in mind, when her mother asked if I could make Sacha a cake for her 20th birthday I knew the cake would have to contain a large amount of chocolate. But, I thought, is that enough? And then I remembered Bakerella’s amazing Valentines cake, and knew what had to be done.

Sacha's 20th birthday cake

The cake was, of course, chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache in between the layers and covering the cake. Then onto a fondant-covered board, a layer of fondant over the top to make the base of the box, and then a strip of the same around the sides. Probably a little thicker is better for the side stuff, if you try this at home.

Then I made cake balls (cake crumbs mixed with cream cheese) in various shapes and dipped them in chocolate to make the chocolates for the top of the cake.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the chocolatey goodness – my Dad did his best to get more than his share!

Happy Birthday Sacha! I hope you had a great birthday and enjoyed gobbling up the leftovers. 🙂


Gingerbread Noah’s Ark

May 6, 2009


Okay, so this was ages ago, and I know some of you have already seen it, but I just realised I never posted it here, so here it is! The idea for a gingerbread Noah’s Ark was conceived many moons ago, while pondering what else could be made from gingerbread (some friends of ours made an incredible gingerbread castle a couple of years back. I do mean incredible). And then, we had a weekend free and it sounded like a good time. So, out with the mixer! I think it only took four batches of gingerbread. And four packets of smarties. And three packets of marshmallows. Hmm… A lot of sugar!


We had various animals, including frogs, pigs, snakes, elephants, bunnies, cows, and butterflies. We also had Noah and his family – in this photo you can see Noah being nuzzled by a slightly disproportionate elephant. Noah’s wife was at the other end, and we put the other six family members inside the boat, sleeping. As you do.


Lastly, a close up of the evil pink-eyed bunnies. These are actually larger than the elephants, so scary indeed!


Crampton/Hickson Budget Line

October 19, 2008

This cake/graph shows the budget line for consumption of goods Crampton (on the y axis) and Hickson (on the x axis). The green curve shows where the consumer is indifferent between all points on the curve. The point where the curve intersects the budget line is the point of optimal consumption.

Or, for those of you not familiar with economics-speak, this is a graph most economists would be familiar with. Eric Crampton is the lecturer for an economics paper I took this semester, and Stephen Hickson is my tutor for the same course. Hamish and Craig also took a paper taught by Crampton, and we presented this cake to the two of them on Friday afternoon… Hopefully they enjoyed eating it as much as they appeared to enjoy discussing who is consumed more at the optimal point!


Pirate Cupcakes

October 16, 2008

I was asked to make some pirate cupcakes for a little boy’s birthday, and these cute pirate faces seemed to do the trick. The cupcakes are my chocolate cake recipe, with chocolate ganache icing under fondant decoration.

Apologies for my long absence – I have some more posts coming (two cakes in the oven right now, in fact) but have been incredibly busy with uni. Luckily, tomorrow is the last day of lectures for the year – then I have a couple of weeks to prepare for my exams. And study means procrastination, and procrastination (for me) usually means more time baking. So stay tuned…


Cathie’s Train Cake – Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

September 12, 2008

My baby sister celebrated her 18th birthday last weekend (although it’s a bit of a cheat, since her real birthday is still more than two weeks away – and made life somewhat busy for me as her party was the same night as the UCanDance one), and requested a train cake to match her Duplo train party.

This is a delicious chocolate hazelnut torte recipe, and although I’m not sure that train-shaped cakes can be considered torte it works really well in the intricately-shaped Nordicware pans – and, even better, because it’s such a decadent cake the need for icing is completely negated. Of course, it also makes a great torte – the cake I made my Dad for Christmas was from this recipe.

It’s also a gluten-free cake, using hazelnut meal as the ‘flour’ – here’s the recipe, in case you want to try it yourself!

400g 70% dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
400g butter
400g ground hazelnuts
300g sugar
10 eggs

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Grease or spray a 25cm round tin.

Beat together butter and sugar. Add chocolate, beat, and then gradually add beaten eggs. Fold in hazelnuts. Pour into pan, spreading evenly with spatula.

Bake for 40 minutes, and then turn oven off and leave in oven with door ajar for a further 30 minutes.

Wait until cool and turn out of tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

My tips:
– I use whatever tin I feel like. If you’re using a fiddly one like my train make sure you use a pastry brush to get your non-stick spray/grease into every last crevice
– I generally don’t bother with the resting in the oven, as my oven is usually needed for other things, and so far it’s always turned out fine
– You could easily halve this recipe and use a 20cm round tin if you prefer. It is a very rich cake, so a little goes a long way


Horses and Gold Panning

June 14, 2008

A friend asked if I could make a birthday cake for her husband, whose current hobby is gold panning, and her daughter, who loves horses. After some consideration I decided to whip out the glucose and make some chocolate modelling clay (you just add a little to melted chocolate, and when it cools a little (but not all the way) you can mold it like clay). My horse is possible not the most horse-like horse in the history of the universe, but hopefully it’s at least clear what it is. The gold pieces in the gold pan are just little bits of chocolate painted with gold icing paint.


Daimler Cake

May 26, 2008

Today is my Uncle Ben’s 40th birthday, and to celebrate his wife organised a big surprise party for him – they live in the North Island, so she flew him down, distracted him with a trike race, and then brought him home, where about 80 people were waiting. He has a couple of Daimlers, which theoretically are being restored, so we decided a Daimler cake would be fitting.

The cake is chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache… And it weighed a ton! (it didn’t help that the only board I have that is large enough for such a monster cake is my 20kg slab of marble)

Happy birthday Uncle Ben!