Little Girl's Castle Cake

Little Girl's Castle Cake Here's a pretty neat girl's castle cake recipe that will result in lots of oooohs and aaaahs. I managed to impress all the mums at our daughter's 3rd birthday party with my culinary skills on this creative little number - and the kids loved it too. Though I'll have to admit, very time consuming.
Little girl's castle cake



So what we have here is a fairy castle with a tower, covered in white chocolate bricks and surrounded by a moat made of blueberry jelly. Allow several hours to put this together - the time needed to bake the cake, a couple of hours creating the chocolate bricks, a couple of hours assembling the cake, and then about another hour on the day to put on the final decorations. Easily 6 hours total, though I was experimenting and having fun the whole way through.

Don't let that put you off - this is great fun, looks awesome, and will really impress the crowd.

Ingredients

  • 3 cake tins - preferably all round or all square
  • A muffin tray for approx 4-6 small muffins
  • Double cake mixture - I used carrot cake, but choose something you like (must be a reasonably solid cake to hold everything up, so don't use a sponge)
  • 3 King size bars of white chocolate, or about 700g of white cooking chocolate
  • 500g bottle of white chocolate truffle - available from cake decorating shops
  • 1 x cake board, to lay everything out on
  • 2 packets of blue jelly - I used blueberry
  • A packet of ice cream wafers
  • 3 long kebab sticks
  • Marshmallows of various shapes and sizes to line the outside
  • 6 x candy sticks
  • Hearts, flowers etc for decoration

Chocolate bricks

The first task, and possibly the most time consuming is to create the white chocolate bricks for the walls of the castle. Maybe you can buy pre-made chocolate squares that you can use - but I couldn't, and the lady at the cake shop mentioned that they always make their own. Actually, I quite enjoyed making the bricks myself, it makes the thing look a bit more homemade.

Start by finely chopping the white chocolate - do only half a block at a time, at least for the first couple of runs. Any more than that it gets harder to manage.
Chop the white chocolate finely


Add the chocolate to a microwave-safe measuring cup, and into the microwave. The trick here is to cook for 15 seconds, then stir the chocolate - then repeat until the chocolate is fully melted.

Spread the chocolate onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, and use a spatula to get the chocolate to a consistent 4mm (approx) thickness.
Chocolate sheet


The chocolate sheet goes into the fridge or freezer until it sets, minimum 15 minutes.

Remove the chocolate from the fridge and carefully cut into long strips. Builders say to measure twice, cut once; this certainly holds true here, so use a ruler or block to make sure the strips are a consistent width - this will make life easier later.
Sliced chocolate sheet



Cut the strips at random intervals to make rectangle bricks - I prefer some element of randomness to the wall, but you might prefer all bricks to be the same size.
Chocolate squares, sliced from a sheet


The offcuts go back into the measuring cut, ready for the next batch.

You will need to multitask a little on this - half a bar of chocolate at a time, working on the next batch while the first is setting. Do some basic measurements of your cake tins and calculate how many chocolate bricks you need - I made about 160 of them, and had lots left over.

Once you have made enough chocolate squares, place them in a bowl and then into the freezer - they are much easier to work with when frozen.

Bake the cake

I chose a carrot cake because they aren't too sweet (the cake has enough sweetness on top), but also because carrot cakes are thick and substantial - which means the tower is less likely to fall over. I won't include the cake recipe here, as I'm sure you have a favourite chocolate / carrot / banana cake recipe that will work perfectly.

Make a double mixture, or more if you are planning on making a larger cake.

I opted for a round cake, but I would have made it square if I owned enough square cake tins. I had a square tin, a round tin, a round tin with a hole in the middle, and the muffin tins. Most combinations of square and round should work, given that you can cut the corners off square cakes and make them round.



So choose 3 cake tins, and fill them each about 3/4 of the way to the top - we want the cakes to come out as flat as possible, and filling to the top usually results in a rounded top. This is why I designed the cake around 3 layers rather than 2, but 2 layers would probably work just as well for a smaller cake.

With the remaining cake mix, fill in 5 or 6 muffins in a muffin pan. Again, don't overfill these as the shapes will be harder to work with.

Once the cakes come out of the oven, assemble the cake as pictured above. Use a knife to carefully cut a hole in the top layer so that the outer ring is about 3cm thick. Chop the battlements out of the top layer, being careful not to remove so much cake that the integrity of the structure is weakened. If you used square cake tins, chop off the corners and get them looking as flush as you can.
After doing all this, I found that some of the battlements were slumping, so I needed to pack some off-cuts between the layers to get everything sitting right.

Leave the muffins to one side for now, we will create the tower once the icing has gone on.

Icing

Working with chocolate truffle is an absolute treat after working with buttermilk icing. It melts easily, at which point it's easy to spread and easy to squeeze into holes. Or with less heat, it becomes thicker and easier to mold into shapes. It makes a perfect glue for sticking the chocoate to the cake, and it sets rock hard so that you can hold decorations in place easily. Hands down, a great material to work with.
Sticking chocolate bricks to the walls of the castle


Start by spreading a layer of truffle over the cake, then sticking the bricks on top. You may want to spread a little extra truffle on the back of each brick to make them fit into place better, I didn't need to do this for the walls but did for the intricate bits.
Chocolate brick wall


One of the reasons for laying down the truffle layer is to whiten the cake - helps where you miss a bit in the wall construction.

Tower

I decided to do an inner lining on my battlements for extra strength - see pictured below. This needs to be done before the tower goes in, which is why I left this till now. Once tha's done, you can insert the tower - I chose to create the tower then carry on with the icing.

The tower is essentially 5 or 6 muffins stacked on top of each other. Stick a kebab stick through the middle to keep them together, then run a knife down each edge to make the stack as square as you can (don't be too particular about this, the bricks will hide most mistakes).

Stick the tower on top of the cake structure, and drive the kebab stick into the cake. Add 2 or more kebab sticks at slight angles to give additional suport as required.


At this point, finish off adding the bricks to the cake and tower. I used 8 candy sticks for the 4 corners of the tower, and each tower face was only one brick wide (I used some bricks of a consistent size for this). Use plenty of thick truffle to fill in gaps and get the candy sticks to hold in place.

See image below in the 'moat' section.

Moat

The moat is a little tricky because the timing needs to be just right. The moat is 2 packets of blueberry jelly mixed to packet directions. Instead of cooling in a bowl, use a shallow tray - the jelly will set faster, and will be much more consistent, which you definitely need.

Put the jelly in the fridge and allow to partially set - this will take about an hour, but check regularly. It needs to be set, but still a bit sloppy so you can mold it into place. But not so runny that it spills over the edge of the flat board you are putting it on.

Once you think the mixture is the correct consistency, spoon it around the castle in blobs and arrange how you like. You can push the jelly right up against the castle wall, the chocolate offers good protection.


I did the jelly in 2 batches, this image shows the first batch completed. The 2nd batch was spooned over the top and thickened the moat - I suspect I was able to get my moat thicker than I otherwise would have by doing this in 2 stages.

Bedtime

If you are making this cake the day before, this is the right time to put the cake in the fridge and call it a day. Any decorations added at this stage are likely to spoil, so it's best to do these in the morning.

Decorations

Doing the decorating from the above photo, to the completed cake took less than an hour.
Firstly, add a door to the castle, which is simply an ice cream wafer. Cut window shapes out of more wafers and place as many windows on the castle and tower as you need - stick them on using the truffle mix.

The roof is a little more complicated to get right - it's 4 equal sized triangles stuck together using the white chocolate truffle. Use plenty of truffle, and make sure it's quite thick. Get it arranged right on a plate, then stick in the fridge for a few minutes to set in place.
Castle tower and roof



I thought a little bridge would be a nice effect - another wafer with the candy sticks for supports, with chunks taken out to hold the wafer.
Bridge on castle cake over jelly moat



I found a little fairy that looked just like my daughter Lulu, so I put her in the moat for added effect. Marshmallows around the edge to make a nice border - the kids went crazy over these, and it kept the little fingers away from the jelly for at least a few minutes.
I used some candy flowers as lillies in the moat, and some candy hearts for decoration around the edge of the battlements - anything to add a girly touch to the creation and make it look a bit more interesting.

Let me know if you manage to recreate something like this - it's great fun, and the kids will love it.

Harvey.



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Tags: cake recipesbirthday cake recipes