Innocent Victim Cake

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I met Julia the organiser of the Derby Clandestine Cake Club at our ‘Once upon a Cake…’ event in September.  Julia works, writes a blog called awannabefoodie, is a mother to three lovely and lively boys – and is an excellent baker.  Her Derby event had a Halloween theme  –  ‘Trick or Treat’.

I have to admit I was flummoxed with the theme.  All it was bringing to my unimaginative mind that morning was the usual Halloween fare of pumpkins, ghosts and rattling chains.  After a bit of uninspired googling I decided to just bake whatever I fancied and let the cake ‘speak to me’ about what to do next.  I had just taken delivery of Dan Lepard’s ‘Short and Sweet’ book of baking and set about making his Coconut Milk Layer Cake.

This was the first proper 3 layer cake I had ever made, however it also involved rum and a meringue butter icing so that made it worth the risk.  The cakes baked very well and smelt delicious.

As they were baking I remembered the notion of the ‘innocent victim’ in horror films and the ultimate ‘scream queen’  Jamie Lee Curtis.  In her debut ‘Halloween’ she plays a clueless but plucky babysitter who discovers a double murder.  One picture showed Jamie L C armed with a kitchen knife and peering over the top of the sofa.  That was it. I decided to cover the cake with eyes that are seeing untold horrors – and call it the ‘Innocent Victim Cake’.

That’s just fine – but how do you make edible eyes?

Well – if you spend an hour making a real mess in the kitchen with experimental mould making and amateur chocolatiering you eventually find out.  Line a teaspoon with cling film, fill it with melted white chocolate, smooth it off with a knife, them pop a chocolate button into it – you’re almost there.  Let them set in the freezer, then take out of their spoons, dip the upper of the eye in dark chocolate you have your eyelid.  Simple!

The icing was another challenge – meringue buttercream icing involves first of all putting egg whites and sugar in a pan and heating.  Yes, counter intuitive, but it works  – then you whisk, beat in butter and then vanilla extract – it was a revelation in terms of both technique and taste.

If you fancy making the cake the recipe is available on The Guardian website follow the link at the end of the recipe to find one for Meringue buttercream.  You’ll find Julias write up of the event on the Clandestine Cake Club website, her blog awannabefoodie is well worth a read.