Comic Relief is a hugely popular UK charity and the work it does to tackle poverty and social injustice around the world is fantastic. It has been going for 25 years this year and Red Nose Day – and now Sport Relief too – has become part of the British lexicon. Comedians and celebrities have been doing “something funny for money” since I was a child; last year Sport Relief (which takes place in alternate years with Red Nose Day) raised a whopping £71,800,000.
This year Red Nose Day falls on Friday March 13 and people all around the UK are being encouraged to “make their face funny for money”, whether that’s wear a wig, face paint, or have their eyebrows shaved off for charity. Comic Relief has also teamed up with the Great British Bake Off to help people organise bake sales in their communities or workplace – there’s nothing the British like more than a good old bake sale.
For that reason I’ve found myself pledging to make cakes for two different bake sales, one helpfully taking place the day before. I thought I’d share with you the cake that I’ve made, so if you are having a bake sale (or a bake off – this is something of a showstopper!) on Friday, you’ve still got time to make it.
Maltesers is one of the official partners of Red Nose Day this year and everyone loves chocolate, so I decided to make a maltesers cake. I’d seen pictures of cakes before which looked like they had a bag of Maltesers floating in the air, pouring chocolates onto the top of the cake – and since Red Nose Day is all about silliness and fun (with a good cause) I thought this would be the perfect cake.
My friend Ros aka The More Than Occasional Baker has made one of these cakes before and as I was fairly short of time, I went to her site to find out how to do it. I even used the same chocolate cake recipe she had used so I can’t claim any originality with this recipe at all – please hop on over to Ros’s site! The only change that I made was to use purely Maltesers rather than M&Ms as well.
The cake was pretty easy to make; you might be better off making it a day or so in advance and keeping in an air tight container if like me you are assembling the cake after work, as it needs to be completely cold.
Making the cake - see link above for recipe. In goes the chocolate, cocoa powder, butter and water.
Flour and eggs of course, and sour cream is the added ingredient to make this cake extra moist and tasty.
Ready to go in the oven
So this is the tricky part... to assemble the cake you need a lot of chocolate ganache. A lot.
Heat 300ml double cream in a large pan and when it is just simmering, take off the heat and add 600g chocolate. You can use plain or milk; I used milk as I prefer the flavour. Stir in the chocolate until it has melted.
Leave the ganache to cool before using - I put mine in the fridge for about half an hour.
Spread about 1/3 of the ganache on the bottom layer of cake and gently sandwich the other cake on top. Then spread a thin layer of the ganache around the side of the cake and stand up Kit Kats around the sides, facing inwards so the flat side faces outwards. I used 36 Kit Kat fingers for what I think was an 8-inch cake. You can either put them completely around the cake or as I have done, leave a gap at the front.
Spread about 2/3 - 3/4 of the remaining ganache over the top of the cake.
Push a plastic drinking straw into the cake, far enough in so it is stable but so you have plenty sticking out the top. Cover the top of the cake with Maltesers. Don't forget to keep one of the empty packets as you will need this later!
Slowly start building a tower of Maltesers. Dip each one in the chocolate ganache so it has a little dot of the chocolate mixture on it. Carefully stick to the straw, building up from the bottom. I found that I had to put the cake in the fridge after every two or three Maltesers, otherwise they would start to slide down.
Finally use some more ganache to stick the empty Malteser packet to the bent top part of the straw and finish sticking the Maltesers so the straw is completely covered. For the finishing touch I stuck more Maltesers down the front of the cake and on the cake board to look as if they were overflowing.
I'm really pleased with this and think this is the perfect cake for Comic Relief - it's fun and Maltesers is one of the official sponsors. I just hope it makes it into work on the train and bus OK!
I'm sharing this with the Alphabakes blog challenge which I co-host with Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker; she has chosen the letter S this month and this cake uses sour cream.
I'm also sending this to Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes for Bookmarked Recipes.
The theme for this month's We Should Cocoa is chocolate layer cakes so this fits in perfectly. The challenge is hosted this month by Sarah at Maison Cupcake on behalf of Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog.
The cake also uses eggs which is my excuse to send it to Dom at Belleau Kitchen for his new challenge Simply Eggcellent.