Leopard Print Hidden Cake Design
I am LOVING the Great British Bake Off at the moment. It’s one show I look forward to every year. I love the cutesy styling of the marquee; the bunting everywhere (gotta love a bit of bunting), the KitchenAids in pastel colours, the Smeg fridges, but most of all I love the gorgeous little morsels being created by these very clever people. I long to churn out platefuls of colourful macaroons or think nothing of whipping up a croquembouche but sadly my baking skills are pretty much limited to cakes.
At the time when the contestants were baking incredible cakes with designs baked into the sponge, visible only when you cut into it, I happened to also receive an email from Cake Central who had a tutorial on how to bake a leopard print sponge. So, being blessed with over-confidence in the craft department, I decided to give it a whirl.
It’s a bit of a fiddle as the ‘spots’ are basically light brown cake pops, covered with a layer of dark brown cake pop mixture, which are then placed in a normal cake batter before baking.
If you have never made cake pops, they’re dead simple but a bit of a faff as you need to make and bake sponge cakes first. You then crumble the baked sponge with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
I did this with chocolate sponge for the dark colour and plain vanilla for the light brown. Then mix the crumb mix with frosting (I cheated and used ready-made) until you can form it into balls.
I mixed the plain sponge with chocolate frosting to get the light brown shade. Then made about a million small cake pop balls. They only need to be an inch or so in diameter, and in fact would look better if they weren’t properly round.
Then cover all these little balls in a layer of chocolate cake pop mix (chocolate cake crumbs mixed with chocolate frosting).
Make a vanilla sponge in the usual way (or if you don’t know, there’s a recipe here). Then pop all the cake pop balls in. I had some light brown balls left over after I ran out of dark brown mix, so I put those in too! Fit in as many as you can, but make sure they are completely covered by the uncooked cake batter. I was worried about the cake pops being cooked twice but actually they don’t taste dry or overcooked at all. In fact I think this was one of the tastiest cakes I’ve ever made (if I do say so myself… !)
When the cake is cut, the leopard print design is revealed… Ta dah!
I made this into a handbag cake for my mother in law’s birthday, although I must admit, in terms of cake design, it was a bit of a disaster as the whole cake gradually fell back during the course of the evening. This photo was taken hastily before it fell to bits! Oops… Lucky it tasted good!