Intro: Nuclear Fallout Cake
What's left after the apocalypse? Just some creepy-crawlies and radioactive debris! Learn how to make this deceptively delicious and not-at-all harmful cake using the following steps.
Step 1: Slugs
What you'll need: modeling chocolate, fondant, candy melts or marzipan
How to: Knead your chosen medium until pliable. Roll a small amount in your hands until you get a cylindrical shape in your desired size. Pinch one end of the cylinder into two points. Roll and smooth these points into antennae. Slowly work your way down the cylinder, smoothing and pinching until you get desired wavy shape. Pinch tiny amounts along the bottom sides very thin for the skirt of the slug. Flatten underside against the table.
Repeat until you have the desired number and sizes of slugs.
Set slugs aside; refrigerate if necessary.
Step 2: Coconut Flake Ash
What you'll need: Large flake unsweetened coconut, black food colouring, one egg white
How to: Stir together the egg white, a few drops of food coloring, and approximately two tablespoons cold water until combined.
In a large bowl combine the coconut flakes with a small amount of the dyed mixture. Stir together until the flakes are coated. If they are not as dark as you would like, add more of the dyed mixture and stir again. Repeat until you are satisfied with their hue.
Spread flakes out on a baking sheet and toast in a hot oven for a minute or two. Be sure to watch them, as they can burn very easily. When they are sufficiently toasted, remove from the oven and let cool.
Step 3: Cake Assembly
What you'll need: one sheet of chocolate sponge cake*, matcha whipped cream**, white chocolate ganache
How to: Place your sponge cake on a cutting board and flatten. Pile whipped cream in the middle and spread flat with an offset spatula. Be sure to leave a border of cake around the edges so the cream does not push out as you roll. Starting at one end of your cake, gently roll over the whipped cream. Place cake seam side down against the cutting board.
Using a very sharp serrated knife, trim the ragged edges off the ends, cutting one end at a diagonal. Make another cut an inch or two in from the diagonal. Using a little smear of ganache, attach this cut portion of cake to the top of the log.
Take the remaining ganache and cover the outside of the cake, leaving the cut ends clear. For a simulated bark-like look, use short dabbing strokes to apply the ganache.
Once your ganache is how you'd like it, place cake inside fridge for a few minutes to help it set and keep the whipped cream firm.
* I used a recipe by Martha Stewart for my sponge recipe, which I have linked here, but you can use any rolled cake, jelly or swiss roll, or yule log/ buche de noel recipe.
** I used one tablespoon of matcha to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, whipped until stiff. Feel free to try other fillings- mousse, buttercream, jam, whatever strikes your fancy! Something like buttercream could add a shinier, more "radioactive" feel to your cake.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
What you'll need: Cake stand, red food coloring, corn syrup, paintbrush
How to: Arrange the coconut flakes on a cake stand, leaving a clear space in the middle for the cake. Carefully transfer cake from cutting board to stand. Push flakes against cake to cover the edges.
Mix together a few drops of food coloring with a teaspoon of corn syrup. Using a small paintbrush, paint the food coloring mixture onto the underside of the slug, coming right out to the edges. Drag the slug over the ganache on the cake to create a trail. Stick slug to ganache. If ganache is too hard and doesn't want to hold the slug, warm a little spot of it with a hot spatula and then try. Fill in the trail with more coloring if you desire. Repeat with the other slugs until you have as many as you want on your cake.
Now you're done! Put on your best hazmat suit and enjoy!