Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the first day of the lunar calendar and it's the year of the Monkey. Wishing all my readers good health, prosperity and happiness. We had a little party at the weekend to celebrate the occasion. As it's a monkey year, I decided to make a monkey cake. Unfortunately I didn't deocrate it in time for the party so J has taken it to work today to share with his colleagues. It's a chocolate cake filled with peanut butter frosting. The decoration is simple yet effective albeit a bit messy to decorate! If you have kids, they will definitely enjoy decorating this cake with you. Chinese New Year goes on for 15 days so you have plenty of time to impress your family and friends with this cake.
I'm sending this to #FoodYearLinkUp hosted by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen for Chinese New Year.
It's also going to Love Cake hosted by Ness from Jibber Jabber UK. The theme this month is The Month Of Cake as it's the anniversary of the challenge.
Finally to Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen as the theme this month is Anything Goes. There's 2 large free range eggs in this cake.
Add second layer of cake. I used a cocktail stick to roughly draw an outline of a monkey face. I'm terrible at drawing!!
Press chocolate rice cereal on to the chocolate ganache. I used 2 white candy melts for the eyes and piped some chocolate ganache for the eye balls, nose and mouth (which was a littlewonky!) The ears are tiny as I didn't have any ginger biscuits at home and used golden Oreo cookies instead.
Recipe from Bird on A Cake
I reduced the sugar amount, substituted chocolate extract for vanilla extract and used more milk in the frosting
For the cakes
1 cup (250mls) boiling water
350g caster sugar
220g plain flour
85 cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large, free range eggs
1 cup (250mls) buttermilk
1/2 cup (125mls) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
Peanut butter frosting
250g smooth peanut butter
250g icing sugar
40-50 mls milk
175g dark chocolate
80mls double cream
2 white candy melts
2 large cookies for the ears - I used golden oreos but they are too small, recommend ginger biscuits or digestive biscuit
Choco rice cereal
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in a bowl.
- Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and add in the eggs, buttermilk, oil and chocolate extract.
- Mix well.
- Slowly pour in the water and continue mixing at a low speed until you have a smooth mixture.
- The batter will be very liquid, this is normal.
- Divide the batter evenly between 2 sandwich tins and bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the peanut butter frosting, beat the peanut butter and butter until smooth.
- Add in the icing sugar and continue beating.
- Slowly add in the milk with the mixer running.
- You may need to add a little more or a little less of the milk depending on the consistency of your icing. You want a smooth, spreadable paste.
- To make the chocolate ganache, place the cream in a small saucepan and heat gently until bubbles are just visible.
- Add in the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add in the butter and continue whisking until smooth.
- Allow to cool and set a little before using.
- Decorate the cake as shown above.