Monday, 22 August 2011

Kids' roaring dinosaur cake - perfect for the hols!

Today's blog is about cooking for fun, which in my opinion is what cooking should always be about. And one of the most enjoyable experiences in the kitchen is baking with your son, daughter, sister, brother, niece, nephew or grandchild.
You can lick the mixing spoon without any guilt, splatter cake batter everywhere, and there's no pressure at all for a perfect result, just a sugary one that gets the kids running wild.
This is my friend Carla's little boy Mason, who is four and starting school in September. He is dinosaur mad! At two-and-half years old he knew all the dinosaur names and pronounced them perfectly, and he has more dinosaur toys in his bedroom than in Jurassic Park.
Carla used a basic chocolate Victoria sandwich recipe to make a roaring dinosaur-shaped cake during a recent baking session with Mason, without the butter cream filling. And you can adapt this sponge recipe for any occasion and any style of cake as long as you have the right mould.
Mason started by greasing the mould and preparing the cake mixture, with some help from his mum, before baking it in the dinosaur tin and covering the finished cake in green, dinosaur skin-coloured icing. Carla very kindly sent me pictures of Mason baking (see below) and a copy of the recipe (see below) but unfortunately failed to send me any cake! Stay behind after class Carla and write me 100 lines: "must save cake for Sarah, must save cake for Sarah, must save cake for Sarah..."

200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
175g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a dinosaur cake tin (or any tin of your choice).
In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time and if the mixture begins to curdle, add a tablespoon of flour.
Sieve the flour and cocoa then fold into the mixture with a metal spoon.
Put the mixture into your tin and smooth out with a knife. (For a traditional sandwich cake, split the mixture between two 20cm tins).
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is golden and bounces when lightly touched.
When cooled, cover with green butter icing and decorate to look like a dinosaur. (Or for the traditional version, sandwich cakes together with chocolate butter cream and dust with icing sugar.) 

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