Nathan Birthday – Part 2

2010 September 4

After “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” cake, now it is the Robot’s cake turn. This Robot cake is specially requested by the birthday boy. I was offering him a 3D trains cake instead, but he insisted on having a Robot cake, since he is really into the Iron Man at the moment (of coarse once again courtesy of his daddy).

The birthday celebration was on Tuesday, so I had to prepare everything on Monday after dropping Nathan at school. I was planning to do the Robot cake and the Robot cookies for kids goody bags. I decided to once again use Martha Steward’s recipe. This time I chose Versatile Vanilla Cake. For the Robot cookies, I decided to use Dorie Greenspan’s All Occasion Sugar Cookies recipe. I planned to put the royal icing on top of each cookie. I finished preparing both the cookie dough ready to be rolled in the fridge and two layers of 30 by 30 cakes. I wrapped the cake in the aluminium foil just before I picked Nathan up. There is no way I could frost the cake while Nathan is at home, unless he is asleep.

Finally, I started rolling the cookies around 9.30 PM. OMG, the cookie dough was a bit hard to work with if you want the cookies to be in certain shape. It is constantly needed to be chilled to be able to work with. I abandoned my prepared robot mould that I made few days earlier and decided to use a star shape. I also had prepare the royal icing, but didn’t use it on the cookies because of the time constriction. I finished baking the whole dough of cookie though and to tell you the truth, they taste F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C.

One important lesson that I learned that night was to remember to have your unsalted butter at room temperature before you make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I made this buttercream lots of time and that fact has made me over confident with myself. I thought I could waive myself through the chilled butter and got a beautiful buttercream. I was wrong, the buttercream curdled and the liquid from egg whites is separated from the mixture. I made 2 batches of the buttercream and throwed everything in the bin. OMG, it was more than half kg of unsalted butter, what a waste. I had to make another one, and this time I played safe and rest the butter until it was ready. I only made 1 batch as I was worried that I might screw up again. Anyway, I finally finished frosting the cake at 2.30 AM in the morning.

I can’t wait to cut the cake as I was pretty curious on the taste and textures. I was a bit worried actually on the sponginess of this cake because the batter was really thick that I had to level the them with the spoon before they went into the oven. It turned out that the cake was OK, not really spongy as I want them to be but they really were versatile and sturdy. It made them easier to carve and frost.

For the decoration, you can use any chocolate colours or anything you have on hand. I am sure that the kids won’t judge ;) I got my inspiration from this website. The baking tin suggested in the web is 13 by 9 inch, but because I only got 30 by 30 cm square pan, I cut my Robot parts accordingly. You could try to do your Robot cake according to whatever pan available.

Ingredients for Double Chocolate Cakes

Recipe adapted from Martha Steward, for details click here

(I used 2 batches of this recipe for 30×30 cm square pans)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) or 226 gr unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups or 320 gr all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cupsĀ  or 192 gr sugar (I used 175 gr)
  • 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • strawberry jam plus a little bit of water to smooth the jam, spread in between the layer
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream to frost
  • 12 pcs Maltesers to decorate
  • 8 pcs orange M&M to decorate
  • 3 pcs white M&M to decorate
  • 2 pcs green Lollypops to decorate
  • 2 cupcakes to decorate
  • 10 pcs Nutrigrain to decorate

Instructions for Double Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter and place a baking sheet on the 30 x 30 pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  7. Pour the batter into pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  8. While the first layer is being cook in the oven, do the recipe over for the second layer.
  9. When both of the layers are cooled, spread the strawberry over and place them together.
  10. Now cut the cake to shape a robot.
  11. Frost and decorate.

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 September 5

    Wow, Linda that looks incredible! Great job.. Happy third birthday to Nathan!!

    • 2010 September 6
      linda permalink

      Thank you Christine. I am a bit disappointed with the colours though. I used Queens brand. I really need to find a good colour paste for my next decoration project ;)

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