Ghoul-Graveyard Cake recipe: Nigella Lawson - Feast
Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (you can substitute the milk and vinegar for 1 cup buttermilk)
- 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick (½ cup) butter or margarine
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ stick (¼ cup) butter
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon black color paste (I omitted this)
- Halloween-themed lollipops, at least 1 per child
Instructions for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and line a 9 inch springform pan. (I used two 9 inch pans) Mix the milk and vinegar together and set aside.
- Put everything for the cake, except the vinegary milk, into a food processor and blitz to mix. Remove the lid, scrape down with a rubber spatula and then put the lid back on and with the motor running, add the vinegary milk.
- (I don’t have a food processor so I mixed everything the old-fashioned way: (1) cream the butter and sugar, (2) add eggs one at a time, (3) then the vanilla, (4) combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl, (5) add half the flour mixture to butter/sugar/eggs mixture, (6) add the vinegary milk, (7) add the rest of the flour mixture)
- Scrape, spoon or pour the brown batter into the pan and spread to fit it evenly, baking for 40 – 45 minutes until it is well risen and springy to the touch. (with two 9 inch pans, it needs about 30 minutes)
- Remove the cooked cake, in its pan, to a rack and leave to cool for about 10 minutes, then spring open the pan and let the cake cool completely.
Instructions for the frosting:
- To make the frosting, first sift the confectioners’ sugar. Boring, but it’s got to be done. Melt the butter in a saucepan and when it’s bubbling add the cocoa. Let it dissolve into the butter, stirring with a little hand whisk, then add the syrup, milk, vanilla and color paste. Stir or whisk well and let it bubble for a few minutes and then take the pan off the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar. (I suggest doing this with an electric mixer and adding more milk if needed) Put the pan back on the heat and whisk again to help the sugar dissolve and the coloring disperse, then take it off the heat to let it thicken to the right consistency – thick enough to coat, but thin enough to trickle down to cover the sides too –as it cools slightly.
- Put the cake on torn-off pieces of parchment paper to form an outline of a square to catch the excess frosting. Place the cake just on top of the torn pieces of parchment paper so you can pull them away once the frosting has stopped dripping. Hold the pan of icing over the center of the cake and pour over it so that the top is covered and the frosting has dripped over and down the sides.
- Working quickly, throw black sugar sprinkles (I used blue ones) to cover the top and sides of the cake before the icing dries. Trim the lollipops sticks, so that you have a stem of about 1 ½ inches to stick into the cake, and then plunge the sticks of the foreshortened lollies into the cake so that the ghoulish faces leer out from their black-frosted graveyard.