Well it’s been an eventful few weeks, one way and another.
Firstly we had an awesome week in the tropical medicine school, the highlight of which was the trip to the herpeterium. No I didn’t know what that word meant either. It turns out most of the top floor of the building is full of venomous snakes that they keep in Really Useful Boxes with holes in the lid and every now and then extract venom from them. We had a tour from a guy with the most macho sounding job in the world (‘I extract venom from deadly snakes for a living, what do you do?’) and heard how he had the record for the least number of bites on the unit (only 3). We also had a demonstration of them extracting venom from the snakes which was quite exciting to watch but I was quite glad to be the other side of a protective screen.
Last weekend my family converged on Coventry to celebrate Sarah’s 21st birthday, which is where the cake comes into this blog. I was having baking withdrawal symptoms so really wanted to make a birthday cake for Sarah. I decided on a pigs in mud cake just because they look cool and who doesn’t want to make miniature pigs out of icing! My issue with cakes that look good though is that they are often boring sponge inside, so in an effort to combat this, mine is a cappuccino cake. It has 3 layers, chocolate, coffee and vanilla which I like to imagine look like layers of earth but maybe that’s taking it a bit far.
Spot where I ran out of chocolate fingers.
The weekend started off nicely but not long into it Han came down with a vomiting bug, and not long after everyone else had succumbed. For some reason Elisha was fine which he tells me he has a ‘superior immune system’. I told him I was going to swap immune systems with him which led to me daydreaming for sometime about how you would actually swap immune systems with someone. Don’t ask. Thankfully it was all over very fast but I’m not sure it was the birthday Sarah was hoping for.
On that pleasant note, here is the recipe:
Cappuccino Pigs in Mud Cake
- 12 oz butter
- 12 oz sugar
- 6 eggs
- 12 oz self-raising flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbs instant coffee
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbs cocoa
- 50g melted dark chocolate
For the chocolate ganache
- 100g dark chocolate
- 25g butter
- 60ml milk
Chocolate fingers and pink icing
- Grease (and line if you have the energy) 3 baking tins if the same size. Preheat the over to 175 degrees
- Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a large bowel and whisk together until smooth
- Separate the mixture equally into 3 bowls
- In the first one simply add a tsp of vanilla essence and spoon into the first tin
- For the second layer mix 1 tbs of instant coffee with 1 tbs hot water and mix together
- Add the coffee to the second bowl, mix and spoon into the second tin
- Now the chocolate layer. Melt 50g of chocolate by putting it into a heat-proof bowl over a pan of water and stir until liquid
- Add the melted chocolate and 1 tbs cocoa powder to the third bowl and spoon into the third tin
- Put the cakes in the oven for 20-25mins each (you may need to do this in batches
- When they are bornw and top and spring back to your touch, take them out and leave to cool
- To make the ganache, melt the remaining 100g chocolate in a pan with the butter.
- When it’s melted, stir in the milk and whisk together
- Leave to cool until thickening
- Assemble the cakes with a layer of icing in between (I used buttercream – I’m just going to go ahead and assume most people know how to make some kind of buttercream icing)
- Cover with the ganache and place the chocolate fingers around it whilst the ganache is still soft
- Make some pigs to go on top!