Our eldest turned thirteen the other day. I am officially the mother of a teenager – how did that happen? I’m not old enough to have a teenage child! After the over-the-top Angry Birds birthday cake I recently made for his little brother he was expecting a Very Grand cake to celebrate becoming a teenager. The theme he requested: Halo.
I have no idea what Halo is. I know it’s a video game of some sort involving robot-style characters with guns, and that there are cheap plastic collectible figures you can buy for £1-97 in the local supermarket but other than that, nope. An internet search didn’t particularly come up with anything inspiring, at first, in fact, it came up with a whole lot of children’s cakes with guns on the top! I point blank refused to put a gun on my teenage son’s birthday cake and the rest of the cakes I found were not impressive enough. Then I found this cake here. I liked the look of it even though I didn’t know what it was. Further investigation led me to this site where I found out that the cake was based on a limited edition boxed set based on the game Halo: Reach. That would do! So I set to work with 2.5 kg of white ready to roll fondant and some concentrated black food dye.
The ‘wicked chocolate cake’ recipe is slightly adapted from one found in the Reader’s Digest The Cook’s Scrapbook (1995). I’ve made the cake before and it’s been delicious every time. The flavour only improves with age, which I thought would work well with this cake as we weren’t intending on eating the entire thing in one day! I’ve included the cake recipe below, but if you are wanting to make it for this particular sized cake you need to double the recipe. I only have one square cake tin so I poured a whole batch into the tin and cooked it for 45 minutes, covering it in foil for the last 15 so it wouldn’t get too dark.
I also, surprisingly, don’t own a single cake stand. I didn’t want to put the cake on a round plate so I needed to be creative. Using an old beat-up children’s book, some masking tape, a double cassette case and some tin foil I made one. Full instructions to make your own are below. The cassette tape case can be retrieved later if, like me, you leave the cassettes in it for extra weight.
So what did the birthday boy think of his cake?
“Very, VERY impressive!” <jaw drop>
- 275 grams plain flour
- 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 175 grams caster sugar
- 150 grams dark muscovado sugar
- 225 ml water
- 60 grams cocoa powder
- 115 grams unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp distilled malt vinegar
- 150 ml single cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 12
- strong cardboard or hardback book covers
- masking tape
- tin foil
- cassette tape or other narrow item for base
Prep time: Yield: 1 cake stand