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HELP! Firm sponge and firm icing for Pirate Treasure Chest??!?

(13 Posts)
CSLewis Mon 02-Dec-13 16:49:17

Hello, could anyone point me in the direction of a sponge and chocolate icing combo that would be suitable for a "pirate treasure chest" birthday cake for my son?

I'm a reasonably proficient cook, but rarely make 'cakey' cakes, and NEVER do icing. I saw this cake idea in a magazine, and thought I cd probably manage it as it's basically two large rectangles, one on top of the other, with a smaller rectangle hollowed out of the top layer. All iced, and then gold (choc) coins heaped all over. Surely even I can manage that?!?

So I'm looking for advice as to a recipe (easily doubled/quadrupled) for a firm but moist sponge, and then a chocolate icing that will set firm, to allow coinage to sit on top without getting covered in goo...

Please help me!

DingDongFestivelyOnHigh Mon 02-Dec-13 21:37:04

I used the recipe from the Audtralian Womans Weekly Birthday cake books, for years, with great success.
They suggest using a basic victoria sponge recipe but adding 50% more flour to create the firmer base needed for stack.ing
So: 4 large eggs + 8oz unsalted butter + 12oz SR Flour + enough milk to create a soft consistency + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
(for chocolate cake use 9oz flour and 3oz cocoa.

For a set chocolate icing, I have always used an american fudge style ......although I am afraid I work it by eye/feel not precise measurements.
Any reasonable cook should be able to wing it on this though smile
to every 8oz icing sugar ..... melt about 2oz butter in the microwave, add in 2oz cocoa, the icing sugar and 2 tablespoons very hot water. Beat with electic whisk until smooth. Add icing sugar or hot water (literally by the teaspoon, as it will turn runny in the blink of an eye) if needed, to create a thick spreading consistency.
Work quickly to apply to cake, as it does set fairly fast.

Hope this helps!!

juniorcakeoff Mon 02-Dec-13 21:49:23

Use a madeira cake recipe, makes the firmest sponge base for heavy icing. Chocolate frosting/buttercream etc. won't go firm - you could use ordinary fondant/royal icing, with brown colouring in it, roll it over (with a bit of apricot jam to stick it). Unless you particularly want a chocolate flavour to it?
Or - do chocolate buttercream but go for a 'log effect' with cadburys chocolate fingers stuck on, gold coins should sit on there okay.

CSLewis Tue 03-Dec-13 09:11:57

Thank you both for your replies. The sort of icing/frosting I'm thinking of is similar to what you get on top of 'artisan' cupcakes, which sets firm and is dry to the touch - is that similar to your American fudge-style??

As I said, I'm always too lazy to bother icing anything, so this is all new territory for me! Thanks again grin

DingDongFestivelyOnHigh Tue 03-Dec-13 13:14:18

Yes, thats exactly the way it sets CS

CSLewis Wed 04-Dec-13 08:33:14

Thanks DingDong, that's fab!

DingDongFestivelyOnHigh Sat 07-Dec-13 04:15:42

How was it?

CSLewis Sat 07-Dec-13 11:18:27

The party's next weekend, I'll let you know..!

CSLewis Sat 07-Dec-13 11:21:34

Ooh - rough idea how much icing sugar I'd need to ice a rectangular cake measuring approx 20cm x 40cm??

DingDongFestivelyOnHigh Sun 08-Dec-13 19:40:20

I would start with 2 lbs.....braced to make more, if needed. Definitely works better spread thick, than thin.
Look forward to seeing a pic smile

I've done many a treasure chest cake for my DSs birthdays!

If you like a plain sponge, substitute 2oz flour for ground almonds and add an extra egg, this makes the sponge more dense and can better take icing and trimmings.

Or if you like choc cake, MaryBerry's death by chocolate is my go-to birthday cake recipe, uses oil instead of butter and is not too sickly. Sorry on my phone can't make a linky.

The icing I use is 200ml cream, 200g chocolate melted slowly together. Let it cool and set slightly a great icing for treasure chests and other birthday cakes!

One year I couldn't find enough choc coins I put a couple of giant fizzy snakes in with the treasure, was a big hit with DS!

CSLewis Sat 14-Dec-13 20:23:05

I forgot to take a picture before all the children hoovered off all the sweets/decorations, but it looked great, tho I do say so myself! I used your icing, DingDong, which worked exactly as I wanted it to, and used a Dan Lepard Easy choc Birthday cake recipe, which worked ok; wasn't quite as moist as I'd hoped, but form enough to support the icing and copious quantities of choc coins, snakes and choc barrels - thank you, Lidl!

Thanks all for your help smile

Glad it went well fsmile

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