Don’t know about you, but it’s always the second half of the trick or treat Halloween mantra which gets our attention. With that in mind, Standard Issue asked Great British Bake Off contestant Claire Goodwin to make us the grossest of cakes. And she went all out.
The trick or treaters in Claire Goodwin’s street are lucky little monsters
This cake looks gross. It tastes awesome. It looks like it is hard to do but it isn’t, and the bit’s that are a bit wonky can be covered up with a big clotty glob of fake blood (or raspberry seedless jam… sssshhh trade secrets!).
I created this cake because I generally only see cute prim Hallowe’en cakes with fluffy spiders and cute ghosts. And if I’m honest, I’d rather a gross out ming-fest.
Be warned though, the recipe you’re about to read relates to a huge cake. If you’re sure you will only have a few guests then feel free to halve the recipe.
Alternatively, tell the trick or treaters to fuck off, sit next to a dusty/cobwebbed sideboard to give yourself a slightly spooky ambience (maybe place a doily on your head and channel your inner Haversham) and savour your evening of Bogtrotterish goodness.
INGREDIENTS for Claire Goodwin’s Lump Of Flesh
For the cake
600g butter or margarine
600g caster sugar
450g self raising flour
150g cocoa powder
12 eggs, beaten
Zest of two oranges
20ml orange essence
2 x 9 inch round tins, greased and lined with greaseproof paper
For the frosting
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar
420g butter at room temperature (don’t replace this with margarine, it will not work and be gross)
Orange food colouring if desired for a spooky colour
For the Ganache
3 x Terry’s chocolate oranges
200ml double cream
For the decoration
750g flesh coloured fondant
Cake colours, either food colouring or lustre dust. Alternatively you can use food stuffs that are in powder form for this such as cocoa powder, freeze dried fruit powders etc. You don’t have to paint on the cake with dry powders, you can dissolve them in a little vodka and use them as water colours.
Seedless raspberry jam for the blood
Small amount of black fondant
Preheat oven to 180⁰C or Gas Mark 5
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
Beat your eggs in a jug, add very slowly to sugar and butter, beating thoroughly in between
Add flour and cocoa bit by bit, folding in thoroughly after each addition
Stir in the orange zest and essence so evenly distributed
Pour mixture into the tins in equal amounts
Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer is inserted and comes out clean
Heat a pan of water up on hob until boiling.
In a heatproof bowl place the sugar and egg whites
Place over the water and whisk (by hand or with an electric whisk) until the mixture is pale white, fluffy, and when you rub a little mixture between your thumb and forefinger, it is smooth and not gritty (indicates the sugar has dissolved)
Take off the heat and whisk up to a stiff meringue consistency (forms peaks that don’t flop)
Add your food colouring here if you are using it
Cut your butter into small cubes and add to meringue slowly, beating to blend it into the meringue.
Keep beating until it comes together in a smooth cream. Don’t worry if it starts to look like scrambled eggs, just keep beating, it will become smooth with time.
Heat the cream on the hob until it starts to bubble around the edges
Turn off the heat but leave it on the hob so you can use the residual heat
Add in the chocolate orange, allow to melt into the cream
When mostly melted, whisk in to get a smooth shiny paste.
Cut your cakes in half
Split your frosting into three equal quantities
Stack your cake, spreading your frosting in between the layers as you go
Cover your cake in the ganache and smooth off so you have fairly flat sides
Roll out some of your fondant and cut it into strips, attach these with a little sugar water (mix a teaspoon of sugar into two teaspoons of hot water, stir till dissolved then cool) in a haphazard way over your cake. These will be your skin seams
Roll out more fondant and cut out shapes to fit in with your skin seams. You don’t have to be too precise, you can cover gaps with ‘blood’ later on. Overlap some bits and pucker other bits to make it look extra disgusting
When your cake has all of it’s ‘skin’ use your powders/food colouring/cocoa powder to create bruises and dead bits of skin. It you concentrate darker colours (brown and red) near the scar lines and green and purple over the rest for bruising, it should start to look realistic
Use your black fondant rolled out into little sausages to place lacing over your scar lines
Warm your raspberry jam through a little so it is a bit drippy and gloop it onto your ’lump of flesh’ in as gross a way as you can
Amaze your mates with your artistic genius, or eat it all to yourself in a blatant display of gluttony.
Claire is a speech therapist, baker, cake decorator, sometime radio guest and writer. She writes about food, being fat and living with mental health problems @bake_therapist; www.baketherapy.co.uk; www.facebook.com/CakeChemistryUK