Feel free to pick your own artist to inspire you with these mini cakes. The mad-cap Pollock approach to decorating is a great relief after you spend hours carefully prepping your buttercream sides.
Time: 6 hours… feel free to break this into two sittings, buttercream-ing the sides is by far the most time consuming and laborious.
For the cake
5 medium eggs, weigh them in their shells and measure out equal amounts of:
Self-raising flour (minus 50g)
Dark muscovado sugar or similar
and 50g Cocoa powder
For shopping purposes, you’re looking at around 250g of each
For the buttercream
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanille essence
For the decoration
1 block of fondant icing, 1 kg
2 tbsp of Kirsch spirit
4 tbsp icing sugar
Food colouring in your choice of colours
40g dark chocolate
For the Cake
- Preheat the over to 180c.
- Weigh your eggs and measure out equal amounts of the butter, sugar and flour. Take out 50g of the flour, and add in 50g cocoa powder.
- Whisk all ingredients together with a mixer or handheld whisk until combined.
- Grease and line an 8 inch (roughly) square cake tin.
- Pour in the mixture, level and spread evenly making a slight dip in the centre. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from tin and leave to cool.
- Once you can handle it, use a bread knife to level the top and trim the sides into a neat, even square. Carefully cut it in half.
- Fill the centre with a layer of the jam and replace the top
- Measure your square and divide it into 16 even pieces, carefully cut out your squares and place them onto a rack over a tray lined with tin foil. I used the grill tray. The foil makes life easier for you when washing up.
Time to decorate
- Make the buttercream by whisking together the butter and icing sugar. Mix the milk with the vanilla and carefully add this into to the mixture while mxing. Whisk on a high speed until light and fluffy.
- Holding the top and bottom of your squares between your thumb and forefinger, cover the sides in a thin layer of buttercream using a butter knife or palette knife, making the sides as straight and neat as possible. Whatever shape your sides are at this stage, is how the fondant fancies will look when iced, so it’s worth taking the time to get them neat.
- When covered, place the square back on the rack and carefully spread a little extra buttercream onto the tops. I find it easier to leave some buttercream sticking up from the sides and then carefully spreading this over onto the tops. You can also use a small amount of your fondant icing to roll out squares and use them to cover the tops.
- Cut the fondant block into rough cubes and whisk on a high speed with the kirsch (or water if you prefer) until it is a pour-able consistency. Err on the side of thicker, you want it to thickly coat the back of a spoon. Add extra water if needed, or icing sugar if you take it too far. The runnier it is the more easily it will slide off your fancies.
- When you hit the right thickness, put into a jug and carefully pour over the top of the buttercream squares. Use your knife to encourage the icing down the sides. When covered, if they look a little sparse and you can see the buttercream/cake through them, leave the fondant to set and then pour over another layer.
- When you’re happy with the coverage, leave to set.
- Once set, it’s time to decorate. Melt the chocolate and place in a small plastic bag. snip off the tip of a corner to get a makeshift piping bag.
- Mix a tablespoon of icing sugar with your chosen colour in separate bowls, add a little extra water if needed to get a drizzling consistency. You may need to play around with the quantities to get this right.
- It’s time unleash your inner Pollock. Feel free to experiment with your chocolate and icing, finding different ways of spreading the colour. I flicked it on with a pastry brush, swirled it from a spoon at a height and then drizzled slightly closer. It’s your pollock painting, go nuts.
- Leave to set, before transferring to a plate and enjoying your delicate little treat.