"I'm a little yellow fish, in the deep blue sea, won't somebody save me?"
That song takes me back to the days of B*Witched and N Sync, and when people wanted to Reach for the stars. Basically, before the days when 16 years olds sang about babies.
And then I was going to say I'm bringing some old skool cool into baking, but then that just sounded weird.
I mean, it's not like I'm obsessed with fish or anything, it just happens that I made sushi cake a while ago, and this recipe is from the Green & Black's cookbook. So obviously I had to make it!
It did say I could make it any shape I wanted to, so why didn't I made a chicken? Or a sheep?
Chinese New Year, as it means 'nian nian you yu' ('may every year bring you abundance') and 'yu' means 'fish' but also 'abundance'.
I don't really know where I'm going with this story, but I think that's why I stuck to making fish! It was my subconsious calling out to me to wish you all well (and have lots of stuff)!
I mean, unless you live in Wales, who would greet each other with 'may every year bring you lots of sheep!'?
Not that I don't like sheep. I was born in the year of the sheep. Sheep and I have a connection.
But I deviate.
So just like the sushi cake, I went to Sainsbury's and stocked up on fruits this time, to go on top of the cake.
NB: Not all of these made it. Especially the coconut.... because I couldn't figure out how to open it.
On reflection, I could have googled it. Which I just did, and there is a whole website dedicated to opening coconuts! How to open a coconut...dot com! Who knew it was such a hobby?
It's basically a (massive) chocolate sponge cake, with a creamy topping, and lots of fruit. Can't go wrong really!
I made this cake for a family barbeque that we had yesterday, and my barbeque skills are sub-par at best. The only contribution I can give is this:
"Give a man a BBQ, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to BBQ and feed him for the summer."
Remember that, ladies :)
Before I go on to how I made it, I just want to warn that if you make a really big cake like I did, you will have the problem of refrigerating it before you serve it. I had to learn that the hard way.
I used 18 eggs...
...enough sugar and butter to induce a heart attack...
(I'm not sure why there's a random watermelon there. I like watermelon. Clearly it likes me too :)
...I ran out of bowls to mix the batter so had to resort to using a fruit bowl...
(oh, and you can see a faint picture of the cake from the book in the corner)
...I baked them in a square baking tray, two 20cm round cake tins, and used 2 blocks of the bun tin...
...and then (using a bread knife) I started cutting and arranging!
This is the point where I run out of commentary.
But that's not to say I ran out of photos!
Dum de dum...
The icing is a 284ml tub of whipped double cream folded with a tub of Greek yogurt. If you have an (extra) sweet tooth, I would recommend adding a bit of icing sugar when whipping it.
You can use anything you want for the topping though: chocolate spread, melted caramel chocolate... PEANUT BUTTER...
Et voila! Much better than Bird's Eye, no? :)
I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to cut it into slices.
This was all of the left over cake I had at the end. I improvised and adapted another Green & Black's recipe to make it into something, so watch out for the next blog post!
And don't worry, the left over bits from that made it safely to my tummy :)
Lesson learned today: fish? Sheep? Chicken? Tyrannosaurus rex? Does it matter? If it's cake, I'm there!
Fruity fish cake
Adapted from the Green & Black’s cookbook
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20-35 minutes, depending on the tin you use
I used: 31x27cm roasting tin and 20cm round cake tins, and a bun tray
Serves: 20 (ish)
18 eggs, separated
300g plain flour
150g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
300g butter, melted and cooled
Topping + decoration (This is what I used, but use your imagination!)
Thick Greek yogurt mixed with a tub of whipped cream
For the scales: sliced strawberries, grapes, oranges, lemons, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries
For the tail: banana, cantaloupe melon
For the head: oranges, lemon, physalis for the mouth, another small chocolate sponge for the eyes
For the water: blueberries!
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C. Line the baking tins with greaseproof paper.
Whist the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy. The mixture should be pale, and when you lift the whist above the bowl it should fall from the whisk in a thick ribbon. Whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and the coca together and then fold in, in three of four stages, alternating with the egg whites and the melted, cooled butter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes for a deep cake, about 20 minutes for a shallow one and 5-10 minutes if you using a roasting tin. Once you begin to smell it cooking, take a look. To test whether the cake is done, insert a skewer into the centre and press the top of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, and if the cake is springy and the edges have come away from the sides of the tin, it is done.
Leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes and then turn it out on to a wire rack to cool before removing the greaseproof paper.
To decorate, find a picture of figure of a character or scene to use as a guide.
Prepare a large serving tray (I used a large wooden board that I found in the garage), and cover with some kind of material (preferable not cloth, and the water runs into it and it looks weird).
Using a bread knife, cut to your desired shape (or just copy mine! :D). You can stick bits together using the icing.