I think we've well established by now that I am no cake decorator. I prefer quick and easy bakes because that means I can be getting on with devouring what I have made much sooner. Hence why there are a number of all-in-one method cakes on here. Sometimes though, an opportunity comes along which is too good to resist and I just have to give it a go. Anyway, who wouldn't want to live in a house make of cake and chocolate?
When Ocean Finance got in contact about the Cake Off competition they are running I immediately wanted to enter. The prizes sounded fantastic, even if I only got through to the finals and not the overall winner. Don't you think the Bakewell Baking Festival sounds fantastic? I'd be eternally grateful if you could vote for my cake here.
It didn't take me long to come up with a plan. Cake decorating might not be my strength but chocolate is. Ok, so it's also my weakness because I eat half my ingredients before they reach their purpose but still, a cake containing as much chocolate as possible was my answer. I certainly managed that! The bricks are chocolate and hazelnut cake made using my favourite super quick all in one method. The cement is Nutella (!!!) The rendering is chocolate fudge icing while the roof is thatched with broken Twirl Bites and the windows and doors are triple glazed with white chocolate. It was so good my brother decided to go for a run so he had spare calories to use on a slice.
I chose a cottage because I would love the peace and quiet of a secluded home in the depths of the countryside. As long as I didn't eat it first. The cake is wonderfully soft and moist, the ground hazelnuts adding to both the texture and amazing flavour. Nutty but not overpowering. Then you hit the Nutella running throughout each piece and we all know how dreamy that tastes. The chocolate icing really is like a layer of fudge coating the whole thing, smooth and creamy, the perfect depth of chocolate flavour. Then the chocolate to decorate adds the final element of fun. I saved the roof until last every time I had a slice.
Building a cottage from cake was so fun and enjoyable - I really surprised myself. My family all loved it. It was so easy too. No templates are needed, simply two square cake tins or a large tray bake tin. Bake, trim, stack and decorate and you're there. An impressive cake for sure - you'll amaze everyone who sees it let alone tastes it.
Chocolate and Hazelnut Cottage Cake
A delicious chocolate and hazelnut sponge sandwiched together with Nutella then decorated with even more chocolate. Extra quick using the all in one method.
- 100g hazelnuts
- 250g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 250g caster sugar
- 300g tub margarine or softened butter
- 5 eggs
- Splash of milk, if needed
- 50 ml milk
- 50g caster sugar
- 75g chocolate, milk or dark, chopped
- 25g butter
- Twirl bites
- 25g white chocolate, melted
1. Set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan and line 2 8 inch square baking tins with baking parchment.2. Use a blender to grind the hazelnuts to a texture like ground almonds - you are unlikely to get it as fine as shop bought but a few larger pieces are fine to add texture.3. Place the ground hazelnuts into a mixing bowl with all the other cake ingredients are mix until smooth and just evenly combined. Divide between the two tins and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 mins or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.4. Stir the Nutella to soften. Trim the edges off one of the cakes and level the top if it is very domed. Cut in half lengthways to give you two rectangles. Sandwich these together with Nutella. Cut the other cake in half and trim/carve as needed to give a roof shape. (I cut the corner edge off both long sides so it was slanted with a bit of flat space on top still.) Stick the roof onto the house with more Nutella.5. To make the fudge icing, place the milk and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 1 to 2 mins then remove from the heat and beat in the butter and chocolate. Continue beating until the mixture cools and thickens but does not set. Spread the icing over the outside of the cake.6. Crush the Twirl bites and stick to the roof to create thatching while the icing is still soft. Spread the white chocolate into squares/rectangles to make windows and a door on greaseproof paper. Once set carefully peel off the paper nad stick to the walls of the cottage. Add a chimney on top if you wish.