November 20, 2013

Fishy Chocolate Cake

One of our friends' child, Z is learning to talk and his vocabulary is increasing manifold. One evening, they came over for dinner, and we were having a relatively quiet evening when suddenly little Z pointed at a tea -coaster and said 'Feeesh'! We all burst into a laughter. That was probably the first word he spoke all evening.

It was Z's 3rd birthday and we decided to get him a set of magnetic fishing poles to 'reel in' all the 26 letters of the English alphabet that were engraved on foam shaped like fish. Keeping with the 'fishy' theme, I baked a simple chocolate cake and shaped it into a fish. Little Z's reaction was priceless, and worth every minute of work that went into it. Here it goes -

Time: 2.5 hours (baking, cooling and frosting)
Serves: 6-8 persons

Cake:
I simply followed my tried and tested recipe for a basic chocolate cake here, except that I used regular cocoa powder instead of dark cocoa powder. Since I wanted to shape it into a fish, I baked it in a single layer square 9x9 inches cake pan.

Frosting:
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
1-1/3 cups of powdered sugar
Food coloring of choice (optional)
M&Ms (sorted according to color)
  • Whip the butter with sugar into a light fluffy frosting, about 5-8 minutes. 
  • Add food coloring of choice. I did not want a white frosting for a child's cake, so I added a few drops of blue and yellow food coloring gel to get a light pastel green color. Set aside.
Shaping the cake:
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, gently score out the body of a fish. Cut long the score marks using a serrated knife.
  • Place two of the cut out corners along the lower half of the body, to form the fins. Take one of the remaining corners to make the tail. Gently pick up each part and place it on a tray. Trim edges to get desired shape. Attach with toothpicks so the fins and tail stay in place.

  • Before frosting, tuck in strips of parchment paper under the cake sides that can be removed after frosting for a clean finished look.


  • Using a offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly on the cake, starting from the centre and working your way out. Frost the sides and edges completely. 


  • Time to let your imagination run wild. Decorate with M&Ms or any other topping of your choice. I chose M&Ms because Little Z likes to call them gems :)


  • Remove parchment strips for a complete and clean look.


It was a colorful and bright fish, for a happy little 3 year old :)

Bon Appetit! 
Hetal from Houston

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