Arrr, pirate cake!

My youngest is all into pirates at the moment and keeps running about shouting “ahoy, pirate ship” {he hasn’t quite figured out there is a difference between ‘pirates’ and ‘pirate ships’!}. For his recent birthday, a pirate theme was a given!

I wanted to make him a pirate cake and when doing some research I found some truly amazing pirate cakes in the shape of three dimensional pirate ships and treasure chests. I’ve never been good with 3D cakes though, instead I decided on a simple pirate head cake. But, never one for making it easy for myself, I wanted to jazz up the flavours a bit. Rather than using the traditional jam and buttercream filling, I settled on a raspberry mousse and a ‘toffee mousse’, which is usually called ‘fluff’ in Sweden – not to be confused with marshmallow fluff though. This is basically sweets {toffees, chocolates, foam sweets or jelly sweets – pretty much anything will do} melted in cream and later whipped like normal cream. It’s very popular as a cake filling but works equally well to frost cupcakes. Not the least be healthy, but hey, birthday cakes aren’t supposed to be!

I started off by making a sketch of the cake, to use as a guide when decorating it. I had initially thought about cutting out parts of it to use as a stencil, but ended up free-handing when decorating it. Pirate cake sketchI bought red and black icing, to make it a bit easier on myself, and then coloured some white icing to make it skin toned {as my local supermarket doesn’t stock that}. Some more research recommended mixing red, yellow and a bit of green food colouring to get a skin tone. I ended up having mix the colours a couple of times before adding it to the icing, as the red became too predominant initially – so go easy on the red! Another thing worth noting is, put some of the white icing away before adding the colour, to be able to make the white dots for the head scarf, unless you want to send your husband out late at night to get more white icing!Pirate cake

Pirate cake

Ingredients
Cake
4 eggs
200 ml sugar
100 ml potato flour
100 ml plain flour
2 tsp baking powder

Raspberry mousse
200 g raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
50 ml water
2-3 gelatine leaves
200 ml whipping cream

Toffee mousse
300 ml whipping cream
180 g toffees

Buttercream
120 g  butter, softened
300 g icing sugar
3 tsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing or sugarpaste in various colours

Method
1) The day before making the cake, gently heat the cream for the toffee mousse in a saucepan along with the toffees until they have melted completely. Make sure the cream doesn’t boil, as it won’t be possible to whip the cream later if it does.
2) Once the toffee cream is cool, pour it into a bowl, cover and chill in the fridge over night.
3) To make the sponge for the cake, preheat the oven to 175C and prepare a 23cm cake tin
4) Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
5) Add the potato and plain flour along with the baking powder and gently mix in until fully incorporated.
6) Bake for 45-50 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
7) Leave to cool.
8) To make the raspberry mousse, put the gelatine leaves in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for a few minutes until they have softened.
9) Meanwhile, heat the raspberries with the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat. Keep stirring until the raspberries start to break down into a puré. Once they are warmed through, add the softened gelatine leaves and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
10) Whip the cream for the raspberry mousse until soft peaks form. Add the cool raspberry puré and mix together. Keep chilled until ready to use.
11) To make the toffee mousse, whip the chilled toffee cream until stiff peaks form.
12) To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft. Add about half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar, the vanilla extract and one tablespoon of the water and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in the rest of the water a little at the time, if necessary, to loosen the mixture until smooth.
13) Cut the cake sponge into three layers. Add the raspberry mousse to the first layer and the toffee mousse to the second layer before adding the final sponge layer on top.
14) Cover the whole cake with the buttercream before adding the icing and decorating it.

Pirate cake with candels

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