Preheat the oven to 150°C / fan 130°C / gas 2. Grease and base-line a deep 20cm round springform cake tin or use a cake liner, if you like.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and gently melt, stirring all the time. Stir in the milk, then tip into a wide bowl to cool. Stir in the egg.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Stir in the syrup mixture and prunes. Pour into the tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin, then turn out onto a cooling rack over a plate.
While the cake is baking, slice ginger into thin batons.
Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and mix to a smooth consistency with lime juice. Pour over the cake. Leave to set for 10 mins and pour residual icing over again.
Arrange ginger pieces in the shape of a Yeti on the cake, and pour over residual icing again. Rearrange any disrupted ginger pieces. Leave or put in fridge to set; serve.
You’ll need two mixing bowls (including the bowl of the electric mixer), three oven–safe bowls of decreasing sizes (please refer to picture), and two 20cm cake tins. Remove the butter from the fridge about 20 mins before you start.
The Butter Sponge
(You may want to do this in two batches: just use half the ingredients at a time)
Preheat oven to Fan 170°C.
Crack eggs into mixer bowl, add sugar, and beat on high setting for about six minutes (you want them to double or triple in volume).
While the eggs are beating, chop the butter into small cubes, about 1 cm in dimension (in space).
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Sift again to aerate the flour.
When the eggs have increased in volume, reduce to a low speed and add the butter.
Add the flour a half cup at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary, and mix until smooth. It will seem lumpy for a bit — just keep mixing!
Grease your three oven safe bowls with butter, and dust with flour.
Divide the cake batter between the three bowls, leaving 1-2 cm at the top to allow for rising.
Place bowls in the middle of the oven. Bake for 20–40 minutes. The time depends on the size of your bowls.
Use a skewer or knife to test the smallest sponge after 20 minutes. When it comes out clean, it’s ready. If it isn’t ready, check again in 5 minutes.
Remove the sponges as they cook, and place them on a heat resistant surface to cool. When the smallest one is ready, the middle one will still need another 5-10 minutes; when the middle one is ready, the large will still ned another 5-10 minutes.
When all three are out of the oven, leave them to cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack.
If your sponges have ballooned out of the bowl, feel free to trim them flat. It will help with the cooling process.
The Chocolate Sponge
Follow steps 1–6 above, adding the cocoa spoon by spoon in step 6. Taste: if it’s not chocolatey enough for you, add more cocoa, because you’ve already come this far with that much butter.
Grease the two cake tins with butter and dust with cocoa.
Place in oven for 20 minutes. These ones should be ready at that time as they’re shallower, but test with a knife or skewer and adjust time as needed.
Turn oven off, remove cakes, and leave them to cool slightly before turning them out onto wire racks.
When all the sponges are cool, place them on plates, loosely cover them with cling film and put in the fridge, preferably overnight. The wrap helps to keep them moist, and the chilling firms them for assembly. It is important that the cakes are cool before covering, so that steam is not trapped inside, making the cake soggy.
The Buttercream Icing
(When you are to assemble your Chumbley, make the buttercream.)
Chop the butter into cubes again, and beat in mixer at a high speed until butter is creamy.
With the mixer still running, add the icing sugar gradually, followed by the vanilla extract.
Beat until very pale yellow in colour, and like whipped cream in consistency. Set aside at room temperature.
If you haven’t trimmed the bowl sponges yet, now is the time. Arrange your bowl sponges in a stack, taking note of the overhangs. The top of each section of a Chumbley is roughly the same circumference as the bottom of the section above it, so depending on your bowls, you may want to trim the tops off the lower two cakes. When finished trimming, put the bowl sponges to one side.
Cut three circles of the chocolate sponge to form the Chumbley’s supports. Each circle should be smaller than the bowl sponge that will go above it.
Assemble the cake roughly: large chocolate sponge circle, large bowl sponge, medium chocolate sponge circle, medium sponge, small chocolate sponge circle, small sponge.
Trim any cakes which are uneven, in order to level out the layers.
When you are happy with the levels, assemble cake on your serving plate. Use a spoon of jam to secure the bottom layer, then build up. Use a small amount of jam and butter cream between each layer to cement the layers together.
Using two spoons, smooth the remainder of the buttercream over the bowl sponge sections of the Chumbley. If the spoons get sticky, warm them with hot water. When you are happy with your coverage of buttercream, lightly rake a fork down the side to achieve that distinctive texturing effect that Chumblies have.
1 manic cook, recently returned from waiting hours in the freezing cold for a Game of Thrones exhibition.
300 g butter, softened
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup of caster sugar
2½ cups of self-raising flour
1 bar of milk chocolate, broken up
1 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
¼ of a cup of icing sugar
¼ cup of chocolate sprinkles
The cake itself
Set your oven on 180° and heat it up.
Mix together 250g of the butter, all the caster sugar, and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Mix it well until its a bit fluffy.
Add in the eggs, folding them in one at a time, and then mix in the milk and flour a little bit at a time.
Mix in the walnuts.
Grease a round cake in with butter and pour in the mixture.
Bake for an hour, and let it cool down.
Once the cake has cooled, boil half a saucepan of water, reduce it to a simmer and put another smaller saucepan in the water.
Put the broken up bits of the block of chocolate into the smaller saucepan and let them melt.
Spoon the melted chocolate onto the cake, and sprinkle chocolate hundreds and thousands on to the melted chocolate.
Put the cake in the fridge to let the chocolate set.
Allow the saucepan you melted the chocolate in to cool down, then use it to mix 50 g of butter, the remaining teaspoon of vanilla and the icing sugar.
Pour the icing into an icing piper. (If you don’t have an icing piper, you can make a Blue Peter icing piper by snipping the corner off a small plastic bag, and squeezing the icing out of the hole.) Pipe the icing onto the top of the cake in the shape of a question mark.
Arrange walnuts on the question-mark–shaped icing.
Allow the cake to cool in the fridge.
Enjoy cake, while listening to the fourth episode of Flight through Entirety.
¾ cup maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup — the real stuff, usually from Canadia)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp plain flour
40 g butter, melted
Lightly grease a 23 cm loose bottomed flan pan. Or cake tin. Or square tin.
Sift flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Rub in butter using fingertips unti the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add eggs yolk and mix until the dough comes togther.
Knead dough on a lightly floured, cool surface until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out pastry to desired size between two sheets of baking paper. Remove paper and ease pastry into pan/tin. Trim edges and chill in pan for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C.
Spread the pecans out in another oven tray, and roast for 5-10 minutes. Immediately transfer pecans to a mixing bowl.
Place pan/tin on oven tray, and blind-bake pastry for 10 minutes (raw rice on top of baking paper will weigh the pastry down just fine). Remove paper and filling, and back for an extra 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 160°C.
Combine maple syrup, eggs, flour and butter for filling in bowl with pecans. Pour mixture into pastry.
Bake for 25–30 minutes until set. Set aside to cool. Slice and serve with dollops of double cream.
Line two baking trays with baking paper and add a small knob of butter to each. Place trays in oven.
Whisk egg whites in a clean bowl using an electric mixer at high speed. Whilst the eggs are whipping, remove the trays from the oven and use a brush or spoon to spread the butter, now melted, around the baking paper.
Mix the almond meal and coconut in a separate bowl.
When the egg whites are stiff but still moist, switch the mixer to a slow speed and add the vanilla extract and icing sugar gradually.
When the icing sugar is fully mixed into the egg whites, add the almond meal and coconut. Mix until the ingredients form a sticky dough.
Using a teaspoon, scoop small balls of the dough onto the greased trays, leaving at least 2cm between each. You should get about 20 macaroons, but the more, the merrier! Press down each ball lightly with a fork.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The finished macaroons should be crisp and golden on the outside.
Remove from oven, and leave to cool for 5 minutes on the trays. Gently transfer for a cooling rack.
The finished macaroons will last about a week sealed in the fridge. If no-one eats them before that, which is impossible.
If you want to add any flavourings, stick to dry things like cocoa powder or small dried fruits. Add these between Steps 5 and 6. You can also join sandwich them with chocolate ganache as a filling!