Mum of two Diana Gale, who runs The Domestic Goddess Wannabe recipe blog, contributed this kid-friendly Milo pudding recipe. She recently launched her first cookbook, The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Bakes. Published by Epigram Books, it costs $48.04 (with GST) from major bookstores, www.shop.epigrambooks.sg and www.localbooks.sg.
135ml warm water
65g cocoa powder
225g Nutella, or other chocolate hazelnut spread
280g plain or cake flour
¾ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp white wine vinegar
250g unsalted butter
165g caster sugar
Swiss meringue buttercream
245ml egg whites
400g caster sugar
600g unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp vanilla extract
80g white fondant
2 to 3 drops gold edible paint
a few drops of vodka
2 to 3 drops of different food colourings of your choice
2 to 3 drops black food colouring
Sprinkles, macarons, cookies or lollies (optional)
Fondant horn and ears
1. Make the horn and ears a few days ahead so the fondant dries and hardens. To make the horn, roll three-quarters of the white fondant into a sausage about 30cm long, and tapered at one end. With the thicker end of the fondant at the bottom, twist the fondant around a skewer to create a swirl. Leave aside.
2. Next, make the ears by rolling out the remaining white fondant to a thickness of 3mm. Cut out 2 petals using a rose petal cutter. Make an indentation down the middle of each ear, so they curve inwards slightly. Insert a toothpick into the bottom edge of each ear, pushing it into the fondant to about one-third of the way up the ears so there’s about 1cm of the toothpick sticking out the bottom. This is so you can stick the ears into the cake later. Leave the ears aside with the horn to dry and harden (1 or 2 days is best).
3. Right before you are ready to paint the horn and inner ears, mix the gold edible paint with the vodka, a few drops at a time, until you achieve the consistency of paint. Then, using a paintbrush, brush the paint onto the horn, covering it completely. The alcohol evaporates very quickly so you may need to add more drops as you paint. Next, paint on the inner ears and set aside to dry.
Swiss meringue buttercream
1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a water bath on the stove and whisk the mixture using an electric whisk until the meringue reaches 71 deg C. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes and the meringue should not feel grainy when rubbed between your fingers. If you don’t have a thermometer, another test is to lift the beaters out of the mixture – any mixture dripping off the beaters should hold a trail in the bowl for 3 seconds before disappearing.
2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Whisk the meringue until the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm. Beat the butter into the meringue, a little at a time, using the beater attachment at medium speed on your mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, continue using an electric hand whisk. Continue beating until all the butter is incorporated, then beat in the salt and vanilla extract until well combined.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. In a small bowl, whisk the warm water and cocoa powder together until smooth. Add the Nutella and mix until smooth. Set this aside.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into another bowl and set aside. In a cup, whisk together the milk, vanilla and vinegar until combined. Set this aside.
3. Put the butter and caster sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, or a mixing bowl, and mix until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add in the cocoa mixture, and mix until well combined.
4. Turn the mixer down to low (if using) and slowly add half of the flour mixture. Add all of the milk mixture slowly, mixing until it’s all incorporated, then add in the remaining flour mixture and keep mixing until just combined.
5. Divide the batter between the two greased and lined 6-inch cake tins, and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Slice each cake horizontally twice, to make 3 layers in each. Use two-thirds of the buttercream to sandwich the layers together and frost the sides and top of the cake.
7. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the buttercream in a bowl and keep to one side. Divide the remaining buttercream into separate bowls – the number of bowls will depend on the number of colours you are using for the unicorn’s mane.
8. Into each bowl of buttercream, add 2 to 3 drops of the different food colouring and mix well. Spoon the coloured buttercreams into piping bags fitted with fluted nozzles of varying sizes. You can also combine the different coloured buttercreams in a single piping bag to create multicoloured swirls.
9. Decide which side of the cake the face of your unicorn will be, then starting at the unicorn’s forehead, pipe a row of rosettes all the way along the top of the cake, continuing down the side of the cake to create the unicorn’s mane.
10. Using a different coloured buttercream, pipe a second row of rosettes right next to the first row. Repeat with all the different buttercreams to create a colourful rainbow effect. At this stage you can be as artistic as you like. Chill the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes.
11. Push the fatter end of the fondant horn into the buttercream on top of the cake, about two-thirds back from the unicorn’s forehead. Add the ears on either side of the horn, leaving about 4cm between the horn and each ear. For something really special, scatter some sprinkles over the mane.
12. Add 2 to 3 drops of black food colouring to the reserved 3 tablespoons of buttercream. Mix until well combined. Spoon the buttercream into the piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, and carefully pipe the unicorn’s eyes onto the front of the cake.