Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Grand Final Day!

It was the Australian Football League Grand Final today. We had friends over to watch it with us and my mum, and celebrated my mum's recent birthday at the same time. Big Bro was very excited to celebrate a birthday, and thrilled with my suggestion that we make a cake "just like Maisy" (if Maisy does it, it must be cool!). He didn't have the sequence of events quite right so as we started to measure the ingredients (recipe below) I was nagged with "I want put in candles now... I want to make icing now..." but eventually we managed to get things worked out.

Because of the event, I wanted to make a cake that fitted with the football theme. My initial plan was to make a football-shaped cake, but then a friend said "why not a football ground....?" and had lots of suggestions for how to decorate it- right through to how to make the MCG light towers! The two teams' colours were navy and white (Geelong) and red, white and black (St Kilda), which aren't great colours for making appetizing icing, but which could be made with blueberries, raspberries and a few dabs of white and dark chocolate.

So this was what I ended up with:

Very rough, but recognizable as a football ground with berry players and a banner. (For those who aren't familiar with AFL, at the start of each game the team runs through a banner with an inspirational message made by the supporters.)

It was a fun day- the match was neck-and-neck right up to the final siren, the company and food were good and the kids played happily. And who knows, next year I might be able to make a yellow and black cake?

Eggless Chocolate Cake recipe
Our friends can't eat eggs, so we made this egg-free chocolate cake from a Bill Granger columnin the Sydney Morning Herald a few years back (isn't Google great at finding obscure things?):

2¼ cups plain flour, sifted
¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsp baking powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
175g unsalted butter, melted
250mL milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp white vinegar

The instructions are so simple!
Preheat the oven to 180C
Grease two 20cm cake tins and line with baking paper.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, pour into the prepared tins and cook for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes (important! I forgot to do this and one cake broke) then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Icing- beat 200g melted (white) chocolate into 200g softened butter, then beat in 2 cups icing sugar mixture and 1 tsp vanilla (and colour if required).

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