I've got to be honest... this one wasn't my idea (or creation). Way back in July 2010 when I was first admitted to hospital, Zoe and Mike came to visit me one day, with flowers and a plan. The Disney Night idea was still only a couple of months old, and I hadn't yet thought of ideas for many of the later films, and had been asking my friends to share any ideas they had. Well, on this day in hospital in July, Mike came to me and said he'd been think about his favourite Disney film, The Lion King, and trying to remember scenes in which they eat something. The most memorable scene for Mike was during the Hakuna Matata song, where Timon and Pumba start looking around for grubs to feed Simba.
Mike's idea to transform this into cake was to make a chocolate log, and make a few creepy crawlies to go on/in/under it, which I thought sounded fantastic. So that's what we went with. Mike took the lead on this one, making the chocolate log and adding a few of the crawlies, and I contributed by making a couple of crawlies myself.
My jelly worms were based on an idea I found on this Halloween website back in October, and I got the recipe for marshmallow here. And now I'm going to hand over to Mike...
Chocolate Log: I originally came across Delia's recipe for Buche de Noel, which attracted me by its flourless creation and the promise of nutty depth of flavour. Creme de Marrons was unavailable, however, so I resigned myself to making her less special chocolate log, until I realised that a) I didn't have enough chocolate for the recipe and b) there was a jar of nutella right by my hand. So this is a Delia recipe adapated heavily by me to make use of what limited ingredients I had.
Prep Time: 20 mins [60 mins if you lack a whisk]
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 6, as part of a whole
For the cake:
6 large eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
75g cocoa powder
For the filling:
100g dark chocolate
2 eggs, separated
50g unsalted butter
First melt the chocolate in a bain marie to avoid over heating. Then add the 2 beaten egg yolks and combine until glossy.
Add nutella at some stage, along with the melted butter. Beat the egg white until stiff and fold into your slightly *cooled* chocolate mixture. Chill.
In the mean time, whisk the eggs yolks in a bowl and then add the caster sugar, whisking until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Sift in the cocoa powder, and gently but thoroughly fold in the egg whites, having whisked them to soft peaks. Place in a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake at 180 for 20 minutes. The cake will rise quite a lot, but will fall back, as designed.
After it has cooled, turn it out onto a new square of baking parchment and remove the original baking parchment [note - using foil cause serious issues at this point, I do not recommend]. Spread cooled filling evenly over the surface, then use the parchment to roll the cake into a log shape. Finished! Garnish with various grubs, and use chocolate clusters to suggest leaves, detritus etc around the base.
Prep time: 45 mins Cook time: at least 2 hours to set Serves: 8
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
125ml boiling water
pink and yellow food colouring
1tsp vanilla extract
25g gelatine powder
250ml cold water
500g granulated sugar
2 egg whites
- Mix the icing sugar and cornflour together in a small bowl and put to one side.
- Add the food colouring to the boiling water as required, and mix in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the gelatine powder on top and stir until all of the gelatine has dissolved.
- Put the sugar and 250ml water in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat, stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 122°C. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine mixture.
Pour the egg whites into a large bowl and beat until stiff. Using an electric mixer on a low speed, carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Continue to beat for around 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick and pillowy.
- Dust a sheet of greaseproof paper with the icing sugar/cornflour mixture. Pour roughly 1/4 of the marshmallow mixture along one edge of the greaseproof paper and quickly roll the paper over itself to create a sausage like shape. Tie off both ends with string, and tie string at various intervals along the middle, to create the segments. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Leave to set in a cool place for at least 2 hours (do not refrigerate)
- Once set, cut the strings and discard them. Rub a little of the icing sugar and cornflour mixture onto your hands, and carefully unroll the greaseproof paper and remove the marshmallow. The marshmallow will be quite sticky in places, so it is a good idea to sprinkle a little of the icing sugar/cornflour mixture over it.
- To serve, tear chunks off the grubs and enjoy ^_^
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: none, but needs to set in the fridge overnight Serves: 15
One pack of strawberry jelly
6oz boiling water
green food colouring
- First thing you will need to do is cut the straws down to match the size of your glass. I used jumbo straws for this, so that my worms were fatter, but any plastic straws work just as well. Cut the straws to be slightly longer than the glass you are using, then stand the straws in the glass. Tip - make sure the straws are really compact as this will help to stop the jelly falling out the bottom of them!
- Break the jelly into cubes in a jug. Add 6oz of boiling water and stir well until all of the jelly cubes have dissolved. Add the milk and stir well.
- Stir in a drop of green food colouring, to achieve an earth-wormy type of colour.
- Carefully pour the jelly mixture into the straws, and place in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
- To remove the jelly worms from the straws, hold each straw under the hot tap for a few seconds to loosen the jelly, then squeeze the end of the straw gently to push the jelly out.