Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Well Gee, eh, You're One Big Beaver

Disney Classic # 43 - Brother Bear


So originally I was thinking I could sorta maybe try an Inuit recipe, and that yes, it may be a little unusual, but it has been fun trying out recipes I usually wouldn't throughout the Disney movie nights, so I went ahead a did a google search for "Inuit dessert". It turns out that there aren't many Inuit desserts, but one that did crop up every so often was Akutaq, or Eskimo ice-cream. "Perfect!" I thought, as I opened the recipe.

I'm sorry to say that I absolutely draw the line at serving and/or eating whipped reindeer fat and seal oil. Besides, I struggle to find simple things like shortening, pumpkins and hominy here in Cambridge - where on earth does one even buy reindeer fat (from the back) and seal oil?? So Akutaq was a complete no-go.

I tried to have a think about other aspects of the movie, and thought for a while about doing some sort of salmon cake (relating to the bears' time at the Salmon Run), but then I thought about my favourite scene from the film, when Kenai and Koda are looking at a cave painting of a human hunter and a bear, and Koda says "Those monsters are real scary" and Kenai looks at the painting of the bear but then Koda continues "Especially with those sticks" and the Kenai looks at the picture again and starts to see that from the bear's perspective the humans are the monsters, and not the bears as he had originally thought. Basically this scene:

So I decided to decorate a cake using that scene as my inspiration. I've made a lot of vanilla cakes and very few chocolate cakes throughout this series, so I figured I'd make a nice white chocolate cake underneath all of my pretty decoration, with the same yummy chocolate frosting I'd made last week for Treasure Planet (original recipe found here.)

Prep time: 20 mins (including frosting)
Cook time: 40 mins
Makes 12 slices

For the cake:
300g margarine
300g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
300g self raising flour
200g white chocolate

For the frosting:

120 ml milk
2 tbsp plain flour
pinch of salt
120g dark chocolate
100g butter
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

For decoration:
300g ready to roll white icing
Brown food colouring
1tsp icing sugar
Drop of vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, and grease a round baking tin.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then put to one side to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the margarine and caster sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the melted, cooled white chocolate to the mixture and fold in gently, before tipping in the flour. Continue to fold until all the ingredients combine to a smooth mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tine and bake for 40 minutes, until the cake is springy to touch, or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Whilst the cake is cooling, prepare the decorations. To make the frosting, whisk the milk, flour and salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the mixture thickens. Place this into a small bowl to cool. Melt the chocolate and place to one side to cool. Grate the butter into a large bowl, then add the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat with an electric mixer on a low speed for 1-2 minutes, than add the milk mixture, followed by the cooled, melted chocolate. Continue to whisk for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. (Tip: placing the frosting in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes before use will make it firmer and easier to manage.)
  6. To prepare the covering, knead the ready to roll icing until pliable. Create a well in the centre of the icing and place a drop of brown food colouring. Knead the colour into the icing, stopping when the icing is mostly coloured but still shows signs of marbling. Wrap tightly in clingfilm until ready to use.
  7. Once the cake has fully cooled, cut into three layers. Sandwich the cake layers with the chocolate frosting, and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake to help stick the ready to roll icing down.
  8. Roll the rtr icing to the desired thickness and place over the cake smoothing gently with your hands, then trim the edges.
  9. Dip a cocktail stick into the brown food colouring and carefully draw your designs around the edge of the cake by making small dots and dashes with the cocktail stick. Mix a drop of brown food colouring with 1tsp of icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract to create an edible paint. Paint the design on the top of the cake, then smudge the edges slightly with your brush. Leave the colouring to dry for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices and serving. (this one is especially good with a cuppa!)

Next time we're watching Home on the Range and I'll be making a giant Wagon Wheel.

Happy Thoughts

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