Spooky Haunted Castle Cake

Text by Sandra Monger & Robin Pakes. 
Photographs by Robin Pakes

Inspired by the Hammer House of Horror,  ghoulish goings on and things that go bump in the night, this cake is ideal for Halloween and the celebration of all things spine chilling.

Why not try it for yourself - if you dare...

The cake is formed of two parts - the castle and the ghostly rocky crag on which it perches precariously. A range of tools,  materials and ghostly spells were used to create form,  texture and effect.

Written & produced by Sandra Monger Cake Design.

 

Step 1- Carving the Rocky Crag

The rocky crag was constructed from one 10 inch and two 12 inch square rich fruit cakes. 

These were stacked and sandwiched with marzipan and fixed onto a baseboard consisting of two 16 inch grey-iced drum boards. This provided a firm foundation for the cake sections that would make up the castle. The sides were then carved to form an uneven surface.

Step 2 – Texturing the Rocky Crag

The jagged rock effect  was created  by covering the tiers with a marbled mixture of white, brown and grey sugarpaste. The jagged,  rocky appearance was then developed by dragging a dresden tool over the surface of the sugarpaste. Clean scouring pads were used to pinch and squeeze the surface to form a rocky texture.  The steps that lead up to the castle were formed using this technique.

Step 3 – Colouring the Rocky Crag

Black,  brown and green powder dusts were applied to create shadow, weathering  and moss-like effects.

Step 4 – Creating the Spooky Trees

The trees were formed from 18 gauge wire. The branches were made first from separate lengths of wire coated with brown florists' tape. The trunks were then made using wire wrapped with strips of paper towel. The branches were then attached to the trunk with brown florists' tape. These were then bent into shape with pliers and the trunk wrapped in florists' tape.

Step 5 - Creating the Terrible Tombstones

The gravestones were made from grey modelling paste cut out using a shield cutter with details added using an edible pen.

Step 6 – Constructing the Haunted Castle

The castle was constructed using chocolate madeira cake and ganache. The central section was formed  by sandwiching layers of cake to form two tall rectangles. The towers were made by sandwiching circles of cake to assorted heights.  A cake dowel inserted down the centre of the layers to ensure stability. Both central sections and the towers were then crumb coated and refrigerated until firm.

Step 7 – Texturing and Colouring the Walls

Sections of grey sugarpaste were rolled out and textured using a stone wall effect embosser.  These were then used to coat the cake sections and towers. The windows were made by removing shield shaped pieces from the coated sections and towers.  Black  modelling paste was then inlaid into the removed areas and varnished. Glazing bars were piped on the windows with grey royal icing. Strips of grey modelling paste were used to form the window frames.

Step 8 – Creating the Creaky Old Door

The door was formed using the same technique as the windows. A larger section of paste was removed and a brown, wood-grain effect insert was inlaid. The door furniture and the door frame were made from black and grey modelling paste. A winged skull crest was created from grey modelling paste and fixed above the door.

Step 9 - Creating the Rickety Roof

The roof was made using sheets two trapezoid and two triangular sheets of grey pastillage.  These were allowed to dry hard and then fixed together with royal icing. The turret tops were formed from circular sheets of pastillage from which a segment was removed and the edges were then brought together to form a cone. They were allowed to dry on card cones formed using the same technique, the drawn together edges fixed with tape to ensure stability.

Step 10 – Fixing the Crooked Tiles

Roof tiles were formed from squares of slate coloured pastillage. These were fixed to the formed sheets  in lines from the base upwards, each  overlapping that below. The finials and roof cresting were made from spaghetti painted with black food colouring and small balls of black modelling paste. 

Step 11 – Sticking the Castle Together

The sections and towers were fixed together and onto the base rock tier with grey royal icing. A square cutter was used to form crenelations in strips of grey embossed pastilage that were then fixed in position with grey royal icing. A  further strip was  added to cover the join. The walls were given a weathered  appearance using black, brown and green colour dusts.

Step 12 - Adding the Moonlit Backdrop

A spooky backdrop was formed using a sheet mount card that was cut to shape, hand-painted and then screwed into the baseboard.

 

Sandra Monger is a baking expert, sugarcrafter and leading cake designer.

In 2012 she was named Celebration Cake Maker of the Year at the British Baking Industry Awards. Sandra is also a regular magazine contributor and published author.

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Copyright © 2014 Sandra Monger and Robin Pakes. All Rights Reserved.

 

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