- 2 packs of cake mix (My favourite is Wright’s baking Chocolate fudge cake mix)
- 4 packs of round biscuits
- 3-4 large bars of chocolate (this can be cooking chocolate or something more luxurious too)
- 2 tubs of cream cheese
- 2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 3 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar
1. Make the Castle walls
Make 4 walls for your knights’ castle from a cake recipe of your choice. It can be a simple sponge or, like me, be a bit more adventurous, but cheat at the same time- I used a chocolate fudge cake mix.
The walls need to be atleast 2-3cm (c 1″) thick and roughly square. As you see from the picture I was very accurate in distributing the mix between my baking trays, so ended up with different thicknesses.
Once baked let these cool on a wire rack. (You may be lucky and your wire rack might leave some great lines on your cake, which look just like bricks.)
When the cake sheets are cool, cut the turrets out at the top and carve the gate out of one side. The gate cut-out will be your drawbridge.
Don’t worry if the your cake castle walls are floppy! Chocolate will solve the problem: melt enough chocolate to cover the walls in a good layer on one side of each castle wall.
2. Strengthen the walls with Chocolate
To melt the chocolate: do this by breaking the chocolate and placing the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.
Sit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it all along. Don’t let it overheat or it’ll go all crumbly. Once melted, pour chocolate on each cake & spread evenly.
While the chocolate is warm your can also score the bricks of your castle wall.
3. Every castle needs towers!
Next task is to make the towers.
To simplify life I made these out of chocolate Oreo biscuits, which were the right colour and texture to blend in without having to be covered in icing or fondant.
I “glued” the biscuits together with melted chocolate. (See, you really don’t have to be that precise with the amount of chocolate you melt as there are lots of uses for it! 😉 )
Also make sure you account for your biscuit consumption when buying the biscuits. If you are like me then you have to buy more so you can do these steps:
- take biscuit,
- spread with molten chocolate,
- stick to bottom biscuit,
- take biscuit,
- stick in mouth and eat biscuit
Repeat steps 1-5 till tower is tall enough.
Once the chocolate has cooled the towers become pretty robust. (Alternatives for the towers can be swiss rolls for example, or your can bake your own in a log-shaped cake tin, or calving it from a larger cake.)
4. Assembling the castle
As all the chocolate covering cools it gives each element a rigidity.
Melt a bit more chocolate, because that is going to be your mortar. When you are assembling the castle you can choose to have the chocolate covered side on the outside or the inside.
My cake had the chocolate on the inside, because I wanted to add a layer of icing on the outside.
I used a glass bowl to stand one side up against and then drizzled chocolate where the tower and the wall met, waited for the chocolate to solidify, holding the wall in place with tupperware. I went gradually around adding tower, wall, tower, wall and so on.
5. Icing the cake
Once my cake was assembled it was time to add the finishing touches:
I covered the outside with a cream cheese, cocoa powder and sugar mix and scored it in a rough grid pattern to make it look like a stone wall. (This bit can easily be avoided if you leave the chocolate on the outside, however it does add a lovely moist covering and another layer of flavour to your cake.)
+ 1 Embellishing your castle
It’s always fun to let your imagination out to play and get creative!
With the castle standing, the drawbridge and the approaching knight (a new addition to my Little Man’s growing Playmobil collection) were put in place; a banner of marzipan added above the gate with Little Man’s name. To write his name, I used a special pen with food colouring in it (this is available at our local supermarket).
The dragon was an inspiration from another blog and I made it from marzipan (and a bit of green food colouring). The marzipan with the food colouring added was a bit sticky to work with, ideally I should’ve made this up a couple of days earlier and let it dry a bit. It was slipping off the tower too, so I pierced 2 toothpicks through the body into the cake to hold it in place.
The moat around the castle was made with green jelly that I let set in an oven dish and then cut into cubes. I added red jelly inside the castle; kids always love jelly and different colours too. The jelly was a big hit with the party guests as it wobbled and resembled water.
My frogs and chocolate rocks around the castle were another afterthought, as I had both marzipan and cake mix left over.
This cake needs a very sharp knife to cut it because of the thick layer of chocolate.