Marshall Amp Stack Cake

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Last week was Rob’s birthday, and as I was going away with work I wanted to leave him a big sticky cake to devour. He asked if I’d make him a Marshall amp stack, to follow up where his Guitar Cake left off a few years ago. After my initial bewilderment, a quick Google image search later and it was an enthusiastic yes! Two square cakes? Simples 🙂

I started off by making two rectangular cakes – one in a larger long tray, cut into 3 and stacked to make the base cake, and one in a smaller, thinner square, which I cut in 2 for the smaller top cake.

chocolate sheet cake tray bake layers for birthday

Chocolate cake simply calls out for chocolate icing, so I filled and crumb-coated both cakes with a sticky buttercream.

chocolate buttercream crumb-coated square cakes for birthday

Leaving the cakes in the fridge to cool and harden, I set about making the front pieces for the amps. Starting with a base of black fondant, I used a blunt straight edge to mark out the grid of the mesh, before using some white piped icing to line the edges and add the iconic ‘Marshall’ script in the centre.

marshall amp speaker front fondant icing with piped details black and white

For the top section I used a similar approach, adding a strip of cream fondant (white chocolate flavour!) with some added ‘buttons’.

marshall amp front buttons and piped logo made from icing

marshall amp front made out of fondant icing hand piped

Leaving the fondant pieces to set overnight, I covered both cakes in black fondant, adding a matching handle onto the smaller one.

black fondant covered birthday cake marshall amps leather look handle

Assembling the cakes was just a small matter of sticking the front pieces onto each cake, before stacking one on top of the other. Easier said than done when the front pieces of fondant started to crack!
A little gentle persuasion and sticking later, the cake was ready!

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And as no birthday is complete without them – an added inferno of candles to finish.

marshall amp stack birthday cake lit with candles

Inside the cake was deliciously sticky, with chocolate oozing from the layers! The birthday boy certainly was happy, as was I – it was a fun cake to make and even more so to eat 🙂

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Malteasers Cheesecake

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A delicious dessert perfect for Sunday dinner, or any day of the week in fact! For some reason malteasers make me think of Easter, not sure why? I actually made this as dessert for Mother’s Day dinner; it’s special enough to be treat but really quite simple and hassle-free. It’s sweet and creamy in the centre, with a lovely tang and crunch added by the biscuit and chocolate. And everyone likes Malteasers!

Ingredients
125g malt biscuits (it’s not essential that they’re malt but I like the added flavour these give)
50g butter
120g pack of malteasers
25g chocolate chips (optional)
250g cream cheese
250g natural yoghurt
150g icing sugar (you could use caster if needed, the cheesecake would have a slightly heavier texture)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
50g milk chocolate

Method
– crush the biscuits into fine crumbs, and mix in the melted butter
– tip the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a 6-8 inch springform / loose-bottomed tin
– take a handful of the malteasers (30g or so is fine), and lightly crush them so they break into chunks. Sprinkle these over the top of the biscuit mixture, and press everything down firmly to a thick, even layer across the top of the tin
– if using, press the chocolate chips into the top of the biscuit mixture
– put the base to chill in the fridge while you make the vanilla layer
– in a large bowl, put the cream cheese, yoghurt, vanilla and icing sugar
– beat until smooth and creamy
– add the eggs and beat again until mixed through
– pour over the top of the biscuit base
– bake in the oven at 180 degrees until the middle is fully set (it doesn’t move like liquid when you jiggle the tin – a bit of wobble is fine!) This should take 30-45 minutes depending on your oven; the edges may start to colour a little, if they start to catch too much, pop a piece of foil over the tin for the remainder of the cooking time
– remove from the oven and run a thin knife or spatula carefully around the outside, to separate the cheesecake from the tin. It will shrink a little as it cools, so this will ensure it can do so freely without sticking
– allow to cool before making the topping

To Finish (the ganache is optional but oh-so-easy and amazingly good)

50g dark chocolate
15g butter
30ml milk (semi skimmed works absolutely fine)
Remainder of the pack of malteasers (minus a few for taste testing, of course!)

– put the chocolate, milk and butter in a saucepan and heat on low for a minute or two until the chocolate starts to melt slightly
– turn off the heat and stir until the rest of the chocolate melts – there should be enough heat to finish it off
– allow to cool until tepid (test with your finger, it shouldn’t take too long), before smothering over the top of the cheesecake
– spread over the remainder of the malteasers however you like – some crushed, some whole, use your creativity!
– keep refrigerated until ready to serve

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It’s a really easy but impressive dessert – and great for chocaholics!

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