The day has finally arrived – The release of my blog buddy J Keller Ford’s book, In The Shadow of the Dragon King, so of course I wanted to make a cake to celebrate! This is a layered chocolate cake in dragon blue, with a cream cheese frosting, and there’s plenty to share, so why not grab yourself a slice and then hop on over to Jenny’s Book Birthday Launch Party to join in the fun there; if things haven’t kicked off yet over there, then remember to check back later! Recipe below…
Many of you have joined Jenny and I over recent months for the Fallhollow recipe series where we’ve created recipes for characters in the book. To find out more about the book, see below the recipe details. Now let’s get on with the recipe…
WHAT YOU NEED
For the cake:
– 4 large eggs
– 1 cup (225g) superfine sugar
– 1¾ cups (225g) self-rising/self-raising flour, sifted
– 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
– 2 sticks (225g) butter at room temperature, plus extra to grease tins
– Blue food coloring *
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons chocolate extract (cocoa can affect the blue coloring in the cake, that’s why I’ve gone with extract instead. You might not find chocolate extract in the supermarket, but you can easily get it online, or from a specialist baking supplier)
* I haven’t specified the quantity of blue coloring because it will depend on which brand and shade you use. I recommend buying a good quality food color from a proper baking supplier in order to get the intensity needed, and check the small print because a surprising number of food colorants specify that they are not suitable for baking. Pick a dark shade of blue, if you go too pale you risk ending up with a green cake because of the yellow from the yolks and butter.
For the frosting and decoration:
– One stick plus one tablespoon (125g) butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
– 12oz (325g) cream cheese, drained through muslin if there is any liquid in it
– Approx 2.2lbs (1kg) powdered/icing sugar, sifted
– 2 teaspoons chocolate extract
– 2 cups milk or dark chocolate chips
– 1½ cups white chocolate chips
– Decoration of your choice, I used a light dusting of edible silver glitter, and milk and white chocolate stars sprayed with edible silver spray. Oh and a printout of a book cover!
WHAT YOU DO
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line two 20cm loose-bottomed round cake tins.
2. Place all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl. Be guided by the instructions on your food coloring about how much to use. With an electric mixer, mix until well combined, but no more. If the blue isn’t dark enough, add more and mix to combine. The color will darken a little during cooking.
3. Tip the mixture into the tins and spread evenly. Bake for about 25 mins until it springs back to the touch and has just started to come away from the edges of the tin. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
3. Once the cakes are cooled, carefully slice each one in two so that you end up with four evenly-sized layers. Lay them out with cut sides facing upwards.
4. Melt the milk or dark chocolate, drizzle it over each of the four cake layers and spread evenly with a knife to end up with a thin chocolate layer on each one. Leave to cool.
5. To make the frosting, I used Kerry Cooks‘ method to avoid a runny frosting. Heat the butter in the microwave until it is very soft and just starting to melt at the edges. By hand with a balloon whisk, whisk the butter until completely smooth and almost liquid. Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth, don’t over-whisk or it’ll turn runny. Switch to a wooden spoon, add the chocolate extract, then add the powdered sugar in batches, mix till combined. Keep adding until it is thick. If it doesn’t seem thick enough once you’ve reached 2.2lbs/1kg powdered sugar then place in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to thicken it, and check again before adding more if needed.
6. Spread the frosting and layer the cakes, finish with a cake layer that has the smooth baked surface upwards. Leave the top and sides unfrosted for now.
7. Melt the white chocolate, then using a pastry brush, brush it all over the top and sides of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the white chocolate has hardened. Spread frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate as desired, then cut and eat.
Now, while we enjoy the cake, let’s hear more about the book…
Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.
Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.
Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.
With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.
Title: IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING (The Chronicles of Fallhallow #1)
Author: J. Keller Ford
Pub. Date: May 31, 2016
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find out more about J Keller Ford here –
Hope you will all read and enjoy the book, remember to leave a review if you do!
Now come and join in the party over at the Book Birthday Launch Party see you there…