You may have seen this brilliant cake design online. I will show you, step-by-step, how to re-create this chocolate masterpiece for yourself.
I was asked to make this cake by a colleague who was going on maternity leave (she thought the swimming pig looked like her pregnant belly!). Other than making silly characters to decorate Christmas cakes I have never attempted to make a themed cake like this before. ‘Apprehensive’ doesn’t quite explain how I was feeling!!
PIGS IN MUD CAKE
Adapted from photos on the internet. Apologies not to be able to give credit, I am unsure who created the original.
You will need:
- chocolate cake (20cm diameter)
- chocolate buttercream
- approx 40 Kit Kat fingers (I recommend having extra in case some break)
- 200g natural marzipan
- pink food colouring
- disposable gloves (optional but prevents bright pink hands!!)
- chocolate ganache (see recipe below)
- ribbon (optional)
- cake board covered in pretty wrapping paper (optional)
Ingredients (for chocolate ganache only):
- 300ml double cream
- 200g plain chocolate
- 2 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
1. Make a chocolate cake. You may like to use my Chocolate and Raspberry cake recipe. I cut each sponge in two so I ended up with 4 sponges. When measured against the height of the Kit Kats I decided only to use 3 sponges to create the correct height for this cake.
2. Break your Kit Kats into 2-finger pieces. Cut off any broken bits of chocolate so they have straight edges.
3. Sandwich the sponges together with your choice of filling. Again, this combination of chocolate buttercream and jam works well. Spread the rest of your buttercream on the outside of the cake. This does not need to be neat – it is used as a glue!
4. Stick the Kit Kats onto the side of the cake, keeping them as close to each other as possible. Tie the ribbon to hold them all in place.
5. Time to make the marzipan pigs :-)! I recommend wearing disposable gloves for mixing the food colouring into the marzipan. Use a very small amount of colouring to start with, you can always add more. Work the colour into the marzipan using your hands. This takes a while and is quite hard work if your marzipan is firm. Keep at it – it will come together!
6. To make the pig bottoms – roll a ball then cut in half. Each half is one bottom. Use your fingers to round off the edges slightly. Press the edge of the toothpick into the marzipan from the middle of the ball to create the cheeks! Use a very small piece of marzipan for the tail. Roll a thin sausage shape, then wind round itself to create a curly tail. Stick this on where the line begins. Voilá – perfect piggy bottoms!!!
7. To make the sitting pig – roll 2 balls, one slightly bigger than the other. Use the big ball as the body. Push your toothpick in to create a belly button. Gently press the smaller ball (the head) onto the body. Use a very small piece of marzipan to make the snout. Roll into a ball then flatten. Stick this to the front of the head and push 2 holes in with your toothpick to create nostrils. Do the same for eyes. For each ear you need to create a triangular shape – pinch your forefinger and thumb together while pressing a finger from your other hand against this. Flatten slightly, then use the toothpick the press the triangular indentation into the centre of each ear. Gently attach to the head. I made one of my ears slightly bent over. For the arms, roll 2 sausages the same length, flatten slightly and press the toothpick into the end to create a trotter. Stick to either side of the body.
8. To make the swimming pig – Same as above for the body and head but do not attach to one another. For the feet, roll 4 small balls and press the toothpick into the edge to create trotters.
This is what you should end up with:
9. To make the chocolate ganache – bring the cream to a boil over a medium heat, stirring every so often (If you want the ganache to be slightly sweeter, add in the sugar with the cream). Break the chocolate into small pieces. As soon as the cream starts to boil, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and everything is fully combined. Allow to cool slightly.
10. This is the trickiest bit – you need to judge when the ganache is at the right consistency for pouring over your cake. If it is too runny it will seep between the Kit Kats. If it is too thick it wont pour. I allowed mine to become a bit too thick so I tried to place my swimming pig where it looked as if he had created ripples in the chocolate! I found this web page very helpful for making ganache.
11. Once you have poured the ganache onto the top of the cake, carefully place the pigs into the chocolate. Allow to set at room temperature.