1 hour plus cooling time
"This spooky Halloween cake combines a few baking techniques but is actually easy to make. Have fun ‘burying’ sweet bones into the ‘dirt’ and spattering them with ‘blood’. This cake can also be turned into a graveyard scene using biscuits for gravestones, a haunted scene by adding meringue ghosts or a newly dug garden with gummy worms."
You can use your favourite cake recipe for the base – just make sure it has cooled down completely before adding the frosting and decorations. Both the cake and meringue bones can be made a couple of days in advance. You can use filter or instant coffee in the cake – decaf is fine.
First the meringue bones. Preheat the oven to 120 C (100 Fan). Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a stand mixer. Start by whisking on low speed and increase as the eggs get frothy.
Once you have soft peaks, start adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once it is all added in, continue whisking at maximum speed until the meringue is glossy, smooth and forms firm peaks.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe bones on the prepared trays, spaced slightly apart.
Bake for an hour until the bones feel dry to the touch and lift off the paper easily. Turn the oven off, leave the door open and leave them to dry in the oven.
Store in an airtight container if you are not using immediately.
Now for the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C (160 Fan). Grease a 23cm /9in square tin with a little butter and line with greaseproof paper letting the edges hang out of the sides. Grease the paper with butter.
Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
Place the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds until everything is thoroughly combined.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the processor and process for a few seconds until you have a smooth, thin, batter.
Pour into the prepared baking tin. Lightly tap the tin on the counter top to make sure batter settles.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 55 minutes to an hour.
Lift out of the tin using the baking paper and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely. The cake will feel slightly damp – this is how it should be!
To create the cobweb effect, heat the marshmallows in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and heat for a further 10 seconds until they are melted.
Use your fingers to stretch the marshmallows over the edges and sides of the cake. Things will get a bit messy!
To make the frosting, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the cubed butter and beat using the paddle attachment on low speed. Once the ingredients are combined, gradually add the double cream and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to maximum and beat until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.
Spread the frosting over the middle of the cake. Add the meringue bones, breaking some in half and sticking into the frosting. Bury the bones with the powdered Oreos. Drip a little red food colouring over the bones for a blood spattered effect.