A few days before Ayaz’s birthday, I came across an image of a cake that was decorated with smarties [the English version of M&Ms?] and chocolate covered biscuits. It immediately made me think of replicating the idea using M&Ms and kit-kats! With Ayaz’s birthday around the corner, I had a perfect excuse to try it out with my twist to it.
Here’s a look at the inside of the cake:
|On the inside: layers of milk chocolate cake and french vanilla cake (separated by vanilla frosting which is making the white part of the cake look thicker).|
I took help from the grocery store for the cake, and used cake mixes, since the process in itself to put the cake together was going to take several hours… and I had to wait until Ayaz left for work to start. It turned out to be a good thing I decided to do that, because I wasn’t planning on making Biryani that day either. That took quite some time in itself. Next time, however, I’d probably use my own cake recipe.
Anyhow, I contemplated having an ice-cream layer to the cake, but decided against it because of the messiness factor and wasn’t sure how well it would work with the M&Ms and kit-kats. I wanted to include both chocolate and vanilla cake portions in it, so I used Milk Chocolate and French Vanilla [he got both vanilla and chocolate out of it… and I got my favorite of the each].
Now on to how I put together the cake:
From each box mix, I used half of the cake batter to bake off a round 9-inch pan worth of a cake. For the other half of the batter that was left over, I just used it up to make 12 cupcakes. So in the end, I had two 9-inch cakes and 24 cupcakes: half being french vanilla and half milk chocolate.
The vanilla and chocolate each have their own baking time. I wasn’t counting on that and was hoping to bake both of the cakes together to quicken the cooling time. Instead, I baked the milk chocolate cake and the milk chocolate cupcakes in the first round, followed by the french vanilla version.
After they were done cooling completely, I took my cake dome out (only used the bottom plate part). I lined the edges of it with four small parchment paper pieces and flipped out my milk chocolate cake onto it.
Side note: I lined the plate with the parchment paper so that when I frosted the cake, the mess would be on the parchment paper, not the edges of my platter. You can see the parchment paper in one of the pictures above (where the M&Ms spell out Ayaz’s name). When I was completely done with the cake, I just slid the pieces of parchment paper out from each end. Note that it is much easier to have smaller pieces of parchment paper, instead of one large one, when you are ready to remove the parchment paper at the end.
With my first layer of cake on the platter [the milk chocolate one in my case], I frosted the top portion of the milk chocolate cake as an adhesive [and creamy center] before adding the second layer of cake [the french vanilla] on top.
Then, simply frost the top and sides of the cake, covering every visible part of the cake with frosting.
I used vanilla frosting throughout the cake because I thought it would be a nice balance and offset the chocolate in the rest of the cake [the chocolate cake, chocolate M&Ms and, of course, the kit-kat bars). While it was the perfect balance, and I don’t think I’d change that, if you look at the picture that shows the inside of the cake: it seems as if the vanilla portion of the cake is twice the size of the chocolate cake; you can’t really tell that the middle of it is actually frosting. Oh well.
Once you have completely frosted the cake, add the kit-kats all around the cake. Keep them as close as you can, leaving no space in between them. The frosting on the cake makes the kit-kats adhere without any problems.
I used 2 packs of the 4.5 ounce package of kit-kats [it has 3 regular sized 4-piece bars], which equaled 24 individual kit-kat pieces… and it was the perfect amount to go around my frosted 9-inch cake.
Tip for you: the fun-size kit-kats would work perfectly for a two-layered cake. I had originally bought them, and was convinced that they would be too short, height wise, for the size of my cake once I had layered the cakes. I returned the fun-sized kit-kats and, instead, bought the regular sized kit-kats. Guess who had to cut all the kit-kats in half?
Once the kit-kats were added on, I added M&Ms on top. One 12.60 ounce bag of M&Ms was perfect.
A top-down view: