So opens my little boy's favourite book - it may be his favourite possession in the world. I've lost count of how many times he's brought it to me to read just this morning. When it came to his first birthday I wanted to make him a very personal cake - something that he'd recognise and may understand was for him and we couldn't think of anything he'd enjoy more than an "Oi Frog!" cake.
Unfortunately my son has allergies to dairy and eggs. It's not really been that much of a problem whilst he's so little. He doesn't know he's missing out and we'd obviously rather he generally didn't cake anyway. But for his birthday he deserved a treat and so I needed to learn how to make a cake suitable for his allergies.
It took a lot of practice. Vegan cake just doesn't behave like I'm used to from many years of making traditional cakes. I was aiming for a chocolate cake as I expected the extra flavour may mask the fact the butter and eggs were missing. I started with a copy of 'Ms Cupcake "The naughtiest vegan cakes in town"' and developed on their recipe for chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (did I mention that he has a peanut allergy too...).
With regular cake it's basically the same recipe for cupcakes and full size cakes. I learned the hard way that there's a reason this book has different recipes for cupcakes and cakes. When I used the cupcake batter in a 8" cake tin it burned at the edges whilst it was still raw in the middle. I tried using the cake recipe in the 8" tin and that baked ok but it wasn't as light and tasty as the cupcakes had been. Probably all just my inexperience.
In the end this is what worked for me:
200ml soya milk
20ml cider vinegar
80ml rapeseed oil
1tsp vanilla extract
50g smooth hazelnut butter
170g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 c. Grease and flour a log tin such as this one.
Add the vinegar to the soya milk and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes add the rest of the wet ingredients to the soya milk mixture and mix really well so the hazelnut butter is fully combined.
In a separate bowl sieve all the dry ingredients together and mix really well so everything is combined.
Now working quickly because as soon as the vinegar hits the raising agents the
I'd struggled to picture how to bring the frog to life in a 3D model when I found a fantastic example from Vanilla Frost Cakes. Massive kudos to them for the inspiration here.
I added Tylo powder and green and yellow food colouring to some supermarket sugarpaste and sculpted it into the frog's body. I then added extra food colouring to a little paste and made the spots which were stuck on with edible glue made from Tylo. The limbs were extruded through one of these nifty devices. I'm particularly proud of the writing which was done using some edible white tint powder mixed with a little neat alcohol to make a paint that would dry very quickly and give the chalky effect.
Thanks to Kes Gray and Jim Field for creating this book that our little boy loves. Euan had a lovely birthday and really enjoyed his surprisingly tasty cake.