I think this ghost cake is the epitome of "Australian home baking". It is so quintessentially a Women's Weekly thing to re-use your egg shells to make the ghost eyes! I love any recipe that says "wash out your egg shells and put them aside for use later on". It makes me feel like I am back in the culinary desert of the seventies.
And really, the only frightening thing about this lovely little ghost cake, is just how long it took me to make it.
I baked this cake three times. Which totally goes against my near-enough-is-good-enough philosophy. That's the philosophy I adopt when I am baking on a Friday night and I have ahem, relaxed into the weekend via the odd G&T. Or two.
But I should have realised things weren't going to go to plan when I dropped an entire egg into the mixing bowl. Shell and all. Fatal error number one.
Oddly enough, this did not stop me in my tracks. It should have. But I kept going. Some part of my mind said Oh don't worry, it'll be fine. Fine! Don't you worry a bit about that shell.
Readers, that was the G&T talking.
Shortly after though, I did actually realise that crunchy cake was not going to win anyone over. And this cake was being made for a child in the household of my cake-diverting villainous colleague. So I turned off the beater and picked out every single bit of shell I could see. And kept going.
Fatal error number two. Why did I not bin the entire mixture and start again? Readers, I blame the G&T. (The second one).
So I baked the cake. After an hour in the over at low heat, I took it out. I let it rest for five minutes. I turned it out onto the wire rack to cool .... and saw a giant piece of shell, right in the middle.
I threw it away.
I tried again. This time, I cracked the egg into a separate bowl, just to be sure no shell could fall in. I baked the cake. I let it rest for five minutes. I turned it out onto the wire rack to cool .... and the entire thing deflated in a saggy puff of steam.
I threw it away. And had a little cry. And some more gin.
The third time, it worked. I have no idea how, because by this time I was most definitely in a gin-sozzled state. But even the marshmallow icing turned out fine, with its palaver of you-must-get-the-sugar-mixture-to -exactly-115-degrees-exACTly-I-said.
Just when I thought I'd made it safely to the finish line, I faltered. As I was adding the coloured coconut (and I still have red hands from that stuff, who thought of that idea?) to the plate, some coconut accidentally fell onto the marshmallow. And stuck fast. And when I tried to get it off, a whole bit as big as a ten-cent piece peeled off in my fingers. Dear god!
I covered it up with plain coconut. It was still patently obvious. Look at this picture. Look at it.
Luckily for me, as the cake-diverting villainous colleague was putting the cake in his car, he did exactly the same thing and knocked off a bit of the arm. So I felt much better.
And in the end, Atticus loved his cake. Let us never speak of it again.