Cake may not be the answer to attacks from monster machines, evil geniuses or mutant aliens. But sometimes you need to do the kitchen equivalent of popping into a phone booth like Clark Kent and emerging to save the day.
With some astounding superhero cakes about to hit the screens of Food Network Australia in Cake Wars Specials (7.30 pm Mondays, starting with some amazing Power Rangers cakes on February 12 - see below for more details), here are five cakes that will make sure you're always a hero.
1. The easy no-fail chocolate cake
There's no better feeling than knowing you have an easy chocolate cake recipe in your repertoire that everyone will like, and this melt-and-mix coconut chocolate cake from SBS Food's baking columnist, Anneka Manning, fits the bill perfectly.
2. The really impressive kids party cake
This rainbow piñata birthday cake will wow little kids and adults alike. "It’s as much fun to make as it is to give! I guarantee you’ll have as much fun making this as the recipient has cutting it! I mixed popping candy in with the sprinkles before coating the cake for extra fun,” says creator Poh Ling Yeow.
3. The rich indulgent cake for those with a super (pun intended!) sweet tooth
This layered cashew meringue cake recipe also comes from Anneka Manning, who says "Be warned: this cake is rich, unashamedly sweet and not for the faint-hearted. I promise a thin slice is all that is required!". It's also gluten-free.
4. The cake that cures everything
That's what food writer Ruth Reichl calls this chocolate cake. Who are we to argue? (You can read an extract from her book, My Kitchen Year, here, where she explains why life sent her in search of a soul-soothing chocolate cake). "In times of stress, only excess will do: this is an enormous cake. But it keeps very well and there is no such thing as too much chocolate cake," she says. So this one is also a great cake when you need to feed a crowd.
5. The go-to gluten-free cake
Of course we have you covered if you want a flourless chocolate cake or a classic orange and almond (SBS Food's most popular cake recipe, by the way!), but if you're looking for something different, how about a Persian love cake? Think those golden baklava-ish flavours, but in a moist cake with sticky, dark caramelised sides. You can find more than 70 other gluten-free cakes from SBS Food here.
And if you want some serious superhero cake inspiration...
The talented bakers in Cake Wars Specials are challenged to create cakes inspired by everything from Disney princesses to The Avengers and Pokemon. The show kicks off with a Power Rangers theme on Monday February 12, and returns to the superhero arena three weeks later for an Avengers episode. Catch Cake Wars Specials at 7.30pm Monday nights on Food Network Australia (check the TV Guide for more details of screening times). Your definition of being a cake hero will never the same again.
I first made a version of this cake for my daughter’s fifth birthday. At the time I thought it was completely original, very clever idea I had dreamed up with colourful sprinkles decorating not only the outside but also the inside of the cake.
It’s hard to beat a great carrot cake with lemony cream cheese frosting. Decorate the cake with edible flowers from the garden, if you have them.
Apart from being absolutely delicious, this to me is one of the most intriguing cakes ever invented.