About this recipe:When I asked my husband what an iconic feature of England is, he was happy to suggest fish & chips - a classic English meal. He was happy to assist with making this lovely confectionery dish and I, having grown up in California where fish & chips are not as common, was excited to give this a try!
green and yellow food colourings (red is optional)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
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Method Prep:1hr › Cook:35min › Ready in:1hr35min
Preheat oven to 200 C / gas mark 4 and grease a 23x33cm (9x13 in) baking tin or whatever you have got. This size allows good height for the "chips".
For the cake, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat eggs and milk together with the almond and vanilla extracts, then mix with dry ingredients.
Pour into prepared baking tin and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, get started on the sugarpaste icing for the "fish": Roll out a tennis ball-sized chunk of the sugarpaste. Mix in two drops of yellow colouring and the cocoa powder (this will make a nice battery-brown hue).
Once the cake has cooled in the tin, turn it out of the tin onto a cutting board. Boil the apricot jam for one minute, then spread over the cooled cake. Allow jam coating to set (15 to 20 minutes).
Cut a "fish-shaped" chunk from the cake. Cover the "fish" cake with the sugarpaste icing and seal. Use a fork to create a textured look mimicking a crunchy batter coating.
To make the chips, cut most of the remaining cake into "chip-sized" pieces (the edges are best for this). Be sure to leave a mass of cake bits for the peas.
To make the peas, bind together a lump of cake pieces using a bit of jam or sugarpaste as an adhesive. Knead a few drops of green colouring into an egg-shaped lump of sugarpaste icing. Roll out smooth and cover the cake mound. Reserve a bit of the green sugar paste for individual peas. Roll the small peas and adhere to the pea mound with jam or sugarpaste icing. You can smooth out folds with your fingers and a bit of water.
Finally, assemble the cake and take a photo!
Optional (a sugar paste napkin): Take a tennis ball-sized chunk of sugarpaste and knead in a few drops of red colouring. Roll out flat, trim off edges and allow to harden overnight to off set the lovely yellows and greens.
If you coat the chips in caster sugar and flash under a hot grill, they turn nicely crisp like and are sweeter. Also, try serving a strawberry or raspberry coulis in a red plastic tomato as "ketchup". - 19 Jul 2009