A girl guide leader has shared with readers the recipe for her chocolate cake after it was seen on TV by millions of Bake Off fans.

Hazel Carmichael, leader of 8th Rickmansworth Brownies, celebrated 50 years of being with the Girlguiding group by baking a delicious toadstool cake for the girls.

The cake was featured on the ‘Show us your bakes’ segment of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice – a spin-off show of the Channel 4 baking competition.

The sugary sculpture consisted of a toadstool stem – a chocolate cake covered in passionfruit buttercream and icing and baked around a ramekin dish filled with strawberries and chocolate ganache - and a mushroom head – a chocolate cake covered in chocolate buttercream and red and white icing.

Watford Observer:

Hazel Carmichael's popular chocolate toadstool cake. Photo: Hazel Carmichael

The cake, which was also decorated with Brownie figurines made from sugar paste, attracted thousands of likes on Facebook.

Mrs Carmichael said: “I covered the top of the cake with chocolate buttercream under the red and white spots of the toadstool, as I knew this would go down well with the Brownies.

"But I chose to make a passionfruit buttercream to cover the base of the toadstool, as we had recently been learning about healthy eating and trying some fruits which were new to the girls.

Watford Observer:

The stem part of the toadstool cake was filled with strawberries and chocolate ganache. Photo: Hazel Carmichael

"I brought the cake along to Brownies as a surprise for the girls. I explained I had created a cake about one of my hobbies, and asked if they could guess what it was. A hand shot up and said ‘You love baking Dusky!’ So in essence the cake represents two of my hobbies."

She continued: "I gave myself the challenge of creating a magical toadstool cake, as the toadstool is still central to the Brownie Promise Ceremony.

“I added a model of a Brownie in the familiar brown dress and yellow crossover tie of the 1960s and 1970s, and then a modern Brownie in a t-shirt and leggings. Brownie leaders have owl names, so I included two little owls – I am Dusky Owl and my co-leader Sally Funnell is Snowy Owl.

Watford Observer:

The Brownies enjoyed eating the toadstool cake. Photo: Hazel Carmichael

“The chocolate cake recipe I used is an adaptation of a lemon cake recipe my mother-in-law used to make. She herself was a Queen’s Guide and would be so delighted to know her recipe was my inspiration for this particular bake.

“However, as it was Dessert Week on GBBO, I baked a little ramekin dish into the stem of the toadstool, which I then filled with strawberries and chocolate ganache. So essentially it was a dessert within a cake!

“I decided to use the opportunity to raise more awareness of the fun guiding brings to those of us who volunteer our time weekly, often for many years. I put a photo of my cake on local Facebook groups, with a link to how to find out more about guiding and I have been overwhelmed by the attention and lovely comments!”

Watford Observer:

Hazel Carmichael with the sugarpaste figurines. They are all that is left of the toadstool cake. Photo: Hazel Carmichael

The cherry on top was when two people made enquiries about volunteering their time at Brownies after seeing Mrs Carmichael on the show.

To find out more about Girlguiding, go to: www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved

Here’s how you can make Mrs Carmichael’s toadstool cake:

Make the chocolate cakes

8oz / 225g Stork block margarine

12oz / 340g caster sugar

4 large eggs

10oz / 290g self-raising flour

2oz / 50g cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

10 tablespoons milk

Giant cupcake tin - where the cupcake top and base are baked as two separate two pieces. Something like this

Melted butter to grease

  1. Prepare the giant cupcake tin by brushing a layer of melted butter inside. Place a small upturned ramekin dish in the ‘base’ portion of the tin, brush with butter including sealing carefully where it meets the tin.
  2. In another bowl, cream the margarine and sugar together until the mixture becomes lighter in colour. Add one tablespoon of the flour. Add the eggs slowly, and beat well between each addition (helps to avoid the mixture curdling). Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder, and mix slowly. Add milk, mix until all is combined and you have a smooth batter.
  3. Measure 400g cake batter into the cupcake ‘top’ and 520g batter around the ramekin dish in the ‘base’
  4. Bake at 160C/ 320F/ Gas 3 for about an hour. When firm and just coming away from the sides of the tin, insert a small knife in the centre to check the cake is cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Make the chocolate buttercream

6oz / 170g butter, softened

10oz / 290g icing sugar

2oz / 50g cocoa

  1. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift in icing sugar and cocoa and mix slowly until well combined. Add a little boiled water if you require a softer buttercream.

Make the passionfruit buttercream

6oz / 170g butter, softened

12oz / 340g icing sugar

Strained pulp of one passionfruit (no seeds)

  1. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and mix slowly. Add the passionfruit pulp and mix until combined.

Construct the toadstool

750g Renshaw Extra white sugarpaste

500g Renshaw Extra red sugarpate

Edible glue or royal icing

Thin 6” cake board

Thick 10” or 12” cake drum

  1. When the cake is cool, carefully turn each piece out of the tin.
  2. With a sharp knife, shave the ‘top’ piece so it becomes rounded and resembles the top of a toadstool.
  3. Shave the sides of the ‘base’ to resemble the stem of a toadstool. Clean any cake crumbs from the rim of the ‘baked in’ ramekin dish.
  4. Place the ‘top’ on a cake board which is slightly smaller than its diameter. Cover in chocolate buttercream and smooth to a rounded toadstool shape with a small palette knife. Chill for 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the red sugarpaste and place over the top of the toadstool. Use the palm of your hand to shape and smooth the sugarpaste, ensuring it sticks to the buttercream. Tuck the sugarpaste underneath and trim any surplus.
  6. Roll out thinly a little of the white sugarpaste, and cut out small circles. Secure in place with edible glue or royal icing
  7. Place the ‘stem’ on a larger cake drum and secure in place with a little buttercream. Cover the sides and top rim of the ‘stem’ in passionfruit buttercream, and smooth to a suitable shape with a small palette knife. Chill for 20 minutes.
  8. Roll out the white sugarpaste and place over the stem of the toadstool. Use the palm of your hand to shape and smooth the sugarpaste, ensuring it sticks to the buttercream. Cut any surplus sugarpaste from around the bottom and tuck in to tidy. Carefully cut away a circle to reveal the ramekin dish.
  9. Fill the ramekin dish, no higher than the rim, with fruit or sweets of your choice (I filled mine with strawberries and chocolate ganache).
  10. Place the toadstool lid on top and serve.