For the sandcastle:
300g slightly salted butter
750g of biscuits pulsed in a food processor to resemble sand. Reserve extra for the surrounding sand
Oil, for greasing
For the Vanilla icing
500g full-fat cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla extract
200g icing sugar
300ml pot double cream
For the cone cakes:
10 waffle cones (with a serrated knife, gently score around the middle of the cone. – very carefully cut each cone in half along the scored line, trying not to break or shatter them. You need to keep 1 cone whole for the top of the sandcastle.)
100g slightly salted butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
100g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
4 chocolate Flakes, cut down to size
150g strawberries or blueberries
Hundreds and thousands, to decorate
For the sand:
500g assorted biscuits
Ice cream, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4
For the sandcastle:
Gently heat the butter in a medium based saucepan. Meanwhile, tip the biscuits into a food processor and pulse until you have fine, sand-like crumbs. Add the melted butter and blitz again until well combined.
Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat for a few seconds until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, sift over the icing sugar and mix well. Pour in the cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick enough to pipe. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
Brush your sandcastle mould with a little oil, then line the bottom with a circle of baking parchment. Fill with some of the biscuit sand, so that it comes 2.5cm up the side, and press down tightly. To create a hole for the cheesecake icing centre to go into, find a glass that will sit on top of the biscuit sand in your mould, and leave about 1.5cm space around the edge. Grease the glass with a little oil and pop inside the sandcastle container. Pack more of the biscuit sand around the glass until the mould is full, then reserve any leftover sand. Chill for 1 hr. Give the glass a wiggle and remove from the mould – if it doesn’t come out easily, fill with hot water and leave for a few minutes. Slide the glass out and tip the water away. Pipe the cheesecake icing into the cavity, dropping in a couple handfuls of strawberries or blueberries – make sure you reserve about 20 for decorating the cupcakes and filling the whole cone. Keep the remaining icing in the piping bag and chill. Tip in a little more buttery sand to cover the icing, packing the mixture firmly into the container, then chill for at least 1 hr or until set.
For the cone cakes, line a 12-hole muffin tin with 9 scrunched-up nests of foil. Place the mini cones into the centre of the foil nests and mould the foil around the tips to support them and keep them upright.
For the cake mixture: Put the butter, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and beaten egg into a large bowl. Using an electric whisk beat together until everything is combined. Transfer the mixture to a disposable piping bag and snip off 1cm from the end. Pipe the mixture into the mini cones, making sure you only fill them three-quarters full, as the sponge will rise up in the oven – you may have a little mixture leftover.
Bake for 10-12 minutes for the mini cones and 12-15 minutes for large cone until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
Pulse the biscuits, and any broken cones, in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs, then set aside.
To assemble: Once the cone cakes have cooled and the sandcastle has set, carefully turn the sandcastle out onto a clean surface or tray and surround with the biscuit sand. You’ll need to bash the bottom of the container with a rolling pin if your sandcastle doesn’t come out easily.
Pipe the cheesecake icing on top of the cones and sprinkle with Hundreds & Thousands and insert a medium-sized piece of Flake. Carefully place them around the main sandcastle, using the sand to support them.
To make the upside-down cone, set the cone upside down on the top of the sandcastle and pipe icing around it to create the effect of a dropped ice cream. Sprinkle with Hundreds & Thousands and insert the half piece of Flake.