Baby Shower Chocolate Cake

After my new year resolution of not baking any cakes (and instead make desserts from different countries) had gone out of the window (see previous post), I decided to go all out and make a cake for a friend’s baby shower.

She’s currently addicted to chocolate, and so, it must must must be a chocolate cake inside.

Now – who likes dry chocolate cakes? And who likes cake that comes out horribly sweet? What kind of cake can I use underneath that heavy fondant, knowing that many people actually do prefer sponge cake (lighter cakes mean people are more likely to go for seconds).

Bearing those 3 things in mind, it took me quite a while to find a good chocolate cake that I want to use underneath the fondant. It can’t be a sponge cake, so it’ll definitely need to be a moist cake that people would want to eat but not too heavy that it’s all become too sweet, etc etc. You get the point I’m sure.

Oh and to add to the dilemma, it’s gotta be cute.

 

Baby shower birthday cake

Baby shower birthday cake

 

Cake under better lighting

Cake under better lighting

And so here it is – everyone seems to love it so hopefully anyone who reads this post will too:

Inside the cake

Inside the cake

The chocolate cake that I’ve chosen is from here:

http://www.mariasmenu.com/desserts/moist-chocolate-cake-with-chocolate-buttercream-ganache

 

And the so very cute baby shoes instructions / templates are here:

http://cakejournal.com/tutorials/how-to-make-baby-shoes/

 

Some notes:

(1) When I made the cake, I used a bigger sized cake pan x 2 (still divided the batter into 2). The cakes ended up quite thin so I had to make another batch of batter and then baked 2 more cakes – totalling 4 with buttercream in between.

On retrospect I think it might be better to make double the batter on the get go, and then divide the batter into the 2 cake pans. The buttercream and ganache for 1 portion (as stated in recipe) were enough for my entire cake.

(2) The batter is quite thin. One of my springform cake pan started leaking but the other one didn’t. So perhaps some of you might want to use normal cake pans instead for this cake.

(3) The cake isn’t overly sweet with buttercream and ganache if your cocoa powder isn’t too sweet by nature. Actually with the fondant it all tasted good with right amount of sweetness.

(4) The baby shoes I made with 60% gumpaste 40% fondant. Probably 50-50 would do as well. Also for piece B of shoes template, I would make the curve part probably more squarish or bigger. This is so that when you stick it onto piece A (bottom of shoes), it will be easier to stick. I am sure there are other baby shoes templates on the internet so might be worth while checking those out as well.

(5) I made the baby shoes template picture to fit onto an A4 page size. My cake pans was 8 3/4 inches. I would say the shoes are probably slightly too big for the cake.

(6) I rolled out a big piece of fondant (after coloring it) and cut all the templates in 1 go. You will need 2 x A and 2 x B and 1 x C and 1 x D from the cakejournal website. This ensures thickness uniformity in the absence of a ruler. The downside of this is that you will have to work fairly quickly so that the fondant pieces won’t dry out as you bend and curve your shoes parts.

(7) I used tylo powder + water to make edible glue to glue the shoes together. Held everything in place fairly well with only 48 hours to dry. Re the shoes lace, I would either be careful with them, particularly the ones hanging ‘free-style’, or make the that into horizontal ‘bar’ like the other 2. Don’t make them too thin – they’re prone to breakage after drying. It could also be me being a newbie at this and not doing it very well though!

(8) For the twisted ropes – measure the circumference of your cake but either double the length or add another 2/3 to the length. When you braid / twist them together it will require more fondant than the cake circumference. Also make sure your fondant is fairly pliable and soft so you don’t get cracks when doing the braiding / twisting.

(9) After levelling the cakes I have quite a bit of left over cake pieces.. so may be I’ll do something with those!

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Chocolate, Hazelnut and Mandarin Cake

Chocolate Mandarin Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut and Mandarin Cake

 

Last of the 3 2012 Cuisine Magazine Birthday Cake.

Recipe here:
http://cuisine.co.nz/cuisine.nsf/recipes/chocolate-hazelnut-mandarin-layer-cake

3 Yummy Chocolate Cakes from ‘Bon Appétit’

My colleagues, a.k.a. my guinea pigs, love Chocolate.

So, here are 3 gorgeous, rich, yummy chocolate cake recipes from

Bon Appétit Magazine (Online).

I have, as always, forgotten to take pictures, but please go ahead and try them!

(1) Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Comment: Simple, yet delicious.

(2) Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Praline Chocolate Crunch

Comment: Yummy. Only having a small food processor to make the hazelnut butter is hard work, but worth it!

(3) Chocolate Snowball Cake

Comment: This cake was fun to make – who would have thought an upside down cake would be so easy to make! I paid quite a bit of attention on making sure the foil is lining the glass bowl as smooth as possible. A 10 cup glass mixing bowl is 2.5L (I’m sure you can work that one out with a bit of math!)

General comment: What I like about the Bon Appétit recipes is that they give really good instructions. Sometimes they can go on for over a page but that’s worth it. What’s more, they always tell you which component can be made ahead of time and how long beforehand, and they always tell you how long you can keep the cake for.

Love the site. It has 6000 recipes.

What are you waiting for?

Chocolate Framboise

Chocolate Framboise

My rendition of Chocolate Framboise, recipe by Eri Yahagi of Patisserie Yahagi.

Rich. Delish.

Original recipe available at Cuisine Magazine.

The featured cake is by Eri Yahagi from Christchurch’s Patisserie Yahagi.

I replaced the white chocolate wings with icing sugar to give it the necessary white color, since I couldn’t get the chocolate wings right.

Lessons learnt:

1. I really need a bigger mixing bowl. Preferably 5L one. Again.

2. I am still not too sure about the egg sauce for the Special Ganache. For some reason I don’t think I could get it quite right. Close, but not spot on.

3. The white chocolate wings are tricky. I am no artist, so the wings did not look like wings. Many of them, after taken out from freezer, are too thin so they ended up having holes in the wings. And don’t grab them with your fingers, they’ll melt straight away. (I used chopsticks…)

4. Don’t use frozen berries for decoration. If the berries are not in season, better use something else, fresh!

5. To have the cake really moist, make sure you put a good layer or two of the cocoa syrup. One brief layer turned out to be too dry (esp. my cake seems to be slightly overcooked after 50 minutes)