Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Big Cake!

Although i haven't been baking every week i did go all out in April for a friends engagement party. I'm not quite sure what you get a couple for their engagement so i opted to use my skills and make a cake for their party.
The Finished Product

After a few weeks of trial runs (some really bad) and people telling me i'd put too much pressure on myself it all ended quite well and i learnt how to make sugar paste roses!

After a chocolate cake disaster i opted for a White Chocolate & Cardamom recipe from my favourite Fiona Cairns book. A proper grown ups cake, sweetened with a rosewater cream filling.

Practise Run - White Choc & Cardamom

Then to decorate it, well i always wanted to try the sugar paste roses so i built my cake around this. Next was the colour, the party was going to be in a Moroccan style room so lots of oranges and my friends support Hull City FC who are amber and black so orange it was, with some amber and yellow too.

Sugar Paste Roses
The roses where a lot easier than i expected and i was pretty pleased with myself so i made loads! These can be made in advance and stored for a while so it's a good skill to learn.
Actually icing the cake was my biggest hurdle, if anyone knows where you can buy pre-rolled Royal Icing for anything bigger than a 20cm cake please let me know. After several attempts the bigger, orange, layer of my cake did look a bit ropey so after a quick visit to Hobby Craft all sins where hidden with the shimmering orange ribbon. Phew! I also picked up a bit of bling with the gold leaves and beautiful butterflies, this really turned it into a celebration cake!
Ribbon & Gold Leaf Accessories

The Finishing Touches On Top

Then all that was left was getting it to the venue, this entailed my dad driving very slowly and me being an extremely nervous passenger! Then i got to surprise my friend and show off for most of the night that "Yes it was me who made the cake"!

On it's own the cake is great so here is the recipe for around 8 servings;
  • 130g unsalted butter, softened plus more for the tin
  • 20 green cardamom pods
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  • 130g white caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tsp rosewater

Preheat the oven to 180degreesC/170degreesC/gas mark 4. Butter the tin very well, then line with baking parchment.
Deseed the cardamom pods: split them with the point of a knife, empty out the little seeds and grind them to a powder in a pestle and mortar. There may be a few pieces of husk mixed in, so sift the cardamom powder together with the flour to remove them.
Place the chocolate in a food processor with half the sugar. Process until as fine as possible. Take 2 tbsp hot water – not boiling water or the chocolate will seize – and leave it until you can just dip in your finger. Dribble it into the chocolate, processing until most has melted. Add the remaining sugar and the butter, cut into knobs, and process well. Add the eggs, flour and vanilla and mix again. Don’t worry if there are any tiny pieces of chocolate left in the batter.
I even had a few disasters with this... with one tier to go my food processor set on fire! Panic!
Pour into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Rest in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, removing the papers. Leave until absolutely cold.
Place the chocolate in a bowl and, in a pan, bring the cream and rosewater to the boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, leave it for a few seconds, then gently stir until smooth. Leave until cold, chill slightly, then whisk until it thickens.

When the cake is completely cooled, split into two and add the ganache followed by a topping of thick glaze icing - delish!

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