Sunday, 20 July 2008

Chocolate cake

This was another birthday cake, but I went back to my old favourite recipe after the dissapointing outcome of the masquerade cake . The recipe for the cake and chocolate ganache can be found here.

This was a lovely cake, with light sponge layers and a (very) sweet fudge icing. The two textures went together really well. Definately an improvement. The cake itself is an easy all in one method and the only trouble with the icing was deciding when to spread it on the cake; too warm and it'll run off the cake, too cold and it'll be too hard to spread. I like to have it slightly too runny so that most of the marks on the surface settle leaving a smooth glossy surface.

I used fluted sandwich tins and added a few decorations. It was my first time using dusting powders as shading to make the flowers look more realistic and while I think I need more practise, I learnt alot too :)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Masquerade Cake

My friend was having a masquerade party for her birthdayand I thought it would be fun to make a matching cake. The masks were popular for costumed balls in renaissance italy, particularly in Venice, deriving from the Venice Carnival. They're beautiful , ideally wearable, masks with amazingly intricate designs. Also they often have featers or collars, lik the ones below

I started with a 22cm/9in round chocolate cake, using the recipe from my cake decorating book. To be honest I was a little dissapointed with the outcome. It wasn't very chocolatey and was slightly more moist in the centre. I think I'll stick to my usual recipe in the future.
Next I cut it into a 'face' shape by trimming the edges. Personally I think it looked a bit like an Easter Island statue! I've seen one in the British Museum and they're really amazing things.

Before covering it with the white sugarpaste I cut it into two layers and added some Nutella (chocolate spread) to sandwich them together. I also used some jam on the top layer to make the sugarpaste stick. It was now ready for decorating!
Here it is:

The colours are rolled out sugarpaste, stuck on with royal icing. I also used the royal icing to outline some of the shapes and add some decoration to the forehead. Silver balls (dragees) added some sparkle. Sitting with the piping bag in my hand I couldn't help but add a border, I managed to stop there before I went really crazy!

The birthday girl loved it and a day later I still don't think it's been cut :