Saturday, 11 September 2010

Update - Louis Vuitton handbag cake

So...bit of a cake drama, the chocolate cake recipe from my previous post turned out to be a bit rubbish!!  It tastes nice enough but unfortunately it came out with sink holes at the bottom (that's the only way I can think of to describe what happened to the cake).  I tried it twice at different temperatures and cooking times, but no change.

I always imagined that as long as you follow a recipe it will turn out as expected.  It was so frustrating to get a bad result.  There are 100s of recipes online that you're spoilt for choice.  How do you know a good recipe from a bad one.  Trial and error?  Look at the comments (these are usually mixed and a matter of taste!).  Anyway, the recipe below is really simple, quick and produces a light moist sponge.

So I had to find a different recipe and I am please to report that IT WORKED!!!  I now have two beautiful dark chocolate & two white chocolate cakes ready for decorating!!!

Here is the recipe (courtesy of Jane Hornby on BBC Good Food):

175g butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
100g white chocolate (we like M & S or Green & Black's with real vanilla)
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
3 eggs
100ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
175g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
200g self-raising flour
2 tbsp very strong coffee (instant is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For ganache
284ml pot double cream
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
50g white chocolate , melted
small bag white chocolate Maltesers (optional)

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and bottom-line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. For the cake, break the white and dark chocolate into two small bowls, then melt in the microwave on High for 1 min or over a pan of simmering water. Put everything else, except the coffee and vanilla, into a large bowl, then beat until creamy.

Divide the mixture in two, then add the coffee and melted dark chocolate to one bowl, and the vanilla and melted white chocolate to the other. Stir until mixed through, then tip into the tins. Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tins. Cool in the tins for a few mins, then turn onto a wire rack.

For the ganache, heat the cream in a pan, then break the dark chocolate into a large bowl. Once the cream is just boiling, pour it onto the chocolate, then leave for 5 mins. Stir until smooth, then leave until thickened and cool. Split the cakes in two across the middle (a bread knife works well), layer up the pieces, alternating white and dark layers, and sandwiching, then topping them with the ganache.

To decorate, spoon the melted white chocolate into a piping bag with a fine nozzle (or use a sandwich bag and snip off the end instead). Zig-zag the white chocolate over the cake, then finish with a scattering of white Maltesers. Serve on its own or for dessert with pouring cream. Best eaten on the day, but keeps in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

So if you are making this cake for a family occasion, you can follow the recipe and split each cake in 2 before decorating.  For the purposes of my handbag cake, I baked four times (2 chocolate and 2 white chocolate).

So now I just have to ice the cake and decorate it.  Look out for pics of progress!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Louis Vuitton handbag cake

So I have just put the chocolate mud cake into the oven.  Just enough time to update on progress.  Had a bit of a nightmare yesterday with the white chocolate part of the cake!  The whole thing is now in the bin!!!

Anyway, I used the following recipe for the dark chocolate mud cake (courtesy of Exclusively Food):

250g chocolate (we use 125g dark chocolate and 125g milk chocolate)
250g butter (if using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt with the butter)
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules/powder
188ml (3/4 cup) water
325g (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) plain flour
30g (1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
550g (2 1/2 cups) caster sugar
4 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
2 tablespoons (40ml) oil (we use peanut oil, but any mild-flavoured oil could be used)
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (not fan-forced).

Grease the side and base of a deep 23cm or 24cm diameter (inside top measurement) round cake pan. We use a springform pan for easy removal of the cake. Line base and side of the pan with non-stick baking paper, extending the paper a few centimetres above the top rim of the pan.

Place 250g chocolate, butter, coffee and water in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. When chocolate and butter have melted, remove mixture from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm/room temperature.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a very large bowl.  Add the caster sugar to the bowl with the flour mixture, and stir the ingredients together until well combined. For this recipe, we prefer to use a whisk to stir ingredients together.

In a medium bowl, place eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk.  Whisk the wet ingredients together until well combined.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. 

Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and flour mixture in a three batches, stirring until combined after each addition.

Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (24cm pan) or 1 hour and 30 minutes (23cm pan). Insert a thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer into the centre of the cake to test whether it is cooked through. If the knife/skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not gooey batter) attached, the cake is ready.
Remove cake from oven, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to cool in the pan.
As this is a handbag cake I have used a rectangular tin 7" x 11" x 3".  Quantities and baking times remain the same.

Stay tuned for update on dark chocolate cake and progress on white chocolate cake!  Wish me luck...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Welcome to my blog

I've decided to take a leaf out of my sister-in-law's book and start my very own blog. So what am I going to chat about I asked myself. Well of course it would have to be something I have a little knowledge about and something that I want to share with others.

Well about three months ago I started making cupcakes for family and friends. I'm quite proud to say that they have been going down a storm. So much so that I have started selling them to friends and friends of friends. So I thought that I could share my recipes, ideas and designs with you all.

So far I have sold two cakes (a 70th birthday cake and a 3rd birthday cake) and I am working on my third cake (for a 20th birthday). This one is a chocolate cake (layers of white and dark chocolate sandwiched with chocolate buttercream). It will be decorated as a Louis Vuitton bag! A daunting prospect for me as I haven't done one before, but I will giving it my best!

Below is a picture of the cake I did for a 70th birthday.

Here is a picture of the cake for the 3rd birthday.
So stay tuned for an undate on the Louis bag, I will be posting pics soon.
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