Chocolate Celebration Cake Part 2

How to Decorate the Chocolate Celebration Cake

This will make enough to decorate one chocolate cake from the last blog entry.

First make a batch of buttercream icing then you can get started on assembling the cake...

Chocolate Butter Cream Icing Recipe

3 1/2 cups of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/3 cup of cocoa
250 grams margarine or butter
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or peppermint or almond) essence

Beat like crazy with an electric mixer until the ingredients are blended and fluffy. If the mixture is a little runny add more icing sugar 2 tablespoons at a time or if the mixture is stiff add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

Tip: Use a BIG bowl to reduce the mess!
NOTE: I prefer to use margarine instead of butter because it gives a softer finish on the icing and is easier to mix. If you're a butter purist, use unsalted butter and half melt it first, just allow the icing to solidify a little before you spread it on the cake.

How to Assemble the Chocolate Cake

You will need:

2 packets of chocolate finger biscuits*
1 packet of scorched almonds
1 small bag of chocolate peanuts or raisins
Glace cherries (optional)
Assorted decorations (flowers, berries, ribbon...)

  • Put 1/3 of the icing between the layers of the cake and stick together. 
  • Ice the top and sides of the cake, the icing gets covered so be as messy as you like...
  • Stick the chocolate finger biscuits to the side of the cake - they should sit a little higher than the top of the cake
  • Fill the top of the cake with the chocolate nuts and fruit, you could also add fresh berries or glace cherries (like in the picture)
  • Put a ribbon around the edge of the cake and fasten with two long pins at the back (pin between the biscuits) and remember to remove the pins when you cut the cake
  • I put the cake above on an oval platter and surrounded it with tea lites for a great effect. Most tea lites burn for hours but they will eventually melt the chocolate on the cake

Tea lites on the plate are an elegant alternative to birthday candles on this 60th Birthday cake
 *If you can't find chocolate finger biscuits look for any slender wafer or biscuit which is  slightly longer than your cake is high

Extra Challenge: Toffee Decorations

This is not for the faint hearted and requires some skill and patience to perfect but creates amazing results. To recreate the toffee decorations on the cake at the top of this blog entry read on...

Basically you make a lot of long tadpole shapes out of toffee then sit them around the edge of the cake leaning onto each other like tee pee poles. It gives the cake great height and drama. 

Castor sugar (finer than white sugar)

  • Put a layer of Castor sugar about 1cm (1/4 inch) thick in the bottom of a saucepan
  • Top up with water so the water just reaches the top of the sugar layer
  • Place on the stove top on full and bring to boil DO NOT STIR EVER!
  • Leave to boil until you can see the sugar change colour in the centre of the pan from white to a pale brown, as the brown colour spreads over half the pan quickly remove it from the stove and stir the toffee with a metal spoon
  • Keep stirring the toffee until it thickens.
To make the squiggles
  • If you have a big stainless steel bench just lightly oil the entire bench with a mild vegetable oil (think canola or sunflower not olive oil) or oil up a cookie sheet
  • Take a spoonful of the toffee mixture and drop half onto the surface and drizzle the rest in a long wiggly line on the bench
  • Leave to set and carefully remove from the bench (slide sideways to release then lift carefully)
  • Make three times as many as you need so there's no worry about breakages
  • The toffee is best made and assembled within a couple hours of serving the cake as it gets sticky in warm weather.

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