Sunday, 27 November 2011

Making the Golden Anniversary Cake

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that we've had a very special golden wedding anniversary in the family. We've all been working hard on various aspects of the party. I've made the invitations and table centres. I also made a cake. This cake was a big deal for me. It was for my Mother-in-Law. You know, one of the most important people you need to impress.

The cake is dark chocolate, chocolate chip, and plain vanilla sponge covered in white chocolate ganache and decorated with white chocolate roses. Here's how I made it, starting with the decorations.

White Chocolate Plastic Roses
Chocolate plastic is made from chocolate and corn syrup. It produces a moldable, edible substance that can be used for making cake decorations.

Ingredients
450g/1lb White chocolate
½ cup Corn syrup (I used Karo light)

To make the chocolate plastic...

Slowly melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Never rush the process of melting chocolate and never have the water boiling. Let the chocolate take it's time. While it's melting, prepare some cling film for wrapping the chocolate plastic in.


Once the chocolate has completely melted, add the corn syrup and stir to combine.

The chocolate will turn into a thick gooey substance. Turn out onto the cling film and wrap securely. Leave to cure overnight.


To create the roses...
How to make: Chocolate Plastic Roses
Click on the link above to watch how I made the roses, or alternatively there are some instructions below.
Cut about a handful of the chocolate plastic and work with your hands until it is pliable, using icing sugar to prevent it sticking.
Roll it out until it is about 1mm thick. Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out circles about 1½in in diameter. You need 7 circles per rose.
Take each circle, or petal, in turn and use your fingers and thumb to thin the edges.
Roll the first petal to form the centre of the rose, then wrap each one round to form the rose.

The cakes
The cakes are standard sponge recipes, as follows:


Dark chocolate cake
2oz/50g Self raising flour
2oz/50g Good quality cocoa powder
4oz/100g Caster sugar
4oz/100g Butter
2 Eggs
½tsp Baking powder


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Sieve together the flour, cocoa and baking powder then add a little to the butter and sugar mix. This stops the mix from curdling when you add the egg.
Whisk the egg then add to the butter and sugar and mix in.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix in.
The finished mix should be of a gloopy consistency.
Pour the mixture into a Victoria sponge cake tin (about 7in/18-20cm diameter) that has been greased and lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes. Be aware that all ovens tend to vary so it pays to check your cake earlier rather than later. You can tell if the cake is cooked by pressing the top with your finger to see if it is firm and springy. Also push a clean knife into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean and is hot when you touch it to your lip (carefully! don't use a sharp knife!) then the cake is cooked.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin before turning it out onto a rack to cool fully.

Chocolate chip cake
4oz/100g Self raising flour
4oz/100g Caster sugar
4oz/100g Butter
2 Eggs
½tsp Baking powder
½tsp Vanilla extract
2oz/50g Dark chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Sieve together the flour, and baking powder then add a little to the butter and sugar mix. This stops the mix from curdling when you add the egg.
Whisk the egg then add to the butter and sugar and mix in. Add the vanilla extract.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix in.
The finished mix should be of a gloopy consistency.
Finally gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into a Victoria sponge cake tin (about 7in/18-20cm diameter) that has been greased and lined with greaseproof paper.
Cook as per the dark chocolate cake.

Vanilla sponge
4oz/100g Self raising flour
4oz/100g Caster sugar
4oz/100g Butter
2 Eggs
½tsp Baking powder
½tsp Vanilla extract

Make as per the chocolate chip cake, omitting the chocolate chips.


White chocolate ganache
I used ganache to sandwich the cakes together, and also as an icing.

Ingredients
10 oz/300g White chocolate
10 fl oz/300ml Double (heavy) cream

To make...
Slowly melt the chocolate with the cream in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. As I said before, never rush this process.

Stir occasionally to combine the cream and chocolate. The result should be a nice glossy liquid.

Leave it to thicken before using to 'stick' the cakes together. If you are using a cake board, spread a little under the bottom cake to stick it to the board. I stacked mine with chocolate, chocolate chip then vanilla on the top.


You need to ensure the ganache is nice and thick before icing the cake. Use a palette knife to spread the ganache in a thick layer over the cake. This isn't a nice and smooth icing, you should be able to see the knife strokes where you have spread the ganache. Leave to dry overnight and then decorate with a ribbon and the chocolate roses.


Finally, enjoy!


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