Posts Tagged ‘white chocolate’


Cake or Death?

November 30, 2008

tile200-chocolate_truffle_cNot Quite Nigella is running a chocolate cake competition, and I decided that an 11th hour entry was essential, despite having baked a horde of cakes already this week, including a wedding cake for yesterday (post to come very soon!). Anyway, as you’ll know if you’re at all familiar with my blog, I do tend to make the occasional chocolate cake…But I decided my regular chocolate cake recipe (which I do highly recommend, as a reasonably failsafe, delicious and moist cake) was just not exciting or challenging enough.


So this is my cake. Looks fairly harmless, does it not? Boring even, you might say…

tower-of-cakeBut… It’s a huge tower of cake! That’s a 20cm cake that is 12.3cm high! (yes, I had to measure it) It is a crazy concoction of deliciousness, decided upon after much umming and ahhing. This is a five-layer cake, in alternating layers of Rose Levy-Beranbaum’s White Chocolate Whisper Cake and Donna Hay’s Rich Chocolate Cake, filled with White Chocolate Mussoline buttercream (another Rose Levy-Beranbaum recipe) and a cream-based chocolate mousse (concocted without a recipe) and all topped with a rich dark chocolate glaze. Phew! And I can assure you that it is quite deadly! Want to see the guts of it? Brace yourselves!

cross-section-shotNow, be aware, this is not your everyday chocolate cake (although the white chocolate whisper cake is a perfectly respectable everyday cake on its own), and in fact a normal-sized slice would probably clog your arteries instantly, but a tiny sliver with a small scoop of homemade vanilla ice-cream goes down a treat – a delicious way to finish off the weekend!

I promise I’ll update the post with recipes tomorrow, but at the moment it’s sleepy time – if you happen to be reading this and think you might be in the area in the next day or so let me know, though, because I just might be able to reserve a slice for you – we’re going to need some help with this one!


Crampton/Hickson Budget Line

October 19, 2008

This cake/graph shows the budget line for consumption of goods Crampton (on the y axis) and Hickson (on the x axis). The green curve shows where the consumer is indifferent between all points on the curve. The point where the curve intersects the budget line is the point of optimal consumption.

Or, for those of you not familiar with economics-speak, this is a graph most economists would be familiar with. Eric Crampton is the lecturer for an economics paper I took this semester, and Stephen Hickson is my tutor for the same course. Hamish and Craig also took a paper taught by Crampton, and we presented this cake to the two of them on Friday afternoon… Hopefully they enjoyed eating it as much as they appeared to enjoy discussing who is consumed more at the optimal point!


Horses and Gold Panning

June 14, 2008

A friend asked if I could make a birthday cake for her husband, whose current hobby is gold panning, and her daughter, who loves horses. After some consideration I decided to whip out the glucose and make some chocolate modelling clay (you just add a little to melted chocolate, and when it cools a little (but not all the way) you can mold it like clay). My horse is possible not the most horse-like horse in the history of the universe, but hopefully it’s at least clear what it is. The gold pieces in the gold pan are just little bits of chocolate painted with gold icing paint.


Daring Bakers

May 28, 2008

This was my first Daring Bakers challenge – unfortunately I’m a little late posting, due to a rather unwieldy assignment worth 40% that I needed to finish – it just kept growing! However, now that’s out of the way I can share with you the details of… Opera Cake!

I decided to make this for Mother’s Day, so it was a couple of weeks ago that I took over the kitchen to make the various layers.

Firstly, a little about the group. Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers who attempt a challenging recipe each month, and then blog about their experiences. There are over 1000 members (you can view the blogroll here). Each month a member (or members) host a challenge, and although you have the whole month to make the recipe it has to be revealed on a set date towards the end of the month.

This month’s recipe is Opera Cake, which is a layered cake made from Jaconde (a type of sponge), mousse, buttercream, and glaze. It’s traditionally made with predominently chocolate and coffee flavours, but the Daring Bakers challenge was to make a light-coloured cake in honour of Barbara, who hosts the LIVEstrong food event, dedicated to those battling cancer. The Opera Cake challenge was posted by Fran of Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie, and Shea of Whiskful, along with Lis and Ivonne, who administrate the whole thing.

I enjoyed making the cake, although it was somewhat time-consuming. The jaconde is made with almond meal, and the mousse and glaze with white chocolate, so I decided to complement those flavours with raspberry buttercream.

It was extremely rich, and very tasty – although the slices weren’t too big you didn’t feel like a second piece! (good for the waistline, right?) None of the components were particularly difficult; I was a little worried about the buttercream, as I don’t yet have a candy themometer, but guesswork served me well. Also, I’d recommend doubling the buttercream recipe, as I felt the layers were a bit thin (and it is very tasty!) – and I made it the night before, and tried to beat it back into shape, but it was a little lumpy still – the texture was perfect when I made it, so next time I’ll make it when I want it.

I’d like to try this again, but with milk and/or dark chocolate; I prefer the flavours, and think the richer chocolate might balance the sweetness a little. Also, aesthetically I like contrast – and you can’t even tell where the white chocolate mousse becomes a white chocolate glaze here. 😉 Still very tasty, though – thanks, Daring Bakers!

The recipe can be found here, if you’re interested, and be sure to check out the blogroll!


Interface Design

May 20, 2008

Some of you may be surprised to learn that I actually don’t spend my whole life making and decorating cakes – I’m actually a full time Information Systems student as well. Buuuut… Well, cake can fit in anywhere, right?

One of my papers had our project groups giving short presentations on interface design this morning – in a tutorial where the tutor happened to make a bargain with me for cake last week. So we made our presentation cake related, and I made a cake to take along. I don’t know how the presentation went (it seemed alright, but the marksheet will tell!) but my classmates seemed to enjoy the cake afterwards!

The Scrabble tiles (not quite neat enough, hopefully next time I’ll do better) are made from white chocolate mixed with a small amount of glucose, which makes it into chocolate modelling clay – you can pick it up and mold it into whatever shape you like! It was my first attempt at molding chocolate, but now that I know how I’ll definitely be building that technique into more of my cakes!

‘AFIS’ is the official prefix for my course – it stands for ‘Accounting, Financial and Information Systems’.


Chocolate cake with modern art

April 3, 2008

I got a last-minute order for a chocolate cake for this morning, so you get some eye-candy before the weekend after all. 😉 I decided to make some sculpture-esque chocolate shapes to give it a focal point, or something like that, and I think they look quite cool. Lots of chocolate curls around the outside, and white chocolate bubble wrap. It’s getting quite chilly here – worth noting that I should attend to my chocolate more quickly in this weather if I want to do things with it before it sets!

Feel free to keep commenting on the previous post – I haven’t yet made a decision about Saturday’s cake (although neither possum nor bran are going to cut it as flavour of the day, sorry!), so the polls are still open. I’ll give you until 5pm tomorrow. 🙂


Failed cake

March 10, 2008

I admit it – I tried to hide my biggest failure from you all! But today my conscience made me ‘fess up – so here we go.

It is (or was supposed to be) a white chocolate and raspberry cake. It was intended to be the middle layer for the mock wedding cake I made awhile back (see, I really was hiding in shame!) but as you can see it didn’t quite turn out as planned. The problem was that I couldn’t find a recipe incorporating raspberries, so I just used a white chocolate cake recipe and added a punnet of fresh raspberries without compensating in any way for the extra liquid. This would have worked with my mainstay chocolate cake, and I didn’t really think about the fact that this recipe was significantly differently compiled. Oops! The cake rose a lot in the oven, and actually looked quite good until about 10 minutes after I took it out – at which point it shrivelled up like a round, cake-coloured raisin.

Never mind – my flatmates happily consumed it as part of our barbeque tea – it was exceedingly rich but they were all quite happy to get some free cake so no complaints were heard. Moral of the story – think before chucking a large mass of fruit into a cake! If any of you have a recipe for white chocolate and raspberry cake please do let me know, as I would love to make it work properly.