Wednesday, 20 June 2012

VERY Berry!

Holly's Birthday Cake
This is probably the prettiest cake I've made so far. If I do say so myself, it's pretty spectacular! 
The idea came from the fact that Holly loves berries and that I wanted to try out making a three layer. Apart from it being seriously heavy, it worked very well.

Just a little tip though to those of you who like the look of the cake and want to replicate...Once you have done the big reveal or served the first slice, remove the berries from the top of the cake. They are going to require a serious amount of buttercream to stick on in the first place, so the cake won't look completely hideous once they've gone. But, if you don't they'll go all soggy and the cake won't keep as long.

I'm not going to give away all my secrets straight away, so keep an eye out on how to make a good sponge. I have about a million baking books but have always adapted recipes, so, you may think that you can look up a sponge recipe anywhere, but I wish I'd had the little tips and hints when I started baking. 

Anyway, starting on the very basics for my first 'tutorial'. The cute little chocolate hearts is an idea that I saw online are were just an added extra to this cake. But you can use them for all sorts of designs on all baking really. Also they're so easy to do and really effective. All you need is some of your favourite chocolate, a disposable piping bag which you will find in all the major supermarkets for a very reasonable price, and some greaseproof paper. 

1. Simply melt the chocolate (you won't need much, but it will depend on how many hearts you want to make), but be careful not to burn it in the microwave. I prefer melting it over boiling water in a pan, even if it is more effort, but make sure the bowl that the chocolate is in isn't touching the water and keep the chocolate moving so it doesn't burn. 

2. Roll out some greaseproof paper, you may need to put something heavy on the ends of them otherwise they roll up and ruin the chocolate.

3. Put the melted chocolate into a piping bag and cut a tiny hole in the end of the piping bag with scissors. When I say tiny I'm not over-exaggerating, you can always cut a bigger hole but you can't make it smaller, so be really careful.

4. Now simply start piping the hearts (or any shape really, depending on how creative you are) onto the greaseproof paper. Whatever shape you decide to pipe I would definitely do a few of them, as you can see from my cake above sometimes they go a bit wobbly as you need a really steady hand. So, do a few as you can always eat them afterwards.

5. Leave them to set a little bit before transferring the greaseproof paper to the fridge for the chocolate to set properly. It will probably take 30 mins to an hour so I would do this before you start decorating your cake/cupcakes. 

6. Take them out of the fridge and make sure you have cool hands before removing them from the paper. Also decide where you are putting them or they will literally melt in your hands! 

This is a really cool and effective idea if you just want to jazz up your cake design a little, plus the chocolate melts in your mouth, so definitely save one for yourself!

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