In this blog I would like to introduce another Wilton nozzle that I love. This one is a petal nozzle, Wilton 104. It is great for doing the ruffle icing like I have done on this cake, but also for decorating cupcakes with roses (a blog post on this icing is on its way soon!). One of the things I love about baking is being really pleased with something that I have made and seeing other people’s reaction to it. This cake is one that I was very pleased with, and the simple but effective icing gives it that wow factor. I decided to make this a chocolate cake (because everyone loves chocolate) with bright pink icing, because the two colours look really effective together when the cake is cut. However I did have my usual problem with this cake ….. transporting it! Although you will be pleased to hear it made it to the party in one piece thanks to some careful teamwork to get it there. In other words me carefully holding the cake in its box on my lap while shouting at my boyfriend to drive slowly, doesn’t he know he is transporting a special cake! Despite his sometimes not so careful driving though, it was all fine!
For the chocolate cake I used the chocolate cake recipe in The Primrose Bakery Book
. It is on the cookies and cream page, but I doubled it to make this triple layer cake. It is the same recipe I used for my Chocolate Orange Cupcakes. The recipe uses melted chocolate in the cake rather than just cocoa powder, which gives it a lovely texture, almost on its way to being a brownie, and it is lovely and chocolatey.
You will need:
230g dark chocolate
170g unsalted butter
350g soft brown sugar
4 large eggs, separated
370g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
500ml semi skimmed milk
2tsp vanilla extract
Start by preheating the oven to 190C. Grease a cake tin and line the base.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and then leave to cool slightly.
In a mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Once you have added all the egg yolks add the melted chocolate to the mix and beat well again.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl and mix them together. Measure the milk using a measuring jug and add the vanilla extract to the milk. You now need to gradually add alternate amounts of the flour mixture and the milk to the chocolate, mixing well after each addition until all of the flour and the milk are added.
In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Use a spatula or a metal spoon to fold the egg whites into the cake batter until you can’t see any white and it is all combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven. It is a pretty huge cake so takes ages to bake. Mine took about 90 minutes but it will depend on your oven and the size of the tin you use, so just keep an eye on it. It will be done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool for half an hour in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool. Once the cake is completely cool you can use a large serrated knife to slice the cake into 3 layers. Depending on the shape your cake formed when it cooked you might also need to trim a bit from its domed top so that it sits flat. I like to use the bottom of the cake for the top of the cake as it is flatter and has the sharper edge.
To ice the cake using the ruffle icing technique you need a lot of icing. Try this recipe and it should be enough. I didn’t make quite enough and ended up having to go on an emergency butter run after I ran out of icing with just 2 rows of ruffles to go! If you have to make up more icing be very careful with the food colouring to make sure you get exactly the right colour.
You will need:
500g unsalted butter, at room temperature
800g icing sugar
3-4 tbsp milk
food colouring of your choice (I used Sugarflair Spectral Pink Paste)
When using food colouring to colour icing I find that the paste colours are a lot better. They are a lot stronger than the liquid food colourings, so you only need to use a really tiny amount. Stick the end of a spoon in the pot and scrape it into the bowl. You really don’t need much but keep adding the colouring a little bit at a time until you get the colour you want. Using pastes rather than liquid colouring also means you aren’t thinning out your icing by adding more liquid.
Beat the butter to soften it. Sieve half the icing sugar into the bowl and beat it in. Sieve in the rest of the icing sugar and beat well again. Add a tbsp of milk to the icing at a time to loosen it if necessary. Add the colouring to get your desired colour.
First of all use the icing to sandwich the 3 layers of the cake together. Also spread a thin layer of icing on the board that you are putting your cake on so that it sticks down rather than sliding around.
Cover the cake in a thin coating of icing. This will catch any crumbs but will also leave a nice base so that the cake doesn’t show through the ruffle icing.
Now you can do the ruffle icing. You need a piping bag with a petal nozzle (I used Wilton 104). Fill the piping bag with icing, squeezing it down to the end and getting rid of any air trapped in the bag. To do the piping you need to hold the nozzle with the fat end nearest to the cake and the thin end pointing away from the cake. Holding the piping bag up vertically. Start at the bottom of the cake and move the nozzle from left to right as you move up the cake.
Do the same for the top of the cake until it is all covered!
I decorated the cake with little butterflies using ready to roll icing and a butterfly stamp cutter. I brushed a little glitter onto the butterflies too. I used Rainbow Dust, The Edible Silk Range, Starlight Comet White. This glitter is very fine but it is actually edible, rather than the really sparkly stuff which is just non toxic. I feel happier using things that are actually edible! To make the wings stand up, fold up some strips of card board and leave the butterflies to set in the v’s of the cardboard.
Wow that was a long post! Hope you enjoyed reading it and well done if you made it to the end!
Lottie xx (Follow me on twitter @lotts_louise)
Entered into the Zesty Paletee Sweet Luv Event.
This post is part of the chocolate blog hop.