A Spring Twist: White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake

Upon our return from Spring break, we celebrated our final two birthdays of the year. Seeing as I’d made several chocolate cakes before, I gave a twist to this one, and made it with white chocolate instead, and iced it with fresh raspberry buttercream.

I searched online, as usual, for recipes that would suit my ideas. I used this recipe for the white chocolate cake. It works quite well, although I would urge you to absolutely follow directions and lay down a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. The cake is quite sticky to get out, and I lost one layer in the process. This meant I had to bake another batch of the recipe, which resulted in the cake having three layers instead of two (which worked out very positively in the end 🙂 ).

Once baked and cooled, I disregarded their white chocolate frosting, and instead used a delicious, fresh raspberry buttercream recipe instead. When you first add the raspberries to the butter, don’t get discouraged that the mixture looks very sloshy! The icing sugar absorbs it all, and the quantities listed are perfect.

Here is the cake, firming up in the fridge with the buttercream:

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While the cake was setting, I melted a whole bunch of chocolate over a double boiler. I think I melted about 160g. This was to make the beautiful lace collar I planned to place around the cake. For a great tutorial (with pictures!) on how to make one, click here. I love the little pan I used with the pourer bits on each side. I knew I would have to pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag, so that made it much easier and mess-free.

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I cut a piece of wax paper in half, and stuck the two ends together to get a long collar. I laid it out on the counter, and once the chocolate was cool enough in the piping bag so I wouldn’t burn my hands, I piped random swirls on the wax paper.

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In hindsight, I would cut a slightly smaller hole in the piping bag, as some of these lines are really thick, and it took twice as long for them to set than what the tutorial said (1 hour, instead of 1/2 an hour). But I finally was able to carefully press the collar around the cake.

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Obviously, it was a bit taller than I estimated. I put the cake in the fridge, and left it overnight to set completely.

The next morning, I very very carefully peeled away the wax paper, and added fresh raspberries to spice up the top decoration.

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Upon taking the wax paper away, I could see that, ideally, I should have placed the chocolate a little lower, so that it would be aligned with the bottom of the cake. But for a first attempt, I was very satisfied with how it turned out.

I didn’t have time that morning before leaving, so I put the leftover buttercream and my piping tools in the bag, and piped an edge around the bottom to hide the gap. My original chocolate centerpiece also cracked, but luckily, I had made several and had a back-up, for when it was time to serve the cake.

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And the inside looked just as delicious 0.O

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Thank you for reading! ^_^

Jo x

 

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Fruity Muffins

I’ve surprised myself a bit with this post, although it is late already, and I’m not sure how much it’s worth. I’ve been sick the last few days, so my motivation to bake (or do anything for that matter) has been pretty low. But I had these kaki/persimmon fruit in my fruit bowl and they were looking pretty ripe, so I pulled out my Cupcake recipe book and had a look at what Gail Wagman had to offer.

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While her recipe originally includes nuts, I omitted these because 1) I’m not a fan of nuts in cakes, and 2) I had no nuts in the apartment.

The cupcakes turned out quite good, moist and mostly tasting of the cinnamon and ginger spices that went into the mix, rather than the kaki fruit. My hunch is that the fruit was actually too ripe to do anything with, but I thought I’d give it a try before putting it all in the bin. So the cupcakes are yummy, and I mixed up the frosting to go with it: orange cream cheese.

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It looked fine, and I chilled it for the required 1 hour, but everything went downhill after that. As I scooped it into my piping bag (I thought I’d make some pretty swirls, as I’ve got a swirly cake planned for later next week), it started dripping out the bottom. Clearly, the icing was the wrong consistency. I tried to swirl it on to some of the cupcakes anyways, but it just dissolved into a generic blob.

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So I shall keep my cupcakes nude, and therefore rename them muffins. I don’t doubt they’ll disappear quickly, as they’re good enough to eat for breakfast!

I will be back on form with a proper cake next weekend, as it’s my birthday on Thursday, and I’ve been dying to bake a red velvet cake (for any occasion). So there, you have a sneak idea of what’s coming next!

Thanks for stopping by, and see you next week for a more exciting cake!

The Arlésienne Cupcakes

Hello again,

My apologies for the lack of posts in the last couple of weeks. I was away on holiday with no opportunities to cook, but plenty to eat good food. The freshness and deliciousness of Greek food is leaving me hungry for more, although I certainly ate more than my fair share while I was there.

Upon my return, I wanted to bake something light and summery, so I leafed through my favorite cupcake book: Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman. It was a birthday gift from my boyfriend two years ago, and I am still discovering new recipes.

I chanced upon The Arlésienne cupcakes, which are inspired by the summer fruits and flavors from Arles in France: apricots, raspberries, and almonds.

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The batter was standard, if a bit thick, and almond-flavored. I love using almond extract, it has such a sweet scent to it. Then, we added chopped dried apricots and ground almonds to get more of that delicious summery taste.

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And then, the cupcake came together with fresh apricot for a topping, with raspberry jam nestled in the hollow, and a peeled almond.

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Something I love about these summery cupcakes is the lack of overly sweet icing. While icing on a cupcake can be such a delight at a special occasion, in the winter with a cup of hot chocolate, or a glass of milk; in the summer it’s just too sweet. Of course, the apricots shriveled slightly in the cooking process, and the jelly ran a bit, but even a day later, they still taste delicious.

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All this writing about cupcakes has made me hungry for one- time to skedaddle! ^_^