Tag Archives: Icing

Quick and Easy Chocolate Cake

Rich’s company keeps on growing and therefore I must keep on baking…

I was meant to be having some drinks with the team  on Friday evening to take requests, but as I have a nightmare project at my work, by the time I got to the bar almost everyone had gone. Therefore I have had to believe that Rich has spoken to his team and this cake represents their requests. The direction I was given was chocolate.

As always, I opened my copies of Nigella and went to her chocolate section – when I did carrot cake she was unfortunately lacking. It was a toss up between her Malteser Cake from Domestic Goddess or her Old Fashion Chocolate Cake from Feast ; both looked amazing but the icing on the latter won me over. My favourite chocolate icing has been the sour cream one from Delia’s classic complete cookery course. Anyway, I could go on forever about my favourite cook books but I should really get on with the recipe!

 

Welcoming Stephen to the Company

Recipe: Quick and Easy Chocolate Cake

Ingredients: The Cake

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 200g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 175g Butter – Room temperature and very soft
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 150ml Sour Cream

Instructions

  1. This is super easy.
  2. Preheat the oven to GM 4 (180 C) and grease & line 2 circular 20cm cake tins with plenty of butter and grease proof paper.
  3. Either, add all of the ingredients to a cake mixer and quickly mix or put them into a bowl and mix with a whisk – the electric sort makes it a lot easier! The batter that you get is quite thick but don’t be alarmed, it makes a lovely cake.
  4. Split the batter between the two cake tins and then put into the oven. Cook for about 25 minutes, test and if it’s not ready (ie bounces back when you touch it) put it back in for another five minutes.
  5. Once the cakes are done, leave them to cool on wire racks.

Recipe: Sour Cream Icing

Ingredients: The Icing

  • 75g Butter
  • 175g Chocolate – I use 65%
  • 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 125ml Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 300g Icing Sugar

Instructions

  1. On a very low heat, in a heavy pan, melt the butter and the chocolate; keep an eye on it and don’t let it get hot so that nothing goes wrong!
  2. Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl to get rid of the lumps.
  3. Add the golden syrup to the chocolate – to get the syrup out I find it easiest to heat a tablespoon over the gas and then put that into the syrup and it slides off the spoon. Don’t heat it too much as it might ruin chocolate!
  4. Next, add the sour cream to the sweetened chocolate and then the vanilla.
  5. Whisk in the icing sugar so that the colour lightens and texture smooths.

To decorate the cake put one third of the icing on to the bottom layer and then add the next layer on top.

Add the rest of the icing on to the top of the cake and gently work it down the sides with a knife.
Decorate the top of the cake with bits of fudge or chocolate shavings or nothing.
Eat the cake 🙂
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How to Decorate a Christmas Cake

For about the last five years my Mum has made the Christmas cake and I have decorated it. I thought that this would be a fun job but actually it’s very tricky. White icing is troublesome when you have a brown cake!

Every year my Mum makes the cake and I decorate it - she insists on the snowman

Every year my Mum makes the cake and I decorate it - she insists on the snowman

 

How to Ice a Fruit / Christmas Cake

First make or buy a fruit cake – Delia Smith can always be trusted for these style of classic recipes. Be warned if you are making the cake yourself it needs to be left at least a month to mature. It’s also recommended that you can “feed” the cake during this period, which is basically sprinkling it with brandy or rum every so often which makes the cake even richer and more moist.

Once you have your cake you need to get you icing ingredients and equipment:

  • Marzipan (white or yellow)
  • Royal Icing (it is possible to make your own but the shop bought is fine)
  • Icing Sugar
  • Apricot Jam (I actually use crab apple jelly because I make it and always have it around)
  • Egg White
  • Decorations – Food Colouring, Edible Glitter, Gold Balls
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pastry Brush
  • Cookie Cutter of Your Choice
  • Ribbon

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that all of you surfaces are clean; of course this needs to be done for hygiene but when you are using white icing there cannot be any crumbs!

Make sure that you surface is now dry, sprinkle it with icing sugar and roll out you marzipan. Once the marzipan is about 3mm thick brush the surface of the cake with the jam which you have heated to loosen it. (I always put it in the microwave but be warned it gets hot very quickly).

Use the cake tin that you cooked the cake in as a template for your marzipan. I always do the top first and as I use a loose based tin and its easy to slip the marzipan onto the disc to transfer to the cake. Once the top is securely on measure the depth of your cake (how tall your cake is) for the sides. It doesn’t have to be exact but make sure that you are generous as you can always trim it. I always do this in a few sections but it’s probably better if you can do it in one. Transfer the marzipan onto the cake and make sure that there are no gaps where it joins to the top.

To be safe, clean your surface – it may be a bit of a hassle but it’s nowhere near as bad as crumbs in your beautifully white icing!

On your sparkly clean surface, sprinkle lightly with icing sugar (if you put too much on it’ll dry out your icing) and roll out you royal icing to about 3mm. This can be done in one piece – the way that the icing moulds and moves is strangely satisfying. Be generous with your icing as the trimmings will be used later. Transfer your icing carefully onto your cake, press lightly out from the middle to get rid of any air bubbles. You should be able to gently encourage the icing to fit into place. Once it’s completely covered your cake trim the bottom.

Now to let you imagination go wild!  Cut out your shapes in the left over icing and place on your cake using a brush of egg white as glue.

TIP: to get strong colours your have to use the paste food colouring

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