Chocolate fudge non-cupcake cake
I know, I know I was meant to be doing cupcakes. However, this week I was instead diverted to a commission for our charity cycle ride. A commission! I know. A whole £40, my first commission and therefore most expensive cake so far. Begin fear of making a worthwhile item. For this, I decided to go for same recipe I used for a previous 21 st birthday celebration cake (go HERE), which will also be the same recipe I use for my friend’s wedding in May (more on that cold-sweat-inducing challenge in the coming weeks and months). Instead of the white chocolate icing however, I went for Instant Fudge Frosting. It is Instant (made by bunging everything in a food processor), it is very Fudgy, and it is definitely worthy of the title Frosting. Again, if I hadn’t also been training crazily for a marathon I think I would have to be levered out the house by now. And/or rolled down the corridor; I’m not sure.
So mainly this post, and experiment, was about practising icing, and piping. I think the piping (thanks to 2 different piping sets I have now), I am getting the hang of. Icing the cake this time was definitely easier [I have a decorator’s turntable now! See pictures]; however, still not the smooth perfection that is apparently achievable that May’s wedding cake’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream will have to be. Its gonna be buttercream, buttercream, buttercream for a while I think…
Chocolate cake with instant fudge frosting
The recipe for this cake is from Sky High, which I gave a detailed account of in a previous post. Go here! I scaled the recipe for enough to make 2 x 8″ round cakes, which were then filled and frosted.
The icing is also from Sky High, although I adapted slightly. This made far too much icing, so the hopefully adjusted down recipe is below (from memory, at least)
Instant Fudge frosting:
- 100 g dark chocolate, melted
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar (its easier to measure in a cup, believe me)
- 200g butter, at room temperature
- 3 tbsp yoghurt (NB: the recipe is actually for “half and half”, some non British thing. But we British must make do when adversary in the form of foreign ingredients threatens! So I substituted for yoghurt. I think ideally you can use single cream.)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
Place everything in a blender (food processor) and whizz until the frosting is an even colour, and a wonderful spreading consistency. To assemble and ice, place the first cake layer upside down on the serving plate, and spoon a generous amount of buttercream onto it, spread out evenly. Place the second tier on top, and cut off any uneven bits round the edges if there are any, to make all the edges smooth. You can then either be very fussy and do a crumb coat (a thin layer of buttercream spread all over and allowed to harden a little, which “sets” the crumbs and stops them escaping, or if the icing is the same colour as the cake, just bash on. Use a pallet knife for initial spreading, then switch to a decorators scraper or smoother to get an even edge. The trick is all about using far too much frosting at first, and then scraping it off bit by bit.
For the piping, I took some of the buttercream and added some sugarflair dark brown; if you have spare you can easily melt more chocolate and add it, watch the consistency. I found a plastic sandwich bag with the piping nozzle punched through actually works really well for this, and then you don’t have to clean the piping bag after (straight in the bin before any more icing can be eaten…)
Another trick I found with writing – start from the middle of the word, in the centre of where it needs to be. Then work forwards and backwards (eg from the TH), that way the whole writing ends up in the middle, and one doesn’t, er, have to scrape off the writing with a fingernail. Which is also conducive to diabetic-coma. Finally, refridgerate un-boxed, during which time all the icing will harden, eg overnight. Don’t attempt to box and move before this, or all the pretty piping will end up squished. Find a box (as I did) which you can collapse, then fix it back together with a bit of tape eg at the side, so someone can simply disassemble the box to extract the cake (trying to lift a cake out a box is impossible. I have to say, a yoghurt-making box has never been so useful before.
Et voila! Future posts are going to have to involve a lot of buttercream youtube videos, followed by smoothing perfection. I know it is possible, and it shall be done….