Dec 24 2010

Choc-Mint Cake

I got to try out a new (totally WILD!… just kidding) experiment out on this cake.

I had two kinds of icing in the fridge that I wanted to use up.

Milk chocolate frosting and .. mint icing. And I wanted to use them together somehow to come up with a choc-mint cake. (Cos of course, chocolate and mint are a completely amazing combination. If you have ever tried and loved choc-peppermint ice cream, you will know this.)

Cake Stats : Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Sheet Cake (Yes I know .. I went through a Pioneer Woman Sheet Cake phase. It’s.. probably not over.. but its so dang easy and delicious!), milk chocolate and peppermint frosting.

So instead of mixing the two flavours together, after baking and cooling the cake, I crumb coated the cake with a thin layer of peppermint icing and then frosted over this with milk chocolate icing. The result? A delicious creamy milk chocolate icing with a very yummy hint of peppermint.

If you take a look at this slice of the cake, you should be able to see the layer of the white peppermint icing (which I didn’t bother to tint at all.)

Frosting Recipes are as follows.

Peppermint Icing:

1/2 a cup of sour cream (the taste doesn’t come out at all but it gives the icing a great texture/body)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar, sifted (or not, if you’re lazy like me)
1 teaspoon or more peppermint essence (to taste)

Using an electric mixer, beat together sour cream and butter together. Add in icing sugar one cup at a time and use a wooden spoon to incorporate (so it doesn’t get blown everywhere by the mixer). Add in the peppermint essence and beat for a further minute. Taste to see if it needs more peppermint essence. Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or as I do, in a plastic sanger bag for next time.

Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

250 grams Philly cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
250 grams milk chocolate, melted and cooled
3 cups icing sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Pour in melted milk chocolate (it is important to make sure that it has cooled down otherwise it might melt the butter). Beat with mixer for 30 seconds or until smooth. Incorporate icing sugar with wooden spoon, cup at a time. If it is too runny, add more icing sugar. If it is too grainy, add a tablespoon or so of milk.
Can be stored in the fridge, just like peppermint icing.

Directions for Choc-Mint Cake.

1. Bake and cool two layers of chocolate cake.

2. Trim cakes if neccessary and flip upside down so the smooth side of the cake is facing upward. Crumb coat both layers with a thin layer of peppermint frosting. Refrigerate.

3. Sandwich cakes together with a good amount of milk chocolate frosting and frost outside of the cake with the milk chocolate frosting. Refrigerate.

4. While cake is in the fridge, make chocolate curls by peeling thin strips of chocolate off a family size chocolate bar with a vegie peeler (the way you would with a carrot, for example.) These melt quickly, so I suggest putting them on a plate that has been in the fridge for about an hour, or just placing them on a regular plate and keeping them in the fridge until needed. Be gentle with these as they break very easily.

5. Pipe a shell border with remaining chocolate frosting around the border of the cake and decorate with chocolate curls.

Serve and enjoy!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! xoxoxo

Lotsa Love

Christine :)

Dec 17 2010

Fun with Strawberries

It’s fun getting a bit more into the cake decorating side of things.

As usual I love finding simple but effective techniques to use.

As you may have seen before, one of my fave techniques is using strawberries to jazz up a cake. It adds a lot of lovely colour to plain coloured cakes and frostings without much actual effort at all.

Here is a cake I made for my boyfriend’s brother’s birthday (pfew, that’s a lot of B’s.)

The cake stats: Carrot cake with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and decorated with strawberries. I can’t remember exactly which recipe I used for the cake, sorry, but I can’t really comment on the taste much anyway since I didn’t actually eat any of it 😛 I will try and post on another carrot cake sometime in the future though.. i loooove me some carrot cake.

The frosting was pretty easy – just butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla beans. Yuuuum. Cannot go wrong with that combination.

Directions for decorating:

1. Bake cake, then allow to cool completely. (Unfortunately due to time restraints I wasn’t able to let it cool totally which is why the icing was the tiniest tiniest bit runny as you may be able to see above in the pics. This shouldn’t happen if you have a decent frosting and a completely cool cake.

2. Ice a crumb-coat layer of icing onto the cake (a thin amount of icing that will absorb all the crumbs) and refrigerate until set.

3. Apply a thicker layer of icing around the sides and top of the cake.

4. Slice strawberries into thirds and use the outer side of the strawberries for the sides of the cake. They should stick easily to the frosting. Keep the slice with the leaves intact for the top of the cake. Reserve one strawberry for the top of the cake.

5. Pipe stars around the top around the edge of the cake.

6. Decorate with the remaining strawberries in a circle pattern and place one whole strawberry with the top cut off in the centre.

7. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

This is best served as soon as possible after decorating with the strawberries, otherwise they tend to release a runny juice and fall off the cake/ruin the frosting).

Enjoy! :)

Another time I employed a similar technique –>

:) Have a great weekend!!