So. Cake That!
I came third in the first round, the Signature Bake, with my recipe for Goat Cheese and Spinach Plaits, a twist on my signature sausage plaits. The second challenge, the Technical Bake, required me to make something inspired by the Euphorium Bakery range.
This is what I chose. It’s called a Wicked White Chocolate Marquis and is described as an “irresistible fudge cake topped with flurries of delicious white chocolate”.
And this is what I made.
I don’t have the proper tools (a marble slab or scraper) to make the beautiful, clean finish of the original, so instead I made something that was more rustic. By layering up the chocolate on the sides of the cake, I made something that looked textured and pretty.
On the top I layered chocolate shavings, drizzled over plenty of dark chocolate and added three chocolate dipped strawberries, for colour.
The effect was rather lovely, in the end. I brought it into work for a colleague’s birthday, and she loved it.
I definitely stretched myself making this cake. It required a three-layer cake, a ganache, tempering chocolate, and then quite a lot of chocolate modelling. Chocolate work is not easy for me, but this actually ended up looking quite stunning.
Especially when you cut into it – the beautiful rich dark chocolate inside really contrasts with the snowy white exterior.
As for the taste, it’s heavenly. Pouring dark chocolate into the batter is risky, but it means the sponge is deliciously soft and the cherry undertones of the dark chocolate make it taste almost alcoholic. I certainly had no complaints from any of the people at work who tried it. In fact, have you ever played the game “Food noise or sex noise”? No? This is the perfect cake to try it out on.
- 100g dark chocoate
- 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of bicarb of soda
- 125g of butter, unsalted
- 100g dark muscavado sugar
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 300g of plain flour
- 125ml of sour cream
- 150g of milk chocolate
- 50g of dark chocolate
- 175ml of sour cream
- 600g of white chocolate
- 50g of dark chocolate
- Grease and line three 8-inch cake tins. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Melt the 100g of dark chocolate and set it aside
- Pour 175ml of boiling water over the cocoa powder and whisk with a fork until smooth. Beat in the bicarb of soda. Pour this into the melted chocolate, mix 'til smooth. Set aside
- Add the butter to a bowl with the sugar. Using an electric handwhisk, beat the sugar and butter together until pale. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, then the flour, then the sour cream. Finally add in the chocolate mix
- Divide this between the pans and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes
- Remove from the tins after ten minutes of cooling and leave to cool completely, but be careful when removing from the tins as the cakes are very soft and break easily
- Melt the chocolate. Add the sour cream and stir until smooth and lump free. Leave to cool and thicken
- Put one cake on a plate and use a heaped tablespoon or two to cover the top. Put the second cake on top. Repeat with more ganache and the final cake
- Use the remaining ganache to cover the sides and top of the cake. Set aside
- Use a piece of string to measure the circumference of the cake. Cut a piece of baking parchment that's as long as the circumference. Fold the parchment over so that it's about one inch taller than the cake. Set aside
- Temper 400g of the white chocolate. Roughly chop a third (300g) of it, and finely chop the rest (100g) of it. Melt the roughly chopped chocolate in a heatproof dish placed over a simmering pan of water
- Add the finely chopped chocolate to the melted chocolate and stir until the chocolate reaches 26C
- Put the chocolate bake over the simmering water and, stirring constantly, raise the temperature until it reaches 28C. Remove immediately from the heat
- Use a spatula to spread the white chocolate neatly over the prepared baking parchment. Let it become solid but still workable. Dot it with melted chocolate, then smoothly lift the parchment and wrap it, chocolate side down, around the cake. Leave to solidify, then remove the parchment smoothly
- Whilst the chocolate is hardening on the parchment, spread the rest thinly on a work surface (preferably a cold marble slab). Scrape it off using a knife or a chocolate scraper so you end up with flakes. Pile these on top of the cake
- Dip the strawberries half in the white chocolate and leave to set
- Temper the remaining chocolate. Leave it to become thicker and then start spreading it evenly around the band of the cake, layering it up and using the ridges of a butter knife to provide texture. Continue layering up the chocolate until you get the desired effect. The tempering will mean it cracks and cuts nicely, so don't worry about it being too thick
- Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the top. Add the strawberries to the top