Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wedding cake tasting

Today was the tasting for the wedding cake that I am making. The brief is to create an 8" chocolate and fudge gateau (based on the Capuccino cake I made the other week). The aim of today's session was to try out different flavour combos and icing types and hopefully finalise the design.

To that end I spent last night making the actual cakes. There are going to be two chocolate layers sandwiching a vanilla layer (with chunks of fudge in the cake). I'd identified four different types of chocolate icing to try so I stamped out rings from the large cakes to create four cake stacks (I kept the leftovers so that we had some cake to try out things that I didn't do with my trial cakes.)

Each layer was sandwiched together with some (surprisingly excellent) fudge icing. This gave me four cakes to try out different chocolate icings with.

Icing 1: Ganache

I had a hunch that this was going to be too much. And it was.

The 70% chocolate and cream was too rich and heavy and overpowered the rest of the cake.

Strike 1.
(This is one of those times when I want an experimental kitchen so I can play with different proportions of cream and types of chocolate to create different ganaches for any occasion. )

Icing 2: Buttercream

This was a twist on the traditional chocolate buttercream made with cocoa, as it actually used melted chocolate.

This was a good option and went down well, as expected. After all who doesn't like buttercream?

Icing 3: Chocolate glaze

This was somehting I hadn't tried before. Chocolate melted with butter and mixed with hot water to give it a shine.
This was really difficult to ice the cakes with. Unfortunately the shine was not enough to compensate for the overpowering flavour form this chocolate heavy glaze.

Game over for this option.

(Although I would like to try it again with different types of chocolate).

Icing 4: Chocolate fudge

I'd kept this one to last as I'd a good feeling about it as soon as I'd made it.

Within moments of tasting I saw the eyes of the betrothed light up. This was the perfect combination of flavour, texture and appearance.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

However, that's not the end of the story. We'd decided on the chocolate icing but how would the cake be decorated?

We'd already agreed on chocolate curls for the sides for the previous design. This has been carried through and I'll be using milk chocolate curls to provide a contrast in colour. The final embellishment is going to be small pieces of fudge around the edge of the top surface to demark the transition between sides and top. A bit like this:

The cake is going to be finished with printer's blocks of the bride and groom's initials.

It would seem I have a final cake, all that needs to be done is to order the chocolate curls and for me to make the cake. I've taken the day off to create. I just hope it works out...

Here are the recipes:

Fudge icing (taken from Special Celebration Cake Book edited by Pamela Dotter)
Sufficient to cover the top and sides of an 8" cake.


9oz icing sugar
3oz butter
3oz soft brown sugar

1. Sift icing sugar into a bowl.
2. Warm the remaining ingredients over a low heat.
3. Once the sugar has dissolved then beat into the icing sugar until smooth

Icing 1: Ganache (taken from What's Cooking Chocolate by Jacqueline Bellefontaine)

450ml double cream
375g chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped finely

1. Bring the cream to the boil.
2. Add the chocolate to the pan and stir until melted and combined.
3. Pour into a bowl and whisk for 5mins until the ganache is fluffy and cool

Icing 2: Chocolate buttercream (taken from What's Cooking Chocolate by Jacqueline Bellefontaine)

6oz butter
2tbsp milk
6oz chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped finely
12oz icing sugar

1. Melt the chocolate over a bain marie and allow to cool slightly.
2. Beat the remaining ingredients together until pale and fluffy.
3. Whisk in the chocolate.

Icing 3: Chocolate glaze (taken from The Cook's Book edited by Jill Norman)

3oz butter
4floz water
8½oz chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped finely

1. Place the butter and water in a pan and bring just to the boil.
2. Add the chocolate to the centre of the pan and remove from the heat.
3. Slowly stir from the middle drawing the liquid into the chocolate until well blended. Take care not to beat in air and the glaze will develop a shine.

Icing 4: Chocolate fudge (taken from Special Celebration Cake Book edited by Pamela Dotter)

4oz chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
2oz butter
1 egg
6oz, icing sugar, sifted

1. Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie.
2. Once melted beat the egg and mix into the chocolate.
3. Remove from the heat and beat in icing sugar until smooth


  1. What a delicious looking cake...well, they all are! And what an icredible amount of work you put into getting the perfect blend of everything ffor them!

  2. Thanks very much. I feel like it's the least I can do for one of my best buddies. I juts hope him and his new missus aren't disappointed!


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