Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chocolate Brownie Valentine's Cake with Stencilled Hearts

It feels like it's been ages since I've made a proper cake so I decided to make one for my fiancé for Valentine's Day - I also wanted the chance to try out one of my cake stencils with a heart pattern that I'd never used before.

We'd just covered stencilling in my wedding cake decorating class and I'd written the blog post but forgotten to publish it so you'll have to hang on to read more about the technique - for this blog post I will concentrate more on the cake itself.

I used a recipe from the Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking, for a "classic chocolate fudge sandwich cake". I filled it differently and decorated it differently, and both layers of the cake did sink when I took them out of the oven, which was odd as my cakes don't usually do that and I followed the recipe exactly. I thought the cake reminded me of a chocolate brownie in texture which is why I've given it this name; it was kind of chewy (in a good way) and tasted very good - I had a small slice just to try it, and think I will pack the rest of it off to my fiancé for his work colleagues (some of whom are coming to the wedding so there's no harm in trying to win them over!).

You can find the full recipe online here, so I won't repeat it. I didn't split my cake into four layers and instead just used chocolate buttercream to fill it and to spread over the top and around the sides, as I only wanted a thin layer of coating as I was covering the cake with fondant. I found that half the amount of the quantity in the recipe was plenty, and I actually used milk chocolate rather than plain as I generally prefer it, but I decided afterwards that plain would have been better in this recipe.

So I followed the recipe for the cake exactly and then for the buttercream used:
150g icing sugar
75g milk chocolate, melted
75g butter, softened
which I beat all together to make a buttercream consistency.

Melting chocolate and butter
Beating the mixture

Two pans about to go in the oven

And after baking - both sank in the middle

I covered the bottom layer with buttercream

The two layers stacked very neatly on top of each other - this is a good-sized cake

Crumb coating of buttercream around the sides and on the top

Covering with white sugarpaste

Mixing some royal icing with gel colour and getting ready to spread

Here's the stencil I used - it fits neatly onto the top of the cake. You have to stick it down with tape or it will move.

Spreading the icing over the stencil

And here it is! The icing was a bit thick in places because the top of the cake wasn't completely flat, which means there were some small gaps around the edge of the stencil shapes but I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt.

I added a pink ribbon and tied it in a bow around the front of the cake

And finally placed the cake on a heart-shaped cake board I already had. My fiancé thought it was cute and thought the chocolate cake was particularly good.

Do you fancy a slice?

I'm sharing this with We Should Cocoa, hosted by Choclette at Tin and Thyme, as her theme this month is butter.

I'm also sending this to Love Cake, hosted by Ness at JibberJabberUK, where the theme is "the month of cake".

And also to Simply Eggcellent, hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen, as this month "anything goes".

And finally I'm sending this to the Food Year Linkup, hosted by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen, as it's Valentine's day of course.


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