Tuesday, 5 February 2013

White Chocolate Vanilla and Fig Cake

It is entirely possible that my previous effort at an Ombré Cake has left me a little scarred. Running out of icing with a third of the cake still to go that time, made me doubly prepared this time. Actually triple-prepared: I was making ombré hearts to cover the cake, and where 60 would have done the job, I must have cut out about 180. Definitely over-prepared. And then we had such damp and misty weather again, that the hearts took two days to dry under ceiling fans going at maximum speed. After all that, I produced a cute little cake - but nothing like what I'd had in mind. The artistic gap - the difference between what you have in mind, and what you actually produce. Ho - hum. Frustrating.
I guess it narrows as you grow in experience and skill. Some days, though, the gap feels like the Grand Canyon!

Ah, well practice and perseverance.

This is how I do "ombré" - I start with 2 or 3 base colours and then use those to create the other shades, instead of mixing each colour from scratch individually - the shades are blended from the base colours.

Underneath all those hearts was a rather delicious blend of white chocolate vanilla cake, ganache and figs; and it's what is inside that counts : )

White Chocolate Ganache

300g white chocolate
100ml cream.

Place the white chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. (Do not let the bowl come in direct contact with the water).  
Stir occasionally until all the chocolate is melted.

Allow to cool and firm up before using.

White Chocolate Vanilla Cake:
(adapted from this basic vanilla cupcake recipe)
Recipe by Tea, Cake & Create

Prepare and grease 2 x 8inch baking tins, or 3x 6inch tins
Preheat the oven to 170'C

1cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
250g white chocolate - chopped into small pieces.
1cup caster sugar
4 eggs
2 cups cake flour
1tsp Vanilla extract ( I use Vanilla Girl vanilla, so just a few drops)
1/2 tsp salt
2tsp baking powder

Heat the milk and oil together in the microwave for 2 minutes on high power.
Pour the hot mixture over the chopped chocolate, stir to melt all the pieces completely.

Beat the sugar and eggs together for 6 minutes on medium-high speed.

Add the vanilla extract.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into another bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour and milk/chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs and sugar, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake at 170'C for 35minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool. Then cut each cake layer horizontally into 2.

Alternate filling between the layers with good quality fig jam, and white chocolate ganache. 

I hope you're planning something "love-ly" to enter into the competition ; )


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