Sunday, 18 November 2012

White chocolate mud cake part 2: decorating

White Chocolate mud cake part 2: decorating

So it's been a whole week since the last post of the making of the actual cake.  In the meantime, the cake has been frozen, defrosted, covered in a layer of chocolate and cream, another layer of almost pure sugar, skewered between two other cakes of differing sizes, had flowers and ribbons pinned to it, been cut and eaten by a happy bride and groom and their guests. Busy week for a cake!
Now this is not a comprehensive 'how to fondant a cake', as I am a bit of an amateur in this field, but the white chocolate ganache that goes under it is pretty good, and is definitely required to finish off the mud cake.

Icing layer number one: white chocolate ganache

Start with lots of white chocolate - 400 grams.  This is 100g more than I would use for the dark chocolate ganache, as white chocolate has a lower melting point than normal chocolate, you need extra to make sure it's not too runny to get some nice square edges on the cake.
Place the chocolate a saucepan on very very low heat, along with 84 mls of cream. Beautiful pouring cream rather than thickened cream works best. Keep stirring the whole time.
If it looks like the chocolate is melting too quickly, take it off the heat for a minute.
 Slowly the cream and chocolate will come together.
Until it's beautiful and smooth. It actually looks a lot like condensed milk. This process took about an entire 5 minutes. And there you have lovely ganache ready to put on your cake. 

As for putting it on the cake, it's really all a matter of pouring and smoothing.  But first, if you're making it for a special occasion and need a cake board, place a little ganache on the board to help the cake stick down and spread it around.

(Thanks Jess for taking these next few photos! Cake decorating is definitely a 2 handed, if not 4 handed task! I was very thankful for the support).

Place the cake on the board
And pour about half the ganache goodness on top.  
  It will start to smooth out on its own, but help it along with the smooth edge of a knife, or a very handy palate knife as I have.  Keep spreading it around the top, and then down over the sides. It's much easier to ganache the sides from the spillover on top, rather than applying it directly to the sides... well that method usually ends up in a mess for me.
Once it's a little over the sides, pour the rest on, and keep working it around until you have an evenly covered top and sides. 
Looking very focussed.  
And there it is all finished in the background, with its sister cakes: the 14 inch chocolate mud and the 6 inch marble white chocolate/dark chocolate mud. 

White Chocolate Ganache

400g white chocolate
84 mls of pouring cream

Steps: 
1. Over a very low heat, place the chocolate and cream in a saucepan.  Keep stirring and melt the chocolate into the cream. Take off heat if it is melting too quickly. Stir until smooth. This should take less than 5 minutes.
2. Pour on top of a white chocolate mud cake (Make sure cake is properly cooled if baking at the same time), and spread with a palate knife over the top and sides of cake until smooth.


And if you want to see the finished product, and some fondant-ing along the way, read on down.

Icing layer number two: Fondant 

For the 10 inch cake, we used about 750g of fondant.
 Knead it around, on a lightly icing-sugared surface
Spread it out, get a rolling pin and roll it out flat, turning it as you go to make a nice circle. It usually helps to do this on a silicone mat to stop it sticking to the bench top, but we did this on some baking paper and it worked out just fine.  
Once it's spread out and about 5mm thick all over (you can see this in the background of the photo below!), brush some hot water on your cake (to make the fondant stick), and flip the fondant on the cake (very easy if you took the silicone mat or baking paper option). 

Smooth it out either with either your fingertips, the palate knife, or even another ball of fondant. Start at the top and move down the sides, then cut off the excess around the base. You might also have to patch a few areas up around the base if the fondant didn't quite reach down.

I might have missed a few photos in here, but here is the finished product! Propped up with a few wooden stents so the layers don't collapse on each other.
And this is what it looks like when it's all dressed up (decorations not by me!) Beautiful!

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