Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Shop Cake

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We wanted to make Big L a special cake for his birthday this year, but none of us had any good ideas. I remembered seeing a cake with lots of different chocolates on it ages back on Facebook, so I went looking for it online. I’m not sure that I found the exact one, as there were quite a number, but the one on BakingMad.com was pretty close. It said to use chocolate cake, but I thought that would be a bit over-the-top chocolate, so we used butter cake instead.

Cakes with the tops cut off.

Cakes with the tops cut off.

The stacked cake ready for icing.

The stacked cake ready for icing.

I baked two round butter cakes and let them cool. Then I cut the tops off each cake to make them flat. I spread some plain frosting over the top of the first cake, and then up-ended the second cake onto the first. This provided a flat top to work with, without the crumbiness of the cut surface. I covered the whole cake in plain frosting, and then it was time to decorate!

Placing the chocolate finger biscuits around the edge.

Placing the chocolate finger biscuits around the edge.

The divided top.

The divided top.

Adding Maltesers to the top of the cake.

Adding Maltesers to the top of the cake.

I started by pressing the chocolate finger biscuits carefully around the edge of the cake, as if I was making a fence. On the top, we divided the space into sixths using the chocolate finger biscuits as dividers. The biscuits didn’t meet at the centre, so we placed a single Ferrero Rocher chocolate in the middle of the biscuit spokes. Then the kids filled each section with a different type of chocolate. We used Mini M&Ms, mini caramel milkshake eggs, Freddo faces, M&Ms, Cadbury Flake pieces, and Maltesers. Any kind of little chocolates or lollies could have worked for this part.

We added a special birthday candle and it was ready!

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When the cake fails…

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I don’t normally wait until the day of the party to make a birthday cake, but due to a number of circumstances, both in and out of my control, that is what happened. Big L helped out by making up the cake mix ready to cook. Usually this works well, in that he cooks the cake(s) and leaves it to me to decorate, which, depending on what the kids have asked for, can sometimes take hours.

The crumbled mess of chocolate cake.

The crumbled mess of chocolate cake.

Except this time, the cooking of the cakes didn’t exactly go to plan. When I went to tip them onto the cooling racks, the cakes didn’t come out easily. With a bit of a shake, I got the square cake out, except that the base and the middle of the cake were still stuck in the bottom of the tin! Big L had a go at removing the second cake, which was in a loaf pan. After a bit of effort, this cake  slid out of the tin, also leaving behind its bottom half, and broke in two. I sat at the table and stared at the crumbled pieces of rich chocolate cake. With only hours until our guests arrived, I had to think of a solution fast!

Big L told me to go out and buy a cake from somewhere, anywhere! But I couldn’t just waste all this chocolate cake. Luckily inspiration struck and I rushed to the store to obtain some extra ingredients, to create a dessert which I was thinking of as a chocolate trifle, but I think really deserves the name ‘chocolate heaven’! I might even make this again on purpose next time 🙂

'Chocolate Heaven' - a bowl of chocolatey, creamy yumminess.

‘Chocolate Heaven’ – a bowl of chocolatey, creamy yumminess.

Hastily gathered ingredients.

Hastily gathered ingredients.

First I placed further crumbled pieces of the cake into the bottom of a clear bowl. Then I layered thick chocolate custard over the cake. This was followed by another layer of crumbled cake, and a second layer of chocolate custard. This filled the bowl I was using about three quarters of the way up. If I’d been using a deeper bowl, I would have made more layers. Over the last layer of custard I spread a thick layer of freshly whipped cream, smoothing it out with a spoon. To finish, I carefully grated some Toblerone chocolate (which I happened to have in the fridge) over the top of the cream. I refrigerated the dessert until we were ready to serve it.

Crumbled cake in the bottom of the bowl.

Crumbled cake in the bottom of the bowl.

Covered in chocolate custard.

Covered in chocolate custard.

As to the birthday cake, while I was out collecting the chocolate custard and thickened cream, I also grabbed some slabs of plain sponge cake. We placed these side by side and iced them in green butter cream, with silver cachous sprinkled all over the top. It was a very simple, practical and plain cake, but it held the candles for L to blow out, and the kids didn’t mind.

However, the real taste sensation was the ‘chocolate heaven’ dessert! It was soooo good!

So, if you’re like me and have the occasional cake disaster, don’t dismay, throw some custard, cream and chocolate at it and all will be fixed! Please share some of your cake or food disasters and fixes. It always makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one that sometimes has less than stellar moments in the kitchen 😉

(PS. Never, ever, lean over the open grill with a tea-towel slung over your shoulder, it just might catch alight!)

Choc Mini Meringues

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Ingredients.

Ingredients.

A is very fond of meringues, so when I did the groceries last week I bought a box of rainbow mini meringues for her (Woolworths Select Rainbow Mini Meringue Drops). On the side of the box was a recipe for transforming these mini meringues into bitesize chocolate rainbow treats. As we had all the necessary ingredients in the cupboard we gave it a go.

Dipping a meringue into the chocolate.

Dipping a meringue into the chocolate.

It was really a very simple process. I melted the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until it was smooth. Then the kids dipped the meringues into the chocolate, and put them straight into some hundreds and thousands. The hundreds and thousands stuck to the chocolate, making the meringues very colourful.

Covering the chocolate in hundreds and thousands.

Covering the chocolate in hundreds and thousands.

Setting on the bench.

Setting on the bench.

We also tried using some rainbow star sprinkles, but they weren’t quite as effective as the hundreds and thousands. The stars were bigger and didn’t make as neat a layer as the smaller hundreds and thousands, but I still liked how they looked, and the taste was similar.

L and A enjoyed making these treats, and eating them even more!

A star meringue.

A star meringue.

 

Easter Chocolates

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I wanted to try making some Easter shaped chocolates this year with the kids, as I thought it would be fun. We were given a number of plastic chocolate moulds by a good friend, and my mother also gave us a silicone chocolate mould to try. We started with the silicone mould.

IMG_9124We didn’t make our own chocolate, we used choc melts, in milk chocolate and white chocolate. I melted small batches of the melts in a ceramic bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds at a time. Each time the microwave dinged, I mixed the chocolate with a spoon to make sure that it was melting evenly and not burning on the bottom of the bowl. It’s very important to remove the spoon from the bowl before it is placed in the microwave!

Chocolate mould.

Chocolate mould.

I did not let the kids handle the bowl with the melted chocolate, as it can be very hot. I used an oven mitt to prevent burning myself on the bowl when removing it from the microwave. After a minute or two it was normally cool enough to touch, but we still had to be very careful.

Mixing the hot chocolate.

Mixing the hot chocolate.

Ready for the fridge.

Ready for the fridge.

As silicone is floppy, we used a plastic cutting board underneath the mould to prevent it from drooping and spilling the chocolate. We transferred the melted chocolate into the mould one spoonful at a time, carefully filling each hole to the top and smoothing it out. Inevitably, we dripped chocolate onto the cutting board, mould and even on the bench. The kids didn’t mind swiping it up on a finger and popping it in their mouths. Once all the holes on the mould were filled, we placed it in the fridge to set.

Placing the chocolates onto the cellophane.

Placing the chocolates onto the cellophane.

We made some plain milk chocolate, some white chocolate, and some we mixed together to marble the chocolate. I also had a go at layering the chocolate. I found it was best to let the first layer set in the fridge for about fifteen minutes before adding the second layer.

Forming a bundle.

Forming a bundle.

The kids cut some cellophane into squares and placed about four chocolates onto each square, then brought the cellophane up around the chocolates creating a little bundle. We added some curling ribbon to tie it up, and I curled it with scissors. L tried to curl her own ribbon, but she didn’t quite manage it. They want to give their little parcels of Easter chocolates to relatives.

Little parcels of Easter chocolates.

Little parcels of Easter chocolates.