Two of my dear friends are getting married this June and I’ve been asked if I could bake a cake for the cake table. The bride (my friend Irene) is going to make the wedding cake and her idea was to surround it with some cakes home baked by some of her friends. So my search for ‘the cake’ for that day and my practice sessions have begun!
I was somewhat overwhelmed with the amounts of recipes available online. Which ones should I try? Martha Stewart, Food Network, BBC’s Good Food, Pinterest and trillions of food blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I do love searching the web for recipes. In fact, I generally tend to lose track of time while doing this. It almost feels like a high; I turn back to reality and can’t believe my eyes when I look at the time. Hours later…This is the reason I sometimes prefer books. I just make myself pick a book from my shelf and then that’s the book I have to choose a recipe from. This time it was a cake book I got for my birthday last year, Trendy Taarten (roughly translates to ‘Trendy cakes’) by Linda Lomelino. There’s so many pretty little cakes in this book. I’m sure I’ll find the cake to bake for the big day in here. But for now, chocolate liquorice cake. Don’t let the liquorice put you off, it’s very subtle and blends very nicely into the chocolate.
Chocolate liquorice cake
For the chocolate cake:
3 large eggs
75 millilitres of water
90 grams + 3 tablespoons of sugar
2,5 tablespoons of cocoa
100 grams of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
50 millilitres of sunfloweroil
1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or extract
For the liquorice ganache:
150 grams of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
150 millilitres of cream
2-3 teaspoons of liquorice powder
1,5 – 2 tablespoons golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
50 grams of butter
For the turquoise vanilla buttercream:
300 grams of butter, room temperature
240-300 grams of powdered sugar
3 teaspoons of vanilla sugar (or extract)
turquoise food coloring paste
2x springform rings 15 cm/6 inch
For the chocolate cake, preheat the oven to 160 C (275 F). Divide egg yolks from whites. Bring the water to a boil in a watercooker and let cool a bit. Sift 90 grams of sugar, the cocoa, flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mix together the egg yolks, oil, vanilla sugar/extract and the somewhat cooled water. Sift the dry ingredients above the egg yolk mixture and beat until it just comes together. In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites until soft and foamy. Add remaining sugar one tablespoon at a time and keep beating until stiff peaks form. Add one-third of the egg white mixture to the chocolate batter and stir to combine. Then add the second third of egg whites and fold, as to make the mixture light and aerated. Once incorporated, do the same with the last third of the egg whites. Divide chocolate cake batter between two 15 cm (6 inch) clean springform pans (do not butter/flour them). Bake for 30 minutes. After you’ve removed them from the oven, flip the cakes onto a wire rack to cool. Once cool, run a sharp nice around the edge and turn upside down above a plate, shaking gently to remove cake from pan.
For the liquorice ganache, chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream, liquorice powder, golden syrup and butter until all is melted. This mixture should be warm, but not boiling hot. Pour warm cream mixture on chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds before gently stirring. The final ganache should be smotth and shiny.
To make the turquoise vanilla buttercream, beat the butter until pale (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add cream and vanilla sugar/extract. Add a tiny drop of the food coloring paste until you get the desired colour.
Assembly of cake: Cut both cakes horizontally, giving you 4 cake layers. Place one of them on a plate or cake board and spread a layer of liquorice ganache over entire surface. Place the next cake layer on top of the first cake layer and continue with the liquorice ganache spreading with the remaining layers. Once all layers are stacked, spread a thin layer of the turquoise vanilla buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. Then refridgerate for 20 minutes or so for it to stiffen. Fill a piping bag with the remaining buttercream and pipe small ‘roses’ all over cake, starting with the sides and end with the top.