Seasonal

Hidden Hearts Cake

The Doctor will see you now

Sometimes, just sometimes, my brain will go a little too crazy in coming up with an idea for a recipe. This week, my friend Jenny came to me with a dilemma. The Doctor (who? Exactly), needed a cake made for an intergalactic princess for an anti-war benefit or something like that. Basically the cake needed to be ready, needed to be good and needed to be made quickly (3 hours). So Jenny thought of me, because I was closest. Watch out for a cameo from She Who Bakes  as she tries to bring some order to the proceedings. 

We had brain-stormed many ideas, and came up with an idea for a hidden hearts cake. The cake would be cut open and each slice would have two hearts poking out. We originally had a plan of doing this with a circle cake... and after 4 failed attempts, settled on a loaf shape. This was easier to roll out in 3 hours, as the Doctor required. So how do you make your own? Lets get started.


Ingredients

Cake 2: 

200g Butter

200g Caster Sugar

3 eggs

250g Self Raising Flour

2 tsp vanilla extract

Oven to 150ºC

Remember, you need to place the cut outs from cake 1 into cake 2 in order to have hidden hearts. 

 

Cake 1: 

200g Butter

200g Caster Sugar 

3 eggs

250g Self raising flour

red food colouring

Oven to 160ºC 

 

 

Buttercream:

500g of Butter

600g of Icing Sugar

2 tbsp milk (optional) 

Food colouring (whichever you feel represents a galaxy, I chose purple and dark blue)


Method

Take 200g of butter and mix with 200g of caster sugar, whisk in 3 eggs and 250g of self raising flour. Now add some red food colouring. 

Scoop this into a 1 lb cake tin lined with greaseproof and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 160ºC. Once a skewer comes out clean, take the cake out and place on a wire rack to cool down. 

When the cake has cooled, take a small heart cutter (any size will do so long as you can cut 2 hearts from each slice) and using it as a guide, cut the cake into slices. Each slice should be the same thickness as your cutter. Cut two hearts from each slice and place to one side. 

For the second cake, take another 200g of butter, mix with 200g of caster sugar, 3 eggs and 250g of self raising flour. Add 2 tsp of vanilla extract. 

Scoop some of the mix into a 1 lb loaf tin, lined with greaseproof and smooth flat. Then take your hearts and make two rows along the bottom, making sure they have no spaces. Now spoon the mix over and around the hearts. Be careful with this as you don’t want to dislodge any of the hearts from their row. 

Now cover with tinfoil and bake at 150ºC for 1hr to 1hr15 mins. Once ready, take out and leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Once this has almost cooled, its time to make your icing. Take 500g of butter and 600g of icing sugar and blend together to make a basic buttercream. Now, split the mix into two, then take some from each and place into a third bowl. You want to use two colours, whichever you feel represents a galaxy in the night sky. In the bigger bowls, colour the icing. Leave the 3rd one white. Take one colour, throw half of the white icing in with it, and scoop it all into one piping bag. Do the same with the other colour. Put both of these into a bigger piping bag with a large holed nozzle on the end. 

To decorate, squeeze the icing over and around the cake, making sure the colours mix. It may look a mess just now, but trust me… There is a plan. 

Using a palette knife, spread the icing flat, this will create a cool marbled effect. Keep adding more icing until its finished, the white should come through and create white galaxy clusters. Now for a finishing touch, throw on some icing stars and TA DA! A galaxy cake, and just like the doctor, its hiding two hearts. 

Christmas Wreath Cake Recipe (+alcohol free version)

Chocolate festiveness

So this marks week 2 of my festive baking, this week I was approached by Renshaw Icing, who asked if I would like to be part of their Christmas baking extravaganza. Of course, I said, YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU! I was wrecking my head trying to come up with a fun way to use Renshaw icing, when I remembered last year I had made a Wreath Cake, but it wasnt so exciting and didn't really taste so good. I re-jigged the recipe and made it much more exotic. (example: I added alcohol) I think it turned out pretty well. The video is also on Renshaw Icing's website if you fancied a look. 

Ingredients

Buttercream

350g Butter

700g Icing Sugar

1/2 tbsp Whisky**

2-4 tbsp Milk****

Cake

250g butter

300g sugar

200g plain flour


50g cocoa powder

Extra Icing

250g Green Renshaw icing

250g Red Renshaw icing

250g White Renshaw icing

100g dark chocolate

50g Soured Cream* 

3tbsp Whisky**

1-2 tbsp milk***

2tsp Baking Powder 


*100g Soured Cream (Alcohol Free Version)

** Don't add whisky (Alcohol Free version)

*** Add 2-4 tbsp milk (Alcohol Free version)

**** Add 4-6 tbsp milk (Alcohol Free Version)

Method

Lets start by pre-heating the oven to 190ºC

Take 250g of butter and cream together with 300g of sugar, whisk in 3 eggs and one yolk one at a time. Then add 200g of plain flour and mix in with 50g of cocoa powder. Add in 100g of melted dark chocolate (around 74%) and 50ml of soured cream.

Add 3tbsp of whisky. Have a wee nip to yourself as well. 

Mix in and then add 1-2 tbsp of milk so you reach a thick cream like consistency. Add in 2 tsp of baking powder. 

Now take a 23cm bundt tin and grease thoroughly. Then scoop in your mix and even out the top, making it all flat. Cover with tinfoil (if you wish) and bake for 45mins to 1 hr until a knife comes out clean. 

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack.

While this is cooling, prepare your decoration. For the buttercream take 350g of butter, add in 350g of icing sugar, blend this in until combined, then add a further 350g of icing sugar. Keep mixing this in until it becomes a really stiff consistency, A good buttercream should be thick enough to hold its own shape, but still be able to pipe. Now add in 1/2 to a full tbsp of your whisky. Thats right! MORE WHISKY! If the buttercream is still quite thick, then add 2-4tbsp of milk until you reach the desired viscosity. 

Now take some food dye and dye it green. Scoop into a piping bag, with a large star shaped nozzle on the end and leave to one side. If you are keeping it in the fridge, be sure to take it out again to warm up to room temperature before you pipe as it may be too solid to pipe when cold.

Now take 250g of green Renshaw icing dust your counter lightly with icing sugar, and roll out flat, around 3mm if not slightly thinner. You will be using this to make some large holly leaves. To make them, you can either use a pre-bought cutter, or do them free hand. With a knife, cut out a leaf shape, around 5-7cmmaking sure its wide across the middle. Then slice a curved edge in on either side to give the sharp holly prickles. Adjust the top and bottom to neaten up if you need to. Then with the back of the knife point, draw a line down the centre, with two lines coming away from your centre line towards the points. do this top and bottom. It may look a bit crude now, but when it all comes together, it works. Make 24.

Now, for your bow, take 250g of red Renshaw icing, dust your counter lightly with icing sugar, and roll into a sausage, then roll flat to 3mm thick into a long flat strip. Take a 30cm ruler and cut a long strip the same width as the ruler. cut the strip in half. Take one half, fold the ends over to meet in the middle, turn over with your join on the bottom and pinch where the join is, flattening where they meet slightly. Cut a small strip from the end of the remaining icing, about 1cm wide and flatten ever so slightly so its longer. Then placing into the flattened middle part of your bow, use this to wrap around to create the knot. Tuck underneath. 

Take the other half of your strip, and cut in half. Cut out triangles from one end of each of the mini-strips, this will create the ends of your ribbon. Then cut the other end to look slightly tapered. this should look like a basic arrow now. Take the ribbon ends, and place your tapered points underneath where the knot on your bow is, making sure they are coming out at angles away from each other, to look like a finished bow. Finally, with your thumbs, press lightly on either side of the knot of your bow to create creases to look like the ribbon is being cinched slightly. To create a further effect, you can push little balls of left over icing under the edge of the bow to open up the curls. 

Take a 12”/30cm cake board and cover, using 250g of white Renshaw icing. Dust your counter with icing sugar. Roll it out flat to about 2mm, then lift off and place on the board, stick it down using some water.

Take some of your buttercream and spread a circle on the icing. Place your now cooled chocolate cake onto the board and get ready to ice. Take your buttercream, and pipe small ‘gems’ to the cake, starting from the outside bottom edge and working your way to the top. When you reach 3/4 of the way up, stop. Then go to the inside of your cake, and pipe in the centre, working your way up to the top again. Pipe ‘gems’ all around the top of the cake to finish off. 

Now take your holly leaves, and place on the top of your cake in groups of 3 or 4, with them coming together at one end, and spreading out like a star away from each other. Place them everywhere but one end of your cake, this is where the bow will go. 

take your bow and place gently into the space you have left, making sure the forked ends of the ribbon sit down the side of your cake. 

Now the finishing touches, take the left over red icing, and make small balls, place these into the centre of where your green icing holly leaves meet to create the berries. If you feel extra fancy, use a cocktail stick on the bow and 1mm from the edge, create small dots, simulating a ribbon edge. 

Take a real ribbon, and wrap around the base of your cake board (attached with double sided sticky tape). This decorating tip is insisted upon by SheWhoBakes. She does a wide range of classes in making cakes, from which I learned so much. I highly recommend going to see her. 

Eat and enjoy! 

I hope you enjoy making this, feel free to get as creative as you wish with the decorating. Tweet me your creations @colinshow

Thank you very much, see you soon.