Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Penguin Cake

I don't usually make large cakes, as I prefer to make cupcakes and bite-sized treats, but recently I decided to be brave and make a birthday cake. I didn't have a lot of time (2 hours only!) so I decided to keep it relatively simple and made a single tier of white chocolate mudcake, layered with passionfruit and white chocolate ganache, then topped with marshmallow frosting. It might sound a little complicated, but it is actually really easy to prepare. Here's what the cake looked like before I topped it with frosting:

Yum- I love could serve the cake just like this, but I decided to top it with marshmallow frosting:

The frosting was really quick to make and was a perfect substitute for snow. My friend really likes penguins so I made some out of sugarpaste to decorate the top of the cake. I had a bit of paste left over so I also made some snow balls, cupcakes and presents to make a party scene. Aren't they cute????

To finish the cake I made a 'Happy Birthday' plaque out of sugarpaste. Here's how the cake turned out:

If you want to try making the cake, or simply fancy making the white chocolate mudcake without the decorations, here is the recipe:

IngredientsBulleted List

White Chocolate Cake
220g white chocolate, chopped
180g unsalted butter, chopped
185ml (3/4 cup) cold water
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
150g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted
115g (3/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted

Passionfruit Sauce
185ml (3/4 cup) passionfruit pulp
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar

White Chocolate Ganache
375g white chocolate, chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream

Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush a round 20cm cake pan with melted butter to grease. Line base and side with non-stick baking paper.

Place chocolate, butter and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Add sugar and egg and stir until just combined. Add flours and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into lined pan and bake in oven for 1 hour or until moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into cake. Set aside for 30 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the passionfruit sauce, place passionfruit and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside to cool completely.

To make ganache, place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure bowl doesn't touch the water) and stir with a metal spoon until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until mixture is thick and spreadable.

Use a serrated knife to cut cake into 3 layers. Place bottom layer on a plate. Spread with half of ganache and top with half the passionfruit sauce. Repeat with second cake layer, half the remaining ganache and remaining sauce. Top with remaining cake.

To make the marshmallow frosting, dissolve 1/3 cup water and 1 cup of caster sugar in a saucepan, then bring the mixture to boil for 5 minutes. The syrup should be slightly thickened but still colourless. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar syrup while still beating. Mix for about 10 minutes, then spread the frosting onto the cake.

I hope you enjoy making this cake!

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