My chocolate and Pastry Experiences

Scottish part time chocolatier in London enjoying all things Chocolate and Pastry


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Birthday Cakes

So over the last month I’ve had a few birthday cakes to do so rather than post them all individually I’ll put them all in one post.

I have used 3 recipes for them all so I’ll split them by recipe.

Lemon Drizzle

Treasure Chest
Treasure Chest                                                                                           Bows & BalloonsBows & Balloons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Roses
Roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steamed Sponge (though oven cooked)

 Football Cake

1420893156357142089338390514208986891181420989719768 Football Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was probably the hardest cake I’ve ever done. First obstacle was the fact that I didn’t have a hemisphere cake tin. After spending a long long time on Google, I found out I could use a pyrex bowl. I elected to use a steam sponge recipe but still bake it in the oven. The next obstacle was how to cut the shapes and what size they should be. Following taking the picture on the right I have to unpick the whole cake and start again. I am no mathematician so the final cake looked very haphazard. I loved doing the grass and used a new piping nozzle to create the effect.

Ispahan – Rose & Lychee

Flowers

This is my absolute favourite cake, I am so very proud of it. Inspired by the Pierre Hermes Ispahan macaron it’s a sponge soaked with a Rose Syrup, butter cream with a layer of lychee pulp and another Rose soaked sponge on top. The branches are brown icing and I also made a little owl to hold the candles. I thought to begin with it was too small in height, but as it was 2 x 9″ victoria sponge tins it was fairly big already. The feedback on this was that it was an amazingly grown up sponge, and I’ve already been asked for another 🙂

 


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New Chocolate Flavours

IMAG1577so I decided to try some new flavours, one based on Pierre Hermes Ispahan Macaronwhich is a Lychee and Rose Ganache Centre and was decorated like Frank Haasnoot’s World Chocolate Masters moulded chocolate recipe, black chocolate Cherry made with Cacao Barry Alunga Milk Chocolate (41%), a blueberry ganache with Valrhona Manjari (64%) and finally a coffee bean (it’s up there with the Lychee in terms of impressing flavours) made with Valrhona Manjari (64%)

3 chocs

So I made little stencils out of white fondant and then airbrushed white cocoa  butter into the mould. I was a little heavy handed with the airbrush. They may not have looked like they should have or how I wanted them to look but the flavour was stunning. I’ve decided that I don’t like the daisy flower so I’ll look for another flower.

RedBlueberryFor the Cherry design, I flicked red cocoa butter into a small round cylinder mould, most of it flicked back onto my dress… I think that the effect was ok though.

I then tried flicking white and blue cocoa butter rather than a solid blue for the blueberry ganache, which I will try next time.

Coffee Bean

The coffee bean was the simplest of them all, sometimes that’s all it takes, just it’s own flavour to speak for itself.  I had an Aztec mould that I hadn’t found a flavour for so it just seemed perfect for this.  I roasted whole and slightly crushed beans in a dry pan and then infused cream with the heated beans to maximise flavours.

I never thought that I could make chocolate taste like a coffee bean rather than a cup of coffee but I did it, and I was super please with the results.

 

I also made honeycomb in a 27°c kitchen and dipped in the Cacao Barry Extra Bitter 64%, for the first time ever I had fat bloom on the chocolate….I should’ve taken a picture, to be honest I was so mortified that I’d gotten it so wrong.  I think it was me opening the fridge door all the time and changing the temperature of the fridge. I’ve learned quite a few lessons from these chocolates:

1. don’t wear white dress when playing with chocolate and coloured cocoa butter

2. don’t be so heavy handed with the airbrush, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean you keep spraying until you can!

3. try not to temper chocolate in hot kitchen, if it’s got to be done, don’t disturb the fridge when the chocolates are in it

4. honeycomb melts in heat

Recipes to follow 🙂