Although I bake a lot of cakes, I have never really paid much attention to decorating them. But my daughter's second birthday is coming up soon and I want to make something special for her. I thought it would be great to learn something new, so I finally enrolled for the Wilton course last September.
I made this chocolate cake for the final class of course 2. We worked with royal icing and it was really fun. Royal icing dries up hard and the flowers look lovely! I made about 75 flowers for the final class, couldn't stop myself, that's how much fun I had making them. Another thing I learned was the basket weave design, it takes some patience but so worth it!
The cake had to be covered in buttercream but I did not want to use the wilton buttercream as its made of shortening and I did not like it at all. So I googled and found this amazing recipe for chocolate buttercream at BakedBree and it tasted absolutely divine. This buttercream is great for piping too and you can do all sorts of designs. The only challenge is doing it quickly or the warmth from your hands will make it soft, making it very difficult to work with. One trick is to fill the piping bag with only a little icing at a time and refilling as you go.
This is the cake I made for the final class of course two. It was a small 6" cake. The chocolate cake recipe is from Tarla Dalal. I doubled the below recipe to make two cakes. I had some batter leftover after filling two pans about 2/3's full, so next time I will probably divide the batter among three pans and make a triple layer cake. I filled the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and some strawberry preserves and crumb coated the cake before doing the basket weave. Decorated it with a few royal icing flowers. This was a cake I was really happy with!
Eggless Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:2 tbs cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
200 gms condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and dust a 6" pan.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together to combine. Whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl and add to the dry ingredients.
Stir just until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake till done. Check after 25 mins. Mine took a little longer.
Cool in the pan for 10 mins and then remove onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Eggless cakes sometimes are not very moist, so I followed this idea from Bakerella. I wrapped the cake in plastic wrap as soon as I took it out of the pan, when still hot. Then cooled it completely on the wire rack. You won't believe how moist the cake was.
1 cup (two sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbs heavy cream or milk (cream is better)
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the cocoa powder gradually on low speed.
Add just enough cream to get the buttercream to a spreading consistency.
Add the vanilla.
Ice your cake as needed.
The buttercream for the basket weave has to be really stiff so I took some aside before adding the cream to the rest of it, that I used to fill and crumb coat the cake.
This goes to Let's Cook - Sweet Somethings and Chocolate Mela