Saturday, 28 June 2014

baking: Exit Pursued By A Bear Cake

In April, to celebrate William Shakespeare's birthday, the V&A ran a competition called Cakespeare for people to make cakes inspired by the Bard. There were some amazing designs; this is my effort. Obviously it didn't win. The cake, like everything I make, is an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy sponge.

The Cake
275g caster sugar
300g butter
6 large eggs
300g flour
25g cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp baking powder 3 tsp milk

Cream half the butter and half the sugar, then beat in three of the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and give the mixture an extra blitz until smooth. Finally sift in 150g of flour and one tablespoon of baking powder together and gently fold in with a spatula. Set aside. This will form the white part of the marble cake.

Next cream the remaining butter and the sugar, then beat in the last of the eggs one at a time and again blitz the mixture until smooth. Finally sift in the flour and cocoa powder together and gently fold in with a spatula. This will form the chocolate part of the marble cake.

To marble the cake, put one large tablespoon of white mixture into a greased and lined baking tray and then dollop one large tablespoon of the chocolate mixture on top of that and repeated over until all the mixture was in the bowl. Don't be tempted to mix it all together or spread it out, the weight of the mixture will do all the work itself.

The Icing
200g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cocoa powder

Cream the butter and vanilla until thick but spreadable. Separate a quarter of the mixture and add the cocoa powder for the cake filling. Pipe the rest of the vanilla icing over the cake.

The Chocolate Shards
1 small bar of plain chocolate

Melt the chocolate, pour over a sheet of baking paper and cover with a second sheet. Using a rolling pin gently roll the melted chocolate between the two pieces of baking paper until thin. Put in a fridge to harden. Once hardened the chocolate should be brittle and easy to snap into shard shapes.

The Details
I used a few tubes of chocolate icing to draw the floor board pattern on the cake and floral pattern on the chocolate shard. The Bear is made from black royal icing sculpted into a rough bear shape.

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