Cake Decorating Basics #3


Piping Techniques using a Wilton 21 Tip

This YouTube video by ‘LeCordon Bleu’ demonstrates how to create rope, shells, e-motions using a tip similar to Wiltons 21 tip. This shell technique is what I have used to decorate the boarder of my cakes: Elmo, Dinosaur, Pirate, Blue’s Clues and Care Bear.

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Dark, Milk and White Chocolate Ganache


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I love chocolate ganache… what chocaholic wouldn’t! It’s incredibly delicious and it’s so much easier to get nice, straight sides and edges compared to butter cream. It also withstands the Australian heat much better than butter cream does. All you need is chocolate and cream. By varying techniques and tweaking ingredients, you can turn basic ganache into a truffle, a glaze, a frosting, a mousse, a tart, a warm drink, or a frozen pop. Brilliant!
Making dark, milk and white chocolate ganache varies. You require a higher ratio of milk and white chocolate to cream (3:1) compared to dark chocolate (2:1). That’s because milk and white chocolate contain milk solids, which contain milk fat. The added fat and the increased cocoa butter content make the lighter chocolates softer and more susceptible to damage from heat. You can certainly make ganache from milk or white chocolate using the traditional technique, but you’ll have to adjust the ratio of chocolate:cream to compensate for the increased fat content.
In extremely warm weather it is sometimes necessary to increase the amount of chocolate in the mixture to prevent it from melting.
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with dark chocolate ganache 
1.2 kg dark chocolate
600ml pure cream
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with milk and white chocolate ganache 
1.3 kg
450ml pure cream
Method: 
Place chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool. If all the chocolate hasn’t melted, you can place the bowl into the microwave and reheat at short intervals (I usually do it for 10 second at a time).
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens.
If desperate measures call and you don’t have the patience to wait, let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover the bowl as you may get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).
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For more ganache recipes and ideas, please visit Big Bake Theory

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes


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Ingredients:
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla essence
80g butter (unsalted)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chocolate bits (milk, dark or white)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line 24 hole mini cupcake tray.
2. Sift all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
3. Make a small well in the middle of the bowl and then add remaining ingredients (except chocolate bits).
4. Beat on low speed with electric mixer until just combined.

5. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat on medium speed for a further 2 minutes.
6. Add chocolate bits and mix with wooden spoon.
7. Place tablespoons of the mixture into 24 hole mini cupcake tray until 3/4 full.
8. Place tray into oven for 10-12 minutes or until baked through.
9. Stand for 5 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack to cool.
10. Ice with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting or leave plain as desired.

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