24 Months On

So my baby boy turned two last week. Its taken me this long to reconcile myself to the fact that I can’t pronounce his age in months anymore. “Oh yes my son is 47 months old this week” slightly weird even for me….

We had a perfect little party for him just beloved family, pointy hats and a mini jumping castle. I can’t think of anything a child would enjoy more than not having to share one single precious moment of bounce time can you?

I promised myself I would keep it simple (stupid) and focus on baking a delicious, extravagant cake and to spend the entire day sitting watching my favourite little people having fun. And Lady Moss is happy to admit that aside from a little festive bunting, and a few choice balloons we did just that.

And the cake. Oh the cake.

Not having a Kenwood as yet, what does a Lady need to do I ask you? I can highly recommend going the mudcake route. Mixing machine or not, it has become my birthday go to cake. Beautifully moist even after freezing, easy to handle and smelling divine, the only negative is the cost factor. A basic butter cake mix should come in at around five dollars including icing whereas my white chocolate and orange mudcake easily set me back $20. Multiply that by four levels, layered with cream cheese frosting, spread thick with white chocolate ganache and finally covered by fondant and you are getting close to what this baby cost to make.

But at the end of the day was it worth it? Oh yes. God yes. It was the most decadent cake I have ever tasted. So rich that I had to hand portions on to anybody game enough to risk a heart attack. Even then we still had the top layer sitting in our freezer. Note the past tense…..

More than anything I loved making this cake. Not having done a decorating course I wanted to challenge myself and the quality of YouTube videos and see if I could do it. Of course I could see every bump and nick and nearly had a meltdown hefting its weight into the pantry to keep it safe overnight. But the King? All he saw was the happy procession of red dinosaurs marching around the base before he dived in with both hands. Yum!

I did play around with amounts and pull from various online recipes but the basic mix is…..

White Chocolate and Orange Mudcake – Exclusively Food

300g white chocolate

200g salted butter

250ml milk

165g caster sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla (I used the zest of two oranges instead)

2 large free range eggs slightly beaten

2/3 cup self-raising flour

1 cup plain flour

Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius. The thing with cake is that it actually enjoys being cooked long and slow especially mudcake. This keeps all the moisture in and gives a perfectly beige result. Lady Hunt would be pleased.

Place chocolate, butter, sugar and vanilla/zest (or both if you fancy) in a saucepan over soft heat and stir until melted. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for at least fifteen minutes unless you want vanilla scrambled eggs.

While your chocolate mixture is cooling, sift flours together in a large bowl. Grease and line your preferred cake tins, remembering a stitch in time saves nine, in other words line your tin.

 At this stage I also like to make my ganache if I am decorating the cakes the next day. If freezing leave this stage until a later date. When you are more sane perhaps.

Add beaten eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Add this slowly to the flours, stirring well every cup or so to ensure fewer lumps.

A word on amounts here. For each batch of mixture I made two cakes using a 7 inch round tin and a 9 inch round tin. This made the cakes quite nice and thin which allows them to cook evenly rather than using one tin and having a dry, crusty outer and an under cooked inside. Allow the cakes to bake for at least 50 minutes, checking with a skewer and continuing to cook if necessary. If you make one big cake it will need about 1 hour 20.

I made three batches which gave me two cakes made up of three layers each. Got that? That’s a HSC question I’d like to have gotten!

I wrapped each cake in baking paper then glad wrapped and froze them for about a week before ganaching and decorating the night before. If I need to cut the cakes I let them thaw just a little and use my electric bread knife which gives a perfect result. For this though I just needed to frost and layer, frost and layer.

Cream Cheese and Orange Frosting – Just Sugar Coat It

This frosting is ahhhh-mazing. Seriously. Its my favourite icing from now on. Easy to handle and tastes incredible.

Beat 400g of cream cheese with 100g unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the juice of an orange and 2 cups of pure icing sugar and you have it. The most addictive frosting ever. Believe me, you’ll thank me later. Five kilos later…..

I spread the frosting fairly generously between each layer of my mudcake, letting each harden in the fridge before pressing on with another layer. This created two gorgeously plump cakes which I could then ganache.

Make sure your cake is as even as possible and all gaps filled with frosting.

White Chocolate Ganache – Inspired By Michelle Cakes (YouTube)

 I strongly advise watching her tutorial to ensure you get the method and quantities correct as melting chocolate can turning into a disaster pretty quickly.

Once my ganache had set overnight I iced both cakes (again) generously and left them to set before decorating with fondant.

 

Once the fondant decorating was complete, I used four skewers cut to the height of the bottom cake and pushed through the cake to give it some extra strength when placing the smaller cake on top.

And here is the finished triumph (uneven bits and all)!

 

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