Tag: cake

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

I’m a big fan of Birthdays, especially other people’s as its the perfect excuse to make a giant delicious cake! It was my Mum’s birthday last weekend, and I was really keen to create something that included her childhood love of honeycomb. So, ta dahh! The chocolate honeycomb genoise was born 🙂

My mum used to tell me about her and my uncle’s trips to the cinema when they were little. They’d go to the ‘pictures’ on a Saturday morning, my Nan would give them 2 and 6 pence in old money (12.5p to you and me!) and that’d see them to/from the cinema, buy them both a ticket AND sweets! Its just crazy when you think about it now. I really remember that Mum’s sweet of choice was always a block of honeycomb. No chocolate coating like in the Crunchie you get today, just pure honeycomb.

What’s actually weirder than the crazy low prices is that they would walk into a film halfway through! Films played on a loop back then, so you would watch the film to the end and then watch the start that you’d missed when the film begun again. SO WEIRD.

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

I wanted to keep the sponge quite light, so I decided to make a genoise sponge. A genoise has hardly any fat and instead includes a lot of heavily whisked eggs to create an airy sponge that can be sandwiched with richer fillings! I wanted to make a more traditional buttercream this time, rather than my fave swiss-meringue, so the lighter sponge seemed perfect. The key to a good genoise, is whisking your eggs enough to get to the ribbon stage where a thick ‘rope’ of mixture falls and dissolves slowly on the surface of the mixture. This required about 6-7 minutes of intense whisking, so I’d definitely recommend an electric whisk otherwise it’ll take you much longer! Who needs the gym right?

The honey buttercream is a proper back to basics recipe – butter and icing sugar. Bam. Done. Except I added a squirt of honey to add to the honeycomb theme. I definitely recommend making this in a stand mixer if you have one, and leaving it to beat for a good 5 minutes at least. It turns so deliciously creamy, obviously you can do this with a hand mixer or just a spatula! Though your arm might be dead after the egg whisking for the genoise…

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

The honeycomb is actually my favourite part to make, as the science behind it is just so cool! Geek glasses on please; when the bicarb is added thermal decomposition occurs meaning that the bicarb releases carbon dioxide. This is then trapped in the viscous mixture, leaving behind the lattice structure that sets hard. I just think its fascinating! It does mean you have to be pretty quick though, as it starts to set!

I crumbled up the honeycomb and sprinkled it over the middle layer of buttercream which added a really nice texture. The best part about this cake is that even with the honeycomb decoration on top, you’ll be left with a bag full of honeycomb for yourself! You could go wild and chuck it all on top of the cake, or you could melt some chocolate and make your own Crunchies! The possibilities are endless, and as long as you keep it air-tight it’ll last you months. Providing it lasts that long anyway…

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

The final touch I added was a sugar syrup to keep the sponge moist and light. I didn’t add any flavour to the syrup, though you absolutely could! I really do think it added to the finished cake.

This chocolate honeycomb genoise is a real crowd pleaser and perfect for a celebration! Check out my timelapse video below of how I assembled it!

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

Yield: 12

Chocolate Honeycomb Genoise

Ingredients

    Honeycomb
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5tbsp golden syrup
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Chocolate Genoise
  • 40g vegetable oil
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 65g plain flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 2 pinches sea salt
    Sugar Syrup
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml caster sugar
    Honey Buttercream
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 100g clear honey

Instructions

  • Firstly, to make the honeycomb, line a 20cm square tin with baking paper and grease the paper with butter.
  • Mix the sugar and golden syrup in a deep saucepan and place over a medium heat. Once all the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and simmer until the caramel turns the shade of a copper penny. Immediately add the bicarb, and beat with a spatula to fully incorporate. The mixture will be foaming and very hot, so be careful! Scrape straight away into the prepared tin and leave to harden at room temperature. This will take about an hour. Then smash into pieces ready to sprinkle over the cake.
  • To make the genoise, line the base of two 8" baking tins making sure not to grease the sides. Then preheat the oven to 175C.
  • Sift the cocoa and plain flour into a small bowl and set aside. Add the eggs, sugar and salt to a large bowl and using an electric whisk or stand mixer whisk for 6-7 minutes until tripled in volume, light coloured and a thick rope of mixture falls and dissolves slowly on the surface.
  • Add a third of the flour mixture to the eggs and fold with a spatula until almost combined. Then repeat with the other third of flour, and then the final third. Place the oil into a small bowl, and fold in a quarter of the flour/egg mixture ensuring its fully combined. Pour this mixture back into the flour/egg mixture and fold again until all just combined.
  • Evenly pour the mixture into both baking tins and bake for 20 minutes until the cake has risen and feels firm to touch.
  • Cool for a few minutes in the tin, and then using a knife scrape around the edges of the cake taking care not to tear the cake. Then invert the cakes out of the tin and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To make the syrup, place the water and sugar into a small saucepan over a high heat. Simmer until all the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool.
  • To make the honey buttercream, place the butter into a bowl of a stand mixer or use an electric whisk to beat until smooth and lightened in colour. This will take a few minutes.
  • Add the icing sugar in stages, ensuring it is thoroughly combined between each addition. Finally, add the honey and continue to beat for a further 4-5 minutes until smooth.
  • Finally, to assemble place one of the genoise sponges onto a cake board or serving plate and using a pastry brush dab over half of the sugar syrup.
  • Then spread half of the buttercream onto the cake, and sprinkle a layer of honeycomb. Add the second genoise sponge on top, and dab the remaining sugar syrup all over the sponge with the pastry brush.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream on top of the cake, and decorate with more honeycomb.
  • http://bakingwithaimee.com/2017/10/15/chocolate-honeycomb-genoise/

    Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

    Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

    raspberry and almond Layer Cake

    Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake. Is there anything better? I mean even Rihanna released a song about it….! But Birthday Cake probably tips the scale! I made this raspberry and almond layer cake for my mum’s birthday last weekend. Fresh raspberries gave the tang, ground almonds made it super moist and the buttercream and sprinkles made it extra birthdayish! Who says sprinkles are only for kids?!

    raspberry and almond Layer Cake

    Almond and raspberry is SUCH a classic combination and one of mums favourite flavours so I knew I wanted to incorporate that in the cake. I ended up baking fresh raspberries in the sponge, which gave such a good tart hit. I added ground almonds too which made the sponge extra moist, AND I added two teaspoons of almond extract to give it that extra punch. I can never have enough almond, but feel free to reduce it to one teaspoon if you’re not as obsessive as I am!

    I’m still so obsessed with swiss meringue buttercream and the silky effect it creates. I love how the swirls on top almost look like a 99 ice cream you’d get when you were little! I went for vanilla to complement the raspberry and almond but not overpower it. Though you’d be forgiven for thinking the buttercream was mint or pistachio flavoured with the mint green hue. That was just a mistake! I was trying to make my buttercream whiter, so I added in (what I thought was) a tiny drop of blue food colouring. As you can tell, that plan didn’t quite work out. But, I’m actually pretty happy with the colour in the end! It encapsulates the childhood birthday cake style I was looking for!

    raspberry and almond Layer Cakeraspberry and almond Layer Cake

    Filling wise, I decided to go classic birthday cake and use jam and buttercream. I used the buttercream as a dam around the edge of the cake, and then filled the centre with raspberry jam – Bonne Maman to be exact, only the best! I’m so glad I did to, as the tartness of the jam worked so well in cutting through the rich buttercream.

    raspberry and almond Layer Cake

    The sprinkles were much harder to add on than I imagined, so learn from my mistake and if you have a tilting turntable use it to its full advantage to stick them on! I on the other hand ended up essentially chucking the sprinkles at the cake and finding them all over my kitchen instead….!

    All in all, taste wise this is one of the best cakes I’ve made (if I do say so myself)! So if you’re a fan of raspberry and almond definitely give it a try! Also, give my timelapse video below a watch where you can see me assemble the cake 🙂

    Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

    Yield: 1 three-tier 8" cake

    12 slices

    Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

    Ingredients

      Sponge
    • 305g cake flour (if you can't find cake flour use plain flour, and substitute 4tbsp of the plain flour for 4tbsp cornflour)
    • 100g ground almonds
    • 2tsp baking powder
    • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/2tsp salt
    • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 2tsp almond extract
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    • 300ml buttermilk
    • 220g raspberries
      Buttercream
    • 150ml large egg whites
    • 250g caster sugar
    • 450g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2tsp blue gel food colouring (if using)
      Filling
    • 200g raspberry jam
      Decoration
    • multi-coloured sprinkles

    Instructions

  • Firstly, preheat the oven to 175C/ Gas Mark 4 and grease and line three 8" baking tins.
  • In a small bowl sift together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Toss the raspberries in one tablespoon of the flour mix, and set both aside.
  • In a pyrex bowl beat the butter with a hand mixer until smooth and lightened in colour. Then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, this will take a few minutes. Add the almond extract and then add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating between each addition. Then with the mixer on low, add the flour mix in three batches alternating with the buttermilk. Ensure you begin and end with the flour mixture. Do not over mix at this stage, stop mixing as soon as the last streaks of flour are incorporated. Gently fold in the majority of the raspberries, then evenly divide the batter between the prepared tins. Sprinkle the remaining raspberries on top of the batter, pushing them down slightly.
  • Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, before removing them from their tins to cool completely.
  • For the buttercream, whisk together the sugar and egg whites in heat-safe bowl until combined. Then using a bain-marie, heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until it reaches 155-160F on a candy thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer the mixture will be very hot to the touch and the sugar will have dissolved.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and using an electric mixer whisk on high speed for about 10 minutes until you reach medium-stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. The butter must be at room temperature for it to be properly incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and mix again for a few minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth and light. Then add the food colouring if using, and mix for a few minutes until fully incorporated. Add 1/4 of the buttercream into a piping bag and snip off the end to have a plain round nozzle. Add another 1/4 of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I used the Wilton 2D).
  • To assemble, place one sponge onto a cake board and using the buttercream in the plain piping bag, pipe a circle 'dam' round the edge of the cake. Then fill the gap with half of the jam. Place the second sponge on top and repeat with the buttercream and remaining jam.
  • Next, crumb coat the entire cake with buttercream and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then cover the cake with a thick layer of buttercream and using a bench scraper, scrape off the excess to leave a smooth exterior. Using the piping bag fitted with the star tip, pipe swirls around the edge of the top of the cake. Then finally, add sprinkles to the swirls and the bottom half of the cake.
  • http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/10/17/raspberry-and-almond-layer-cake/

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    buttercream flower

    I have a confession.

    I am obsessed with watching Instagram videos of cakes. Specifically cakes being lavishly smothered in buttercream, covered in intricately piped buttercream flowers or ganache dripped round the edges. Its taking over my life.

    Craig is so sick of watching them over my shoulder, but its my absolute guilty pleasure! Its super satisfying and so therapeutic.

    So when it came to making my sisters birthday cake, Instagram was my first source for inspiration. Buttercream flower wreath cakes are all over Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube…you name it! So I thought I’d give it a try. I actually practised the roses on some cupcakes a few weeks back (blog post to come!) and let me tell you it is notttt as easy as people make it look! But practise makes perfect and all that!

    buttercream flower

    I used swiss meringue buttercream for the flowers, the light texture is perfect for this kind of piping. Although in the August weather you do need to work quickly so it doesn’t get too warm, it makes it impossible to pipe the delicate petals then!

    I made about 25 buttercream flowers in total, though I only used 19 in the end. I made roses, ranunculus, chrysanthemums, blossoms and topped them all off with leaves! The leaves were piped direct onto the cake though – thats the fun final touch!

    To make the flowers you absolutely need a flower nail. They’re usually included in most piping sets, so you might already have one! If not, you can buy them easily on Amazon. You also need to cut a load of squares out of baking paper, I promise its not as labour intensive as it sounds. Once you have both those things and an array of piping tips you’re all set up!

    buttercream flower

    I watched a lot of YouTube videos by Cake Style for amazing tutorials on loads of different buttercream flower types. Once you have the plain roses down you can make quite a few pretty variations, but its the chrysanthemums I struggled with. The tutorials make them look so easy but its definitely not my strong suit, which is annoying because they can look so pretty!

    I was pretty pleased with the flowers I created in the end though, and its definitely evoked a passion in me to create more flowery creations! Piping tips wise theres a few you need to have in your repertoire, but if you’re going to get any the Wilton 104 is the one to get. The 104 is what I used to create all the roses, ranunculus and blossoms. You’ll need Wilton tip 81 for the chrysanthemum’s and for the leaves Wilton tip 70.

    Honestly though, I was sooo pleased with how it turned out! You know how usually you have the idea for a cake, and then when you come to make it its nothing like the vision? This actually was my vision!! I made it the day before I presented it to my sister though and I had nightmares all night of ridiculous things happening to it. Like the candles causing the whole cake to go up in flames – could that even happen!?

    buttercream flower

    I think i’ve waffled on long enough about the flowers now, you probably want to hear about the actual cake!? It was a white chocolate sponge, with the nicest crumb texture! The recipe I was adapting called for cake flour, which isn’t something I’ve seen in the UK. After a bit of googling it turns out that you can substitute cake flour by the following: for every one cup of plain flour, take two tbsp’s out and replace it with two tbsp’s of corn flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content than regular plain flour, which gives cakes a softer, lighter texture whilst still retaining structure. I think i’m converted.

    For the buttercream I decided to pair a classic flavour combination with the sponge; raspberry! I also figured a raspberry swiss meringue buttercream would keep the cake light and not cloying. Especially with all those buttercream flowers on top! Also, if I’m honest the smooth and silky buttercream is just a million times easier to spread on a layer cake.

    I followed my swiss meringue buttercream recipe as normal, and then for the last step added fresh raspberry puree that I’d strained. This gives a really fresh flavour, and means the buttercream is food colouring free! I also added freeze-dried raspberries in the layers for an extra raspberry kick – well I say that, thats what I intended to do! But I forgot to do it on the first layer – doh! – so lets all just pretend I did it on both!

    buttercream flower

    Two final notes!

    The raspberry SMB recipe errs on the side of caution so you’ll definitely have some left – I had a full tupperware box! But you can pop it in the freezer for up to 6 months – hooray! Just make sure its defrosted and back to room temp before using it.

    And finally, I decided to live my Instagram dream and film the assembling of the cake. So if you want to see it all come together, watch below! (Apologies in advance for the slight out of focus :(!)

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    1 three-tier 8" cake

    Ingredients

      Sponge
    • 172g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 300g caster sugar
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 345g cake flour (or if you can't find that; 345g plain flour, minus 6tbsp plain flour, plus 6tbsp corn flour)
    • 1tbsp & 1tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp salt
    • 300ml milk
    • 6oz white chocolate
      Swiss Meringue Buttercream (for flowers)
    • 120ml large egg whites
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 340g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
      Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    • 240 egg whites
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 675g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 345g frozen raspberries, defrosted
    • 1tsp caster sugar (or more to taste)
    • 1/2tsp lemon juice
    • 6g freeze-dried raspberries (one tube from the supermarket)

    Instructions

    For the Cake:
  • Firstly preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180C and grease and line three 8" baking tins.
  • Using a bain-marie, melt the white chocolate over a low heat and then set aside to cool.
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside. Then, place the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on a high speed until creamy and light in colour. Add the sugar and continue to mix until fluffy.
  • On a medium speed add the egg yolks, vanilla and melted white chocolate. Then with the mixer on low, alternate adding in the dry ingredients and milk in three batches, ending and starting with the dry ingredients.
  • Mix until just combined, then pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool a little in the tins, and then put them on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  • For the Buttercream Flowers:
  • Whisk together the sugar and egg whites in heat-safe bowl until combined. Then using a bain-marie, heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until it reaches 155-160F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will be very hot and the sugar will have dissolved.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and using an electric mixer whisk the mixture on high speed for about 10 minutes until you reach medium-stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. The butter must be at room temperature for it to be properly incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and mix again for a few minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth and light.
  • Separate the buttercream into different bowls, mix in required food colouring and place into piping bags, making sure to set aside the leaf green buttercream to use later.
  • Then using a flower nail and piping tips create an array of flowers, on squares of baking paper. Place the squares onto baking trays and place in the freezer while you make the rest.
  • For the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • Follow the swiss meringue buttercream recipe for the flowers, up to and including adding the butter in. Strain the raspberries through a sieve into a bowl, so you are left with the puree without the seeds.Mix in the sugar and lemon juice, and then pour the mixture into the buttercream.
  • Mix this on low at first, and then gradually increase the speed. It may take a few minutes for the puree to combine with the buttercream, so keep mixing until its fully combined.
  • For Assembly;
  • Place one sponge onto the cake board and spread with a layer of raspberry buttercream and half of the freeze-dried raspberries. Then repeat with the second sponge layer. Then place the final sponge layer on top.
  • Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of the raspberry buttercream and then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
  • Then cover the cake with a thick layer of raspberry buttercream and using a bench scraper, scrape off the excess to leave a smooth exterior.
  • Place some of the raspberry buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a ring on top of the cake for the flowers to sit on. This gives the flowers some height, rather than all lying flat on top of the cake.
  • Remove the buttercream flowers from the freezer, and peeling off the baking paper squares arrange them on the cake.
  • Finally, pipe leaves wherever needed on the cake for the finishing touch.
  • Notes

    Excess frosting can be frozen for up to 6 months, and then defrosted fully before use.

    White chocolate sponge adapted from The Cake Blog

    Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe adapted from Layered by Tessa Huff

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/08/21/buttercream-flower-wreath-layer-cake/