A furry post

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I haven’t been making a lot of cakes recently. I’m a fair to average decorator and for me they can be quite labour intensive. I do it because I love it (most of the time) and I love the people I make these cakes for (most of the time ;)).

I started baking cakes as far back as I can remember. The first one that stands out is when I was about 8 years old and my mum let  me make my brothers birthday cake.

Baking has always come very easy to me. Just like others have a head for math or building, I’m a baker. I find it soothing and relaxing to mix the ingredients, let it cook and then you’re done. Its different to cooking dinner and stuff like that. Not as hectic. Sounds crazy, right?!

Anywho, I had a friend ask me to make her son a monsters inc. themed cake. After a bit of back and forth we decided it would be Sully and pretty much whatever i wanted to do, she let me have free reign. Dont you love it when that happens?!

So I did what I normally do and Google for inspiration. A lot of the cakes had furry like icing and I thought, I could give that a go!

So once I had baked my chocolate mud cake, ganached it and placed it on a covered base board, I set upon making the dark teal and purple buttercream.

I made up a batch of buttercream icing (recipe below) and split it into 2 bowls. As I only needed a fraction of the icing for the purple, I split it 1/4 for purple & 3/4 for dark teal.

To get the colours I needed I used a mixture of colours. The primary colour is what I used for the base and I added the secondary colour to make the base colour a bit deeper. Just be careful when adding the second colour, you dont want to over power the base colour.

Purple:
Americolour 165 Electric Purple (Primary)
Americolour 118 Burgandy (secondary colour)

Dark teal:
Wilton Teal/Turquesa paste (primary)
Americolour 102 Royal Blue (secondary colour)

Using Wilton tip 233 (you can find it here) I first piped the purple then the teal.

It took a lot longer than I expected but it was quite easy. Just be sure to have a few mini breaks and flex that piping hand!

I made the horns out of Satin Ice gum paste with a bit of tylose added to it. Tylose is an additive that will make your gumpaste dry harder. Its particularly useful with the satin ice brand of gum paste as it can be still quite soft weeks later, especially when making thicker models such as horns or shoe heels.

I wasn’t too fussed about making these horns perfect, they are not supposed to be. I just needed to get them in the right shape and then using the back of a butter knife I scored lines around the circumference of the horns.

I used wooden skewers cut in half to attach them to the cake!

This cake turned out even better than I thought it would and my friend was very happy with it as well.

Recipie:

Buttercream icing
1kg of icing mixture/ powdered sugar
400g/1lb butter @ room temp, splash of milk
2 tablespoons of vanilla essence

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Chocolate Ganache Slice

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So one of my favorite go to desserts is the chocolate ganache slice. I’m not sure if you can really call it a slice, but i guess it does have a biscuit base, so lets just go with that shall we?

Many, (MANY!) moons ago, I worked in the hospitality scene. I learned a thing or two in the kitchen from those stints ill tell you! But the most rewarding of gifts was a lovely apprentice chef who made a version of this for the weekly dessert. With a few modifications its been the easiest and universally loved dessert that comes out of my kitchen.

If I make it for work/friends/to sell, its mandatory that I make enough to have left overs. Its happened before where I was foolish enough not to make a second one… I’m still surprised they are letting me live in the house.

Anywho, I digress. If you have a spare 15 minutes, you can whip up this dark chocolatey goodness  of sin. The hardest part is waiting for it to set!

Here is the recipie with all you need to get this done. I will give you instructions for making your ganache in the microwave, but if you prefer a double boiler, you can do that as well. I find that the microwave is quicker, and that’s pretty much the only reason I use it. I hate wasting time!

Tools of the trade
A medium size slice tray
Baking paper
Microwave safe bowl (or 2 of them if you make your ganache in the microwave)
Mixing bowl
Spatula
Wisk
Double boiler (if you make your ganache on the stovetop).

Ingredients
800gm dark chocolate buttons
400ml cream
2 x packets of Arnotts Marie or chocolate ripple biscuits. (I personally like the Marie, but whatever you like…)
250gm butter

Make it work!

Base:

Line slice tray with baking paper.

Preheat oven to 150°C.

Cut butter into cubes and, in 20 second bursts, melt in microwave.

Grind/smash/break up your biscuits. Have a mixture of big and small pieces if you like.

Mix melted butter and biscuit pieces together until well combined and you dont have any dry bits of mixture straggling round the bottom of the bowl.

Press biscuit mixture firmly into the tray using the spatula and put aside.

Ganache:

Put your chocolate broken into small pieces into the microwave safe bowl and cover with cream. Give it a bit of a shake so that the cream settles around the chocolate. Make sure that the all the chocolate on the top of the bowl has a had cream poured over it. This is so that the chocolate doesnt burn when heating.

Put it in the microwave for 1 minute bursts stirring at each interval. You will notice at about minute 3 that its quite on the way to melting, so get your wisk and combine it as much as you can. If you still have lumps, give it another 30 seconds and wisk again. Repeat until you have smooth, glossy ganache. TIP: we only want to combine the cream and chocolate, not whip it, so be gentle!

Once you’re happy that your ganache is mixed, pour it over the base.

Refridgerate for an hour or so until its set.

I like to serve it in squares about 5cm x 5cm with a dollop of cream.

Happy eating xo