This 9″ Ballerina Shoes birthday cake is made from dark chocolate mud-cake and filled with dark chocolate ganache.
0.5 metres of 1 metre wide net
14″ cake board
2 x 9″ set up boards
Super Pearl Dust (Sweet Inspirations)
Hot Pink Twinkle dust (Global Sugar Art)
1.2 kg white sugar-paste
300g pink sugar-paste
silver edible balls
Make the 9″ round Dark Chocolate Mud Cake
500g unsalted butter
400g dark chocolate
10g (2 tablespoon) instant coffee
2-2/3 cups warm water
380g (2 cup) caster sugar
520g (3 cups) self raising flour
60g (1/2 cup) cocoa
2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pan with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
2. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
3. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
4. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 150C for 1 hour 45 mins. Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.
Make the Dark Chocolate Ganache
1.2 kg (2lb 10oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
500ml (17.5 fl oz) pure cream
Method: Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool.
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might 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).
For more information on how to make ganache and cover your cake with it, please click here.
Assembling the cake
Cut the cake in half and fill with ganache.
Attach cake to set up board with edible glue or some Royal Icing.
Cover the top and the sides of the cake with ganache and smooth the surfaces.
Cover in white sugar-paste.
Press a quilting mold to the sides of the cake to make quilting effect or measure and indent with the side of a ruler.
Brush the top and sides of the cake with Super Pearl dust.
Use the other end of a paint brush to make holes for the silver balls and use some edible glue to attach them.
Add any lettering at this stage.
To make edible glue
Add 2 tablespoons of warm water to a quarter teaspoon of Tylose Powder and allow the Tylose powder to melt. Don’t worry if at this stage the glue appears not to be blending. Put a lid on the container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight and in the morning you will have a perfectly clear and ready to use glue.
The glue should be a dripping consistency. If it is too thick, just add a little more water and stir with a toothpick .
The edible glue should be stored in the refrigerator when not in use.
To apply the glue, use a good quality paintbrush and brush on to the area where you are going to be working. Leave until it begins to dry a little so that the area is just tacky to touch.
To make the tutu
Cut the net into 2 strips each 15 cms wide.
Join the strips with pins to make a 2 metre length then machine stitch along one long edge with the largest stitch on your machine.
Pull one of the threads to gather the fabric into the tightest circle possible and sew in place.
Place tutu onto a 14″ cake board and glue down with a glue gun.
Use a 9″ set up board to sit on top and glue this on with a glue gun. Place a 5 kilo bag of flour (or something heavy) on top till set.
Trim your tutu so that it sticks out about 1 cm from the edge of your cake board.
Place your cake (which should be on a matching 9″ set up board) on top using your glue gun or PVA glue to stick it down.
To make the Ballet Shoes
Print out the shoe template onto thin card so that the sole measures 14 cm in length and cut them out.
Use the templates to cut out 2 soles and two toes in pink sugar-paste and remember as we work through the rest of the instructions that you are aiming to make a left and right shoe.
Use edible glue to attach the uppers to the soles. I turned a little of the edge of the upper under the sole but I think it might have looked better just to join them edge to edge.
Fill the shoes with cotton wool to keep their shape (the cotton wool stuck a little to some glued edges so I would recommend scrunched cling film instead).
Leave shoes overnight to harden.
Next day remove packing and add the stitched band around the top of the shoe by cutting and glueing a narrow strip of pink sugar-paste around the top edge of each shoe and use a cocktail stick to make the little holes.
Use the clay gun to make the little bows and glue them in place with edible glue.
Dust the shoes inside and out with pink twinkle dust and attach to cake with edible glue. I also used a cocktail stick to anchor the toe of the angled shoe to the cake as the cake was travelling by car to the birthday girl.
Cut out 4 long strips of pink sugar-paste to make the ribbon ties and dust them on both sides before glueing them to the shoes.
Brush more pink dust over the shoes where needed.
Use a ribbon in the same shade as the tutu, around the base of the cake and make a bow for the front.