Angry Birds Cake

Balin and his Angry Birds birthday cake
Balin and his Angry Birds birthday cake (picture taken by my good friend Jillian Merlot, Balin’s gran) I had to do a little post processing in Photoshop of course!

Make the 8″ square 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
4 eggs
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.

I used the three images above as my inspiration. I tried to match the sizes, shapes and colours as I put together the birds, pigs and timbers. I also went online and played the game just to better understand the whole ‘Angry Birds’ thing.

Catapult
Catapult

I made all the pieces separately as they were being transported to the birthday party and with the cake being tall and slim (reflecting the 2D nature of the Angry Birds game) I was afraid that the cake would be top heavy and topple over in the car. I used cocktail sticks and wooden skewers to keep everything straight and the spikes came in handy for anchoring the timbers to the cake later on.

Timbers 1
Timbers 1
Timbers 2
Timbers 2

I made an 8″square dark chocolate mud cake and cut it in half and filled it with dark chocolate ganache. I then cut the cake up to resemble the online game silhouette finally covered the top and sides with the remaining ganache.

Angry Birds cake under construction
Angry Birds cake under construction
Angry Birds cake
Angry Birds cake

Now that you have mastered the Angry Bird cake you have to have a go at the Star Wars Angry Bird Cake that I made in September 2014!

Star Wars Angry Bird cake
Star Wars Angry Bird cake
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Ballerina Shoes Cake

Ballet shoes cake
Ballet shoes cake

This 9″ Ballerina Shoes birthday cake is made from dark chocolate mud-cake and filled with dark chocolate ganache.

Materials

0.5 metres of 1 metre wide net

Glue gun

14″ cake board

2 x 9″ set up boards

Super Pearl Dust (Sweet Inspirations)

Hot Pink Twinkle dust (Global Sugar Art)

Clay gun

1.2 kg white sugar-paste

300g pink sugar-paste

Quilting mold

silver edible balls

Tylose powder

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
4 eggs
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.

Ballet Shoe template
Ballet Shoe template

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.

Making the shoes
Making the shoes

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.

Ballet shoes cake topper
Ballet shoes cake topper
Ballet shoes cake bow
Ballet shoes cake bow

Use a ribbon in the same shade as the tutu, around the base of the cake and make a bow for the front.

Ballet shoes cake top
Ballet shoes cake top
Ballerina Shoes Cake
Ballerina Shoes Cake

Thong cake (Flip-flop cake)

Blue and Yellow Thong cake

This lovely cake can be baked for many different special occasions. I even made one for a Christening!!

Materials

900g Pale blue sugar paste, coloured with Wilton Royal blue and Americolor Royal Purple (for cake, straps, plaque and flower centres)

200g Dark blue sugar paste, coloured with Wilton Royal blue and Americolor Royal Purple (for flowers)

300g yellow sugar paste (for top layer)

1 hollow plastic dowel

pale blue Royal icing for piping

clear A4 sheet of plastic acetate

Make the Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

Use an 8″ square pan but fill it with more batter than usual following the quantities below
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
4 eggs
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).

Making the templates

Draw around a thong and enlarge the line drawing in a photocopier to around 14.5 inches long (my AUS size 10 thong needed to be enlarged by 140%). You may have to enlarge in two steps if your copier is only A4 size. If your copier does not enlarge images, you will have to draw an enlargement by hand.

This is a right hand thong so make sure you don’t accidentally flip your templates and end up with left hand pieces that won’t fit your cake!!!

Copy this shape twice onto thick card. One will be covered in foil to make the set up board and the other will eventually be covered in cling film to make a top board to help with ganaching the sides of your cake.

Your paper template will later be reduced by 1/4″ all round and used to cut out the thong shape from the cake slab.

Making the templates
Making the templates
Make the cake board (rectangular) and the set up board (thong shape)
As it is next to impossible to purchase rectangular cake boards exactly to the size you need, it is best to make your own from 6 or 9 mm MDF covered in foil. Below is a picture of my efforts in making a rectangular board and a thong set up board at the same time. I use PVA glue spread by my fingers to do the job and it works well. Please note that I used the rectangular board with the yellow / orange thong cake at the very bottom of this blog. N.B. (another method I use is to cut the thong set up board out of a large square of gold or silver set up board. This way you won’t need to cover the board.)Glue on the metallic foil
Glue on the metallic foil
Glue and overlap the edges neatly
Glue and overlap the edges neatly
Ready for action
Ready for action

Slice the cake into 3 layers

Place your 8″ square cake on a turntable and cut the dome from the top (if necessary) of the cake to get a levelled surface. Place one hand on top of the cake. Hold a long serrated knife in the other hand, making sure to keep the knife level, then slice the cake twice horizontally to make three even layers. Spread each layer with syrup (whisk 100g of apricot jam with 100ml boiling water until smooth) as this will reduce the amount of crumbs when ganaching, help the ganache to stick to the cake and keep your cake moist. Then cut one layer in half to 8 x 4 in.
Cutting the cake into 3 layers
Cutting the cake into 3 layers
Brushing each layer with apricot syrup
Brushing each layer with apricot syrup

Make and fill a rectangle

Take one of the half layers and sandwich it on to the end of one normal layer with ganache. Put the other normal and half layer on top and sandwich with ganache. You should now have an 8″ x 12″ rectangular cake.

Assembling the layers
Assembling the layers

Build up the cake

Take your initial paper thong template and make it slightly smaller by cutting off 1/4″ – 1/8″ all round (this space will be filled with ganache later on). Place the template on top of your cake (the template will be too long for the cake but don’t worry) and using a sharp knife held at right angles, cut around it. Build up the shape of the thong with the cut offs using ganache as glue. Using some ganache to stick the shaped cake on the set up board. Brush the sides with the syrup.

Reducing the size of the 'cutting template' to leave room for the ganache

Reducing the size of the ‘cutting template’ to leave room for the ganache
Placing the template on the cake
Placing the template on the cake

Apply ganache to the sides and top

Quickly cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin crumb coat of ganache. This will seal the cake and make it easy to add the next layer of ganache and achieve a perfect smooth finnish. Place the cake in the fridge till the outside is nice and firm to the touch.
Before applying the second layer of ganache, cover the remaining thong shaped piece of card with cling film and place on top of cake. Using the top and bottom card shapes as a guide add the ganache and smooth it off with a straight edge such as a ruler or set square. Pop the cake back in the fridge to firm up then remove the card and cling film and smooth some extra ganache over the top of the cake to fill any gaps.
Using a top board and set square to smooth the sides
Ready for the sugar paste
Ready for the sugar paste

Cover with sugar-paste

Knead 900g of pale blue sugar-paste to a pliable dough and roll to 1/8″ thick. Brush the top and sides of the cake with a little water as this will help the sugar-paste to glide onto the cake and also help it stick. Smooth the top of the cake first with a smoother. Next smooth the sides by gently pulling the sugar-paste away from the side before smoothing down with your hands and then the smoother. Roughly cut away the overhanging sugar-paste with scissors, knife or a pizza cutter. Carefully trim the sugar-paste around the base with a small knife. Now stick your cake to the display board with some syrup, Royal icing or edible glue.

Using the cake smoother
Using the cake smoother

Apply the top layer

Roll out yellow sugar-paste to about 1/8 in thick. Place the thong template on top and cut around it with a small knife or pizza cutter. Brush the top of the cake with syrup. Gently lift the sugar-paste and place it on top of the cake. Manipulate the sugar-paste till you get a good fit. Use a smoother to smooth it off and help stretch it if needed.

Using the template
Using the template
Using the pizza cutter
Using the pizza cutter
Applying the top layer
Applying the top layer

Prepare the toe area

Insert the hollow plastic dowel into the correct spot in the toe area using the template as a guide. Leave 4 cm (1 1/2″) of the dowel above the cake. Clip off any excess with scissors. Roll out some yellow sugar paste to 1/8″ thick. cut out a strip 5 x 2 cm (2 x 3/4″ ). Wrap the strip around the skewer and secure with a dab of water or edible glue. Because my dowel was made from yellow plastic and it matched the colour of the thong, I didn’t bother covering it in sugar paste. Fill the hollow dowel with yellow sugar paste as best you can and insert a cocktail stick as in the image below. The cocktail stick will help to anchor the straps and central flower. Mark the position of the straps (towards the back of the thong) with a sharp knife using the template as a guide. Cut out two acetate strips 2.5 cm wide and longer than needed (cut off any excess later). Join the strips at right angles and secure with sticky tape. Make a small hole in the centre with a pin and slip over the end of the cocktail stick. Cut the end off the cocktail stick now but leave a little bit sticking up to help secure the flowers. Decide how long your acetate straps need to be and cut off any extra at an angle while leaving enough to be inserted into the cake as an anchor.

Cut out two pale blue sugar paste straps to fit and attach with edible glue.

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.

The acetate straps

The acetate straps
Adding the sugar paste straps
Adding the sugar paste straps

Make the flower decorations

Roll out the dark blue and the remaining pale blue sugar paste to 3 mm (1/8″) thick. Using a small flower cutter, cut out up to 30 flowers and a similar number of flower centres in the pale blue. You will also need one large dark blue flower and a circular pale blue plaque to write your birthday message on. You can stick the flowers onto the thong in a random pattern but I have measured mine so that they are spaced 6.5 cm apart.

I used a piping bag with a size 00 nozzle. The RI was make up of 10g of real egg white, 70g sifted icing sugar, 3 drops acetic acid and water added a few drops at a time. Mix all ingredients together with a hand held electric mixer and a few drops of water. Add edible colouring and a few more drops of water until your RI (Royal Icing) reaches the required consistancy: it should take 7 seconds for stirred RI to flatten out. If your RI is too stiff add some more water and test again. If it is too soft,add more sifted icing sugar and test again.

Cutting out the flowers
Cutting out the flowers

Blue and Yellow Thong cake

Blue and yellow thong cake

Blue thong_080313_7874 1mb
Thong cake

Black and White Thong Cake

Another variation to match the party invitations.
Another variation to match the party invitations.
Stripe Thong Cake with Matching cupcakes and surf board toppers
Stripe Thong Cake with matching cupcakes and surf board toppers

How to make a Rainbow Layer Cake using white chocolate mud recipe

Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Layer Cake

This cake is similar to my Rainbow Cake below and you can find full instructions for it here.

Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake

Three things make this cake special

1. The Rainbow Layers. They can be a big surprise if the recipient and/or guests have no idea what is inside.

2. The cake is based on a White Chocolate Mud Cake. Lots of people are scarred to use colours with Chocolate mud cakes if they do not have the special chocolate colours. I did a lot of research before I used my ordinary food colours and the reason they work is because we are not colouring 100% pure chocolate. The other ingredients magically make it alright to use Wilton or AmeriColor (these are the only two makes that I have tried so far).

3. You can make this cake even if you do not have 6 x 10″ round cake pans. I have 2 x 10 inch pans and I bake the layers in 3 batches. You could make do with just one pan, it will just take a little longer.

Colours of the rainbow
Colours of the rainbow Red, Orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
Coloured cake batter
Coloured cake batter
Use 2 x 10 inch pans
Use 2 x 10 inch pans

White Chocolate Mud Cake 

(Planet Cake recipe)

Need a minimum of one 10″ pan ( 6 x 10″ pans would make the job really easy though!)

I used 2 x 10″ pans as that is all I have.

390g butter
390g white chocolate
350ml water
195g SR flour
390g plain flour
520g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla essence

White Chocolate Mud Cake Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Grease and line bases of both cake pans with one thickness of baking paper.
  3. Combine chopped butter and water in a saucepan.
  4. Stir over low heat until butter is melted. Turn off heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
  5. Sift flours into a bowl. Add sugar, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
  6. Pour chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  7. Divide the batter equally amongst the 6 bowls.  Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl, and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake.
  8. Once cake pans have been washed, repeat the process twice more till all 6 layers have been baked.

 

Rainbow layers ready for buttercream
Rainbow layers ready for buttercream

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream

As you can see from the recipe, this cake requires a huge amount of buttercream to fill the layers and cover the outside. I would recommend that you make the buttercream in two separate batches ( 1. To fill and crumb coat. 2. To frost) because you would need a HUGE bowl to make this much buttercream at one time!

Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

To fill and crumb coat:

9 egg whites
1 ¾ cup (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (452 g) butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:

5 egg whites
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
1 tsp lemon extract

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.

If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and workable.

Filled with buttercrem
Filled with buttercrem

Assembly

Stack the layers in your preferred order and fill and frost as you would any other cake.

Once frosted, the cake can be left on the counter without any problems, but feel free to refrigerate it. Just be sure that the cake is at room temperature when serving or the frosting will be hard.

A slice of Rainbow Cake
A slice of Rainbow Cake

Lego Millennium Falcon Cake

Nothing evokes nostalgia quite like Lego and Star Wars! Embrace that feeling by following the steps in this tutorial to create a dark chocolate Lego-style Millennium Falcon!

This cake is built around an 8″ round dark chocolate mud cake but you will also need a 6″ round dark chocolate mud cake to make the Cockpit and Forward Mandibles not to mention the Concussion – Missile Tubes!!!!!! I have given instructions on how to make a 10″ round cake and this will produce enough batter to fill the 6″ and 8″ pans.

Materials

white card

Mud cake

375g unsalted butter

300g dark chocolate

1.5 tablespoon instant coffee

2 cups warm water

1.5 cup caster sugar

2.25 cups self raising flour

3/8 cup cocoa

3 eggs

1.5 teaspoon vanilla

Ganache

1200g dark chocolate

600ml pure cream

2kg grey sugar-paste

a small amount of black sugar-paste

1.  Making the set up board

Print out this picture of the Millennium Falcon onto an A4 sheet of paper so that the image fills the page and this will give you the actual size of your finished ship (i.e. 8″ diameter of the large round part of the ship) . You will need two prints as you will be cutting one of them up.

Cut out the shape of the ship in white card or add the extra bits to an 8″ round board as I have done in the picture. This set up board (as it is called) will help you to cut out your pieces of cake and also help when applying the ganache to the sides of your cake. More of that later.

2. Covering the cake board

Use the underside of a Lego base board to give you the brick impression.

Press down firmly and evenly to get the best results

Although some bits of my cake board are a little flat, the ship will cover them.

3. Making the Lego shapes

Use the plan view of the Millennium Falcon to plan and cut out the shapes that you need.

I decided on making mostly triangular shapes and as I cut each one out I placed it on top of the plan view to see how they would all fit together. Once each shape had been cut out, press the Lego board on top to make it look like Lego bricks then neaten up the edges if they have spread a little due to the pressure.

To make the satellite dish, cut out a circle of grey sugar-paste and leave it to harden on the back of a tablespoon to give it a beautiful spherical look. Attach a thick triangle of sugar-paste to its base with edible glue or egg white.

4. Bake the cake

1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pans 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 pans. Use a skewer to check that both pans have the same depth of batter. This will ensure that both cakes end up the same height.

5. Bake at 150C for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.

5.  Making the ganache

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). Click here to find out all you need to know about making and applying ganache to your cake.

6.  Putting the cake together

Use the smaller cake to cut out the cockpit and Mandibles. Lay the templates on top of the cake and cut around them with a sharp knife. Now cut all your pieces in half ready for the ganache filling.
Use a non-slip mat under your set-up board then stick your pieces to the board with some ganache.
Use ganache to stick all the pieces to each other.
Now add a nice thick layer of ganache across the top as the filling for your cake.
Place the top half of the cake on top of the ganache remembering to stick the pieces together with ganache.
Cover the top and sides of the cake with remaining ganache.

7. Icing the cake

Roll out a large oval of grey sugar-paste making sure it is large enough to cover the cake plus a few centimetres more.

 Getting the sugar-paste neatly in and around the Millennium Falcon shape is probably the most difficult part of making this cake. It might be simpler to make the cockpit and mandibles serarately and attach them to the body of the cake after you apply the sugar-paste. Anyway, it doesn’t have to be mega neat as most of the ship will be covered in Lego shapes!

8. Candles

Insert sparkles or candles at the back to resemble thrusters and your done!

More Star Wars Cake Tutorials

Click on the images below to go straight to the corresponding tutorial.

Jawa
Jawa Cake
Star Wars Death Star Cake
Death Star Cake
Star Wars r2d2 Cake
Star Wars r2d2 Cake

Wedding Cake Pops Tutorial

Bride and Groom Wedding Cake Pops

Cake pops have without a doubt become one of the most popular sweet treat trends in years.  

While cake pops are certainly a fun treat to share and eat, they can be a challenge to create. I will start this tutorial with the recipes and method I used to make these Bride and Groom Cake Pops then I will expand the tutorial with a troubleshooting section that applies to all kinds of cake pops.

Cake Pops
Makes 20 pops

What you will need:

600g dark chocolate mudcake made from scratch or 600g of mudcake made from a box cake mix

115g cream cheese

160g sifted icing sugar

40g butter

0.5 tbsp milk

620g white candy melts

350g black candy melts

Lollipop sticks ( 7″ if possible )

Matching ribbon

1.   Make the frosting by mixing together the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and milk.

2.   Crumble the cake into a large bowl or process in the food processor to fine crumbs then place in a large bowl and stir in half of the frosting. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined and thick like a truffle center. Mix in additional frosting if necessary.  You just want enough to get the crumbs to stick together when you roll them into balls.  Do not add so much that the mixture becomes soft and mushy!

3.   Roll mixture into balls weighing 30g and place on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 15 minutes then allow them to almost return to room temperature.

4.   Meanwhile melt chocolate in the microwave at 70% for 1 minute then stir well. Return to microwave for 30 seconds and stir well. If the chocolate has still not melted then repeat in 30 second bursts until fully melted and smooth ( always stir well before returning the chocolate to the microwave to avoid overheating). Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the the top of the cake ball.  Insert a little more than halfway.

5.   Place in freezer again for 15 minutes then allow them to almost return to room temperature before dipping them. Pops will crack if the temperature difference between the cake and the coating is too great. Carefully dip the cake pop into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and submerging in the chocolate till fully covered. Once covered, remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off too.

You want the chocolate to come over the platform you created when inserting the chocolate-dipped stick, but you don’t have to cover it all the way to the stick.

Tap off the excess chocolate. 

Once half the cake pops are on sticks that have been dipped in chocolate, I then put them in my freezer for 15 minutes and by the time they are ready to come out the freezer the remaining cake pops will be ready to go in. Chilling them helps set the chocolate and make the stick, chocolate and cake all come together firmly.

6.   Melt the black chocolate as before and dip half of the cake pops to make the ‘Grooms’. Dip at an angle and rotate a little to create the jacket. Fit a no. 2 tip to a piping bag and fill with a little of the black chocolate. Pipe on the bow tie and buttons. If the chocolate hardens in the bag or tip just ‘neuk’ the piping bag in the microwave at 70% for 5 – 10 seconds.

7. Fill a similar bag with a little white chocolate and pipe the ‘Brides’ as per the picture.

Troubleshooting Cake Pops

Bride and Groom Wedding Cake Pops

Cake Pops Cracking

The challenge I find with chilling the cake pops is that there seems to be a fine line as to how long to chill them – as having them too cold often results in the chocolate cracking after dipping.   I try and make sure my chocolate isn’t too hot, and that my cake pop isn’t too cold – letting it warm up a bit after taking it out of the freezer, even just a few minutes.

Another way I deal with this issue is that I do a “first dip” into chocolate. I then redip them in a second layer of chocolate, and decorate.  Kind of like a crumb coat in frosting a cake.   This sort of seals the crack into the first layer, leaving the second and outer layer looking nice and pretty, and yay – more chocolate!   This is also an option if you make your cake pop and the chocolate hardens before you get the sprinkles on it.  Just dip it again!

Here are some other sites that you can check out for more tips and advice on the chocolate on the cake pop cracking issue…

 Prevent Cracks In Cake Pop Shells from Honeycomb Events & Design

Why Do Cake Pops Crack from Beki Cook’s Cake Blog

Cake Pops, Balls & Truffles: Troubleshooting & FAQ from Veronica’s Cornucopia

Tricks Of The Trade from The Cake Pop Connection

Chocolate Coating Cracking from Chocolate Candy Mall

Cake Pops Falling Off The Stick

Dipping my cake pop sticks into the chocolate, then putting them into the cake pops and letting the chocolate set should avoid these problems.   I do have a few other things that help with this issue.

1.  Don’t make the cake pop too big. Keep cake pops on the smaller side between 27g – 32g as too much weight on that tiny stick has the potential to create problems.

2.   When dipping the cake pop into the chocolate, dip it in and get it out – don’t twirl it around. Twirling it in the chocolate increases the chances of the cake pop falling off the stick or chunks of the cake pop falling off.

3.  Never tap the stick on the side of the bowl too hard when trying to get the excess chocolate off.   Too hard of a tap and bam, cake pop in bowl. Do a very gentle tap or two on the side of my bowl, and then twirl cake pop, slowly and constantly, over the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off.

4.  Holding on to the cake pop until the chocolate is close to set.   Once the chocolate sets, usually the cake pop and stick are pretty good friends then you can confidently set it down.

Here are some other sites you can check out with information about preventing your cake pops from falling off of the sticks…

Common Cake Pop Issues & Tutorials from Miss Candiquik

Cake Pop Tutorials and Q & A from Not Rachel Ray

How To Get The Sticks To Stay In The Cake Pops from Babycakes

FAQ from My Little Cupcake

 Cake Pops Tutorial from Mandy Walls Photography

Getting the Chocolate Smooth and the Sprinkles To Stick

Keep the cake pops moving, slowly twirling the cake pop until the chocolate sets.   It’s a bit of a balancing act to find when to add the sprinkles and when to put the cake pop down.   If you put the sprinkles on too soon, they can slide off and take the chocolate with them.   Wait too long and they won’t stick.   There is definitely  a sweet spot time wise to adding the crystals, and I think a lot of it just takes some practice and patience to find what works.

Stick to lighter sprinkles, the ones that weigh the least, such as sanding sugar, sugar crystals, jimmies and the like.   The sanding sugar and sugar crystals are the easiest.

Do not submerge my cake pops in sprinkles. Hold the cake pop over a bowl, and sprinkle over it, catching the excess sprinkles.

Bride and Groom Wedding Cake Pops

Frangipani Chocolate Box Cake

This is a wonderful cake suitable for all sorts of occasions – birthdays, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, anniversary’s etc. I made this cake for the first time for my friend Lesley’s birthday and it was such a success that I have made it many times since and each time I give it a different look. This cake was for an 65th Birthday surprise. 


Below are the instructions you need to make this cake including my 10 minute video clip ‘How to make fondant  frangipanis’ using an individual frangipani petal cutter and a step by step guide to making frangipanis using a one piece rose cutter. Decide which method you prefer and have a go.


Instructions are for a 6″ dark chocolate mud cake filled with dark chocolate ganache and covered in sugar-paste


Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Mud Cake 
100g butter
 
100g dark choc
 
10g coffee
 
70ml water
 
55g SR flour
 
55g plain flour
 
20g cocoa powder
 
0.25 tsp bicarb
 
210g caster sugar
 
2 eggs
 
3 tsp oil
 
45ml buttermilk
Ganache
520g dark chocolate
 
260ml pure cream
 

Flower-paste

700 grams of rolled fondant (I used Bakels Pettinice, but any will do)
2 teaspoons of Cellogen (if you use CMC, Tylose Powder or Gum Trag then only use 1 to 1.5 teaspoons)
1/3 teaspoon raw egg white
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
 
a small amount of Crisco or shortening


Edible Glue
1 teasp Tylose Powder
 
Other
500g (17oz) pink sugar paste (rolled fondant)
 
30g (1oz) bag of chocolate buttons or Freckles
 
227g (1/2lb) box milk chocolate15cm (6″) thin card board for the lid.


Individual frangipani petal cutter or a one piece 5 petal rose cutter


Petal Dust in yellow



1. To make the Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.
  3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours (for 11’5″cake) or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky. Leave the cake in the tin until cold.
2. To make and apply the ganache click here.
Frangipani Chocolate Box Cake

3. To decorate the cake
Measure the height of the cake.Roll out 200g of the pink sugar-paste so that you can cut a strip about 46cm (18in) long and 1cm (0.5in) wider than the depth of your cake.Brush the sides of the cake with a little water.Roll the sugar-paste up like a bandage, making sure it is not too tight and then unwind it around the side of the cake.Paint a light line of water around the inside edge of the chocolate box and neatly press the chocolate buttons into the ganache. My buttons were big so I cut each one in half first.Arrange chocolates on top of the box. Stick one of the chocolates on top of the others as this will help secure the lid at an angle later on.Moisten the top and sides of your thin cake board with a little water, roll out and cover with 100g (30z) of pink sugar-paste. Trim and neaten edges.Use 200g (7oz) pink sugar-paste to cover your base cake board (moisten with a little water first), if you are using one. Cut out a long strip of sugar-paste and roll up as if a bandage and unroll to cover around the board


4. To make the Flower-paste
Flower-paste (also called modelling paste)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: Makes around 500 grams of paste
Instructions:
Use a little Crisco on your work surface and knead up your fondant so its nice and soft.
Sprinkle the Cellogen, or alternative, over the work surface and knead it into the fondant.
This flower paste is white as it is for a different cake. Sorry!
Make a well in the mix and pour in the egg white, knead until mixed through, it may feel a little sticky, add more Crisco to the surface if you need to.
Sprinkle the Cream of Tartar on the work surface and knead into the mix until all incorporated.
Wrap the paste in cling wrap tightly, a few times and place in an air tight container, leave for at least 12 hours before use.
You don’t need to refrigerate it, and it will last for months.
I cut mine up into four pieces, and generally freeze it. It defrosts with the heat of your hands in minutes.5. To make the Frangipanis

Soften the flower paste
Roll out till thin
Press down hard with your cutter
Lift up and check
Use the balling tool or something similar to push out the flower-paste shape
Stick the petals together one at a time using edible glue
Carefully paint glue along the last petal edge
Join together and make sure all the petals are evenly spaced.
Turn upside down and check that there are no gaps
Curve the petals a little
Squeeze the stem together firming everything up nicely.
Place in an egg carton overnight to harden.
6. Finishing touches
Glue the flowers around the base of the cake using edible glue.To make the glue mix the Tylose powder with approximately 4 tblsp water. Any lumps will disappear if you put the mixture in the fridge overnight.I arranged the flowers in pairs as it made a more interesting arrangement.Arrange a few of the flowers together for the top of the lid. As the flowers were hard, I pushed them into a piece of the left over flower-paste which was still soft as I had wrapped it in cling film overnight.Stick the lid to the chocolates using a blob of ganache.
 Below is a different colour combination that you might like to try.