Chocolate cake truffles

As you can imagine, with the amount of wedding cakes that I make, I have a lot of left overs! So I incorporate this delicious cast aside cake in sweet and pudding recipes. The off cuts from my 'chocolate framboise' cake recipe became the perfect ingredient for a box of 'Chocolate Cake Truffles'. Even after a day of baking I can't resist a nibble of these delicious bite sized morsels. I chose to add a little Grand Marnier liquer to mine, but you could choose another. Perhaps some Kahlua, Rum, or Bailey's.

Makes approx 20

Truffle recipe
5 oz chocolate cake crumb
1oz butter
1 oz cocoa
2 oz icing sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
zest of half an orange

Directions
1. Crumble the cake into a bowl to remove any lumps
2. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar
3. Melt the butter and pour over the cake crumb mix

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4. Mix lightly then add the liquor and zest of an orange and mix all together

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5. Place some greaseproof paper onto a board or tray
6. Roll into balls and place on the greaseproof paper
7. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes. If you want any truffles coated in
vermicelli, this is done before the truffles are placed in the fridge.
8. Roll the balls in a bowl full of vermicelli and then place on the
greaseproof paper with the uncoated truffles
9. When the truffles are in the fridge, melt some dark chocolate in a bowl
and mix some cocoa powder and drinking chocolate together in another bowl.
10. Remove the truffles from the fridge, dip in chocolate and then roll in
the cocoa powder.
11. You can decorate the truffles as you wish, some with vermicelli, some
with chocolate, some with chocolate and cocoa powder. I chose to then add a
little dusting of edible gold lustre to finish off the chocolates.

CHOCOLATE CAKE TRUFFLES
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Fancy a snog?

I was having lunch with my friend Jim and my husband today. It was Jim's birthday and so I gave him a box of my newly, freshly made 'Chocolate Cake Truffles', he is a chocolate lover so I new that they would go down a treat. Walking through Soho, we stumbled across this new café! A brightly lit and very colourful shop selling frozen yogurt – 'Snog' is a truly healthy treat.  They sell 3 different yoghurt flavours – plain, green tea and chocolate and best of all they contain no added refined sugar. The yogurt is sweetened with 'agave nectar' a natural plant extract with a high fructose level. Once you have decided on your flavour and your portion size you can choose toppings from the 'toppings bar' – fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and seeds or for the not so saintly – cookies, chocolate brownies and chocolate chips! After eating chocolate truffles and wedding cake off-cuts all week, a healthy sweet treat was just what I fancied, so I bought a green tea with fresh fruit. Yum.

snog

Visit their website here – http://www.ifancyasnog.com

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It's a wrap!

Last week I had the final shoot of my new book, and the day culminated with my portrait shot for the back page. 'Sweet and Simple Romantic cakes' has been a lot of hard work but I've really enjoyed it. Having already released one book I knew what to expect and I prepared myself and took a deep breath! Since the first planning meeting with my publishers where I showed them my first cake sketches, the book has evolved and the designs have changed. I like to show a variety of different techniques and styles within the book so it's helpful and resourceful to my readers, so as i was making the cakes I would often alter the designs, changing details, colours of ribbons, tier sizes and shapes, flavours etc. I've included wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes, mini cakes and cookies. My photographer, Ginette Chapman, and I would have a lot of fun over the shoot days. We get on really well and I'm very lucky to have such a talented photographer to work with. My husband would buzz around us with design ideas along with countless questions about photography and lenses! I took a lot of time choosing the right backgrounds for the all the shots, often placing the cakes with complimentary cupcakes or cookies. At the end of each day's shoot, Ginette would joyfully take home boxes of cakes and cookies, much to the delight of her waiting friends and family! I am so pleased with this book and the designs that I have chosen and I'm really looking forward to it's release at the end of the year. I'll keep you posted on the dates. x

photo-shoot

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Wedding invitations by 'Hello Lucky'

I came across this lovely stationary company while searching for my own wedding invitations. They use traditional handcrafted printing methods and their designs are really beautiful and modern (like my wedding cakes!). I particularly love their personalised stationary products. I have the 'Swiss Dot' design in my writing case. Why not get back to basics and send someone a lovely note by post!

hello-lucky-stationary

Visit their website here – http://www.hellolucky.com/

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La Maison des Roses

Yesterday, I was driving to a friends house for tea and while on the way I discovered the most wonderful shop. 'La Maison des Roses' is a florist dedicated to the rose. Of course, I couldn't help but stop. It really is the loveliest place! Roses are such beautiful flowers, there are over 100 species and they are the perfect decoration for cakes and wedding cakes. Even a simple single tiered tea time cake would benefit from a scattering of small roses or petals. I recently read that In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase Sub rosa, or “under the rose”, means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.

maison-des-roses

Visit the website here – http://www.maison-des-roses.com/

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Silk fans as wedding favours

I really love this idea. Yesterday I was having a cup of tea with a bride and we were discussing favours. She is having a summer country wedding at 'Le Manoir' and all the female guests will be receiving a silk fan. I often struggle to find lovely boutique wedding favour gifts and I'm always on the lookout for new inspiration to share with my clients. So, I thought i'd share this idea with you too…..Just a thought. By the way, take a look at my new fan styled wedding cookies.

pink_silk_hand_fans

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Creme de Framboise

Founded in 1836, the family business of Maison Briottet produces fruit crèmes, liquors, brandies and marcs de Bourgogne. Gérard Briottet, represents the fourth generation, and maintains the traditions started by his great grandfather, Edmond Briottet. This is the delicious Raspberry Liqueur that is used in my 'Chocolate Framboise' recipe.

creme-de-framboise1

Also, think I might have to give this one a go too, they say -'To drink our Rose liqueur, we recommend this recipe. Pour a small quantity of liqueur de rose into a champagne glass. Add the champagne. When serving, place a rose petal in the glass of champagne. The effect is magical! Bubbles rise to the surface, the kir becomes pale pink and once the petal has given off its sugar, it rises to the surface. The effect is guaranteed! Liqueur de rose can also be drunk as a digestif, iced in a frosted brandy glass.'

briottet-rose

Visit their website here – Cassis Briottet – www.briottet.com

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Chocolate Framboise

I was having a sneaky lunchtime drink at The Groucho Club the other day and while relaxing my mind wandered to new cake recipes. I needed to make my own raspberry compote for use as a filling in my cakes – but I wanted to add a little something extra special. “Ah ha” I thought, “obviously, a little liqueur will do the trick'. I am always on the look out for fine ingredients and I wanted to use the best raspberry liqueur available. The head barman at the Groucho is 'Jeff' and as he is a drinks expert I asked him if he could recommend something. He quickly lined up a row of shot glasses and gave me a taste test of the 3 different raspberry liqueurs that he preferred. My choice was the 'Edmond Briottet – Creme de Framboise', it was perfect! And what better to go with a fresh raspberry and creme de frambois compote than a delicious rich dark chocolate truffle cake with double cream dark chocolate ganache. So….thank you Jeff, this one's for you! x

'CHOCOLATE FRAMBOISE' (Rich chocolate truffle cake, double cream dark chocolate ganache, fresh raspberry compote with creme de frambois).

close_up

Chocolate truffle cake recipe
250g dark chocolate
250g butter
150ml water
325g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
550g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla
125ml sour cream

Fresh raspberry compote
200g fresh raspberries
1 dsp caster sugar
5 tbsp raspberry liqueur

Dark chocolate ganache
200g dark chocolate
225ml double cream

For decoration
200g fresh raspberries

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (150 for a fan oven)
2. Line the base and sides of a 9inch round cake tin (I chose a heart shape for this recipe)
3. Place the chocolate, water and butter in a large saucepan over a low heat, stirring the mixture occasionally. When the chocolate and butter have melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature
4. Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar
5. In another bowl mix the eggs, oil, vanilla and sour cream
6. Add the egg mix to the flour mix and fold together. Then add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg and flour mix. Mix until well combined
7. Pour the mixture into the cake tin
8. Bake for approx 1 hr 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin then turn out onto a metal rack
9. Whilst the cake is cooling make the jam filling and chocolate ganache
10. Place the raspberries in a pan with the sugar and 3 tablespoons of liqueur. Place on a low heat on the hob. Mix and simmer for 10 minutes. When the jam has cooled add the remaining 2 tablespoons of liqueur

shot-1

11. To make the chocolate ganache, break the chocolate into chunks and put in a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Pour over the chocolate chunks

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12.Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake

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13. When the cake is cool, cut the dome off the top and turn upside down so you have a flat surface

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14. Cut the cake in half and fill with half of your raspberry jam, sandwich the cake half's together

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15. Coat the whole cake with a very thin layer of the chocolate ganache and place in the fridge for 5 minutes. This is called the 'crumb coat' and will stop any crumbs from mixing into the final ganache covering
16. Remove the cake from the fridge and smooth over the remaining ganache

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17. Decorate the cake with fresh raspberries and serve with the remaining raspberry jam and a little creme fresh or cream if desired.

'CHOCOLATE FRAMBOISE'
final

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A 'Krispy Kreme' wedding cake…

On our wedding day both my husband and I had such a wonderful time. Both our families joined us for a lovely service at Chelsea registry office and afterwards, with a bottle of Tequila in our hands, we jumped into a waiting cab and headed straight to the 'Groucho' club in Soho. All of our closest friends joined us for a night of revelry and we partied on until the early hours. I knew that everybody was expecting a grand statement from my wedding cake, so I cheekily took the pressure off myself and let my husband decide on the design. I told him that it had to be a secret. When I arrived at the Groucho, I discovered that he had ordered 200 Krispy Kreme donuts from Selfridges. He had arranged them on a six tiered glass stand decorated with fresh roses! I was absolutely delighted….I love Krispy Kreme’s.

krispy_kreme

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Tropical fruit fancy

The summer has well and truly arrived and I think it's time to go tropical! My last few weeks have been very busy making wedding cakes and I've been making the final adjustments to my new cake book, it's looking so lovely and I'm so pleased with it! So this week I thought I'd take life a little easier and enjoy some of the summer sunshine, but as usual I couldn't keep away from the cake kitchen. These mini loaf cakes are based on a recipe that I found some years ago, I had mislaid it somewhere and so I have developed my own variation here. The recipe includes candied peel, pineapple and coconut and is perfect for a summer pic-nic.

Makes 9 mini loaves

Tropical fruit fancy recipe
100g butter
150g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g candied peel
75g glace cherries
2 passion fruits
150g drained pineapple pulp
50g desiccated coconut

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius (160 for a fan oven).
2. Line 9 mini loaf tins.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each.
5. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
6. Add the coconut and vanilla extract.
7. Chop the glace cherries into quarters.
8. Place the cherries and candied peel into a sieve and rinse with cold water. (removing the syrup coating will prevent the fruit from sinking).
9. Remove the pulp from the passion fruits and strain the pineapple.

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10. Add the candied fruit, pineapple and passion fruit pulp. Mix thoroughly.

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11. Spoon the mixture into the mini loaf tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.

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12. Remove from the oven, turn each cake onto a cooling rack and remove the greaseproof paper.

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13. When the mini loaves are cool, dust with icing sugar.

'TROPICAL FRUIT FANCY'

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