Usually, when baking, the process takes you on a journey. Normally the path is of your own choosing, an idea is formed, ingredients are bought and culinary alchemy is created. However, occasionally the cake takes over and drags you along for the ride.
I was asked recently to make a cake for a colleagues birthday party with my sole brief being: Chocolate.
Now, my usual motto with chocolate cakes is go big or don't bother. So it had to be a triple layer.
I only had 24 hours notice to make this cake so the design had to be settled quickly. I planned to make a simple cake with lots of ganache and some arty curls to finish, but the curls wouldn't play ball so after several attempts I gave up and started throwing the chocolate shavings at the cake then proceeded to stick the remaining shards all over it and voila: the abstract look.
Sometimes you just need to go where the cake takes you.
I advise you use the best chocolate you can afford, it makes a world of difference to the final cake.
Abstract cake/Triple Chocolate Cake of Death
7 eggs (weigh in shell to find the weight for butter sugar and flour)
SR Flour - remove 50g
50g cocoa powder
300g 72% Dark Chocolate
425ml Double cream
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
100g white chocolate
100g milk chocolate
Add all ingredients to a bowl and using an electric hand whisk, whisk all ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed.
Divide the mixture equally between three 18cm lined cake tins.
Bake for about 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 160C (fan) until a skewer can be removed clean.
Leave to fully cool on a wire rack.
Heat the cream and sugar until just below boiling. Stir in the chocolate until fully incorporated.Allow to cool slightly.
Melt one of the types of chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the chocolate onto a board covered with baking paper spread out thinly and allow to set. Repeat with the other type of chocolate. Drag a sharp knife across the top of the set chocolate to get shavings. one very thin and it starts to break apart add these shards to the cake in a random fashion.
Decide on which layer is going where, try and end up with a flat surface on top, trim the cakes with a bread knife if required. Spoon a few spoonfuls of ganache over the first layer then add the middle layer and repeat the process. Add the top layer and pour ganache over it. Use a palette knife plaster the cake until the ganache reaches its setting point and begins to cling to the cake and you get a smooth covering. Attach the shavings and shards at random intervals.