TARDIS Cake, and Construction Photos

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

I made one of these a while ago but it was good to revisit and update a cake theme I 

have made before and to be able to bring a few more skills and get the dimensions right.
The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy.

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. I adore doing geek culture cakes because scale drawings of the main characters are really easy to find. I print or trace the source material to the size I am going to make the cake or figure so I can use it to check to make sure the proportions are correct as I’,m making the cake. Detailed photos of the construction of the cake below 🙂 It’s rougher than it should be, but I’m really happy with the overall proportions and given the small amount of time I left myself to bake and decorate this cake it came together well. 

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/ Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/Dalek being sculpted from homemade modelling chocolate. The “arms” are made of pasta so it is 100% edible. The image I used to get the proportions correct is in the background. I painted the Dalek with edible shimmer petal dusts and alcohol and set colours with steam, allowed the model to dry then sprayed it with confectioner’s glaze.

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

 

 

I airbrushed a galaxy onto a fondant covered board. It was super fun playing with all the different colours and metallics mixed with decorator’s alcohol to see what I could get through the airbrush.

 

 

 

6 inch square orange velvet cakes. There is a 5inch Board on top of the 4th layer supported by three dowels. I used a printed scaled up diagram to keep me on track for the dimensions and proportions, and referred back to it regularly. It really helped.

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

Covered with orange chocolate ganache, there was a lot of micro-zested orange zest added to the ganache to give it a bright fresh orange flavour. The ganached cake was just under 13 inches tall. It was taller than my ganache scraper, I managed to get it pretty sharp mostly freehanding it.

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

Reconfirming the ganached cake is still on track.

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

 

Paneling with homemade fondant. Very happy with how straight the sides are. Although, the corners get covered anyway… It’s always nice when things line up perfectly.

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

Cutting out the door paneling detail. Started running out of time at this point, so they ended up rougher than I would have liked. The process I used worked well. These sections overlay the side panels to create the window detail. 

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

Applied the cutout panel. Just need to steam it a little more and add more details. 

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/

 

Dr Who Tardis Cake | The TARDIS is Homemade fondant on an “orange velvet” cake filled and covered in dark chocolate orange ganache. The board is covered in white fondant then baked for 10 minutes at 80C to set it hard before it was airbrushed with food colour to look like a galaxy. The signage is icing sheets printed with edible ink. I made the Dalek from homemade modelling chocolate. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/tardis-cake-and-construction-photos/And the shakiest video ever taken of a cake… this was the result of doing almost all the decorating including making and applying the fondant in under 4 hours…. after almost no sleep…. the ganache was made, the cake was cooked and the Dalek made on Friday night after work. On Saturday morning I had a Cake decorator’s club meeting I couldn’t miss. I got home at 2pm, made the fondant, applied the ganache, fondant and finished the decorating in 4 hours flat got in the car and delivered the cake to my friend’s place and enjoyed an incredible Dr Who themed 31st birthday party. It was a costume party complete with a Dr Who pub quiz style quiz for the guests. It was a blast!

 

 

Ghostbusters cake 

Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/

This is a Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate’s birthday.
Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. The cake is layered dense vanilla cake,  filled with Italian meringue buttercream, sour cream white chocolate ganache, and morello cherries. The outside is decorated in basic crusting buttercream then frozen 5 minutes and stenciled with a darker buttercream. The drip is green coloured white chocolate ganache – 3:1 white choc and cream with gel colour, warmed until it flows in the microwave and dripped around the edge with a teaspoon before flooding in the top.

 

Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/
I’ve included some photos below of the process of building the Marshmallow Man from a quick sketch to the finished product. The best thing about geek culture cakes is that there is usually a lot of fan art and you can easily find scale drawings of iconic characters like Slimer with a top side and back view to make sculpting easier. This was a surprisingly fast cake to make, working in modelling chocolate means there’s no drying time and stenciling a textured pattern on a cake covered in basic buttercream is a lot faster, and cheaper than ganaching and covering a cake with fondant.  Working with life-size drawings as a reference makes it much easier to get the proportions correct. 

 

 

Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/

Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/

 

Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/ Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/ Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/ Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/ Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/

Ghostbusters cake | Ghostbusters cake I made for my best mate's birthday. Slimer and the Staypuft marshmallow man were made with homemade modelling chocolate and Rice Krispy treats, Kellogs LCMs. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/ghostbusters-cake/

Red velvet cake with sour cream white chocolate ganache recipe.

Red velvet, sourcream white chocolate ganacheRed velvet cake with sour cream white chocolate ganache recipe. This is the recipe for my favourite cake flavour combination. It’s one of the cheaper cakes to make, the cake and filling combo is incredibly delicious and the ganache and cake recipes are versatile recipes I use in a lot of different combinations. It’s a little browner than most red velvet recipes but I’m happy with this trade-off in favour of a better flavour. The sour cream white chocolate ganache surprisingly less sweet than regular white chocolate ganache and slightly cheesecake-like in flavour, which means it can be used under fondant without the cake being too sweet.  The recipe makes two 8 inch round cakes. This recipe rises a lot, and it rises fast. The benefit of such a fast rise is that it has a much lighter texture, the downside is that the top of the cake will be very domed. Just chill the cake and level them off with a bread knife or a cake leveler. This has become one of my go-to cakes for novelty and carved cakes, because it carves beautifully when it’s cold, but is still a moist delicious cake to eat. It’s a grown-up flavour combination that kids love too. 

Red Velvet cake

500g plain flour – Cake flour (Use Soft, low protein cake flour, regular flour will be rubbery)
4  heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
3  flat teaspoons of baking powder
1  teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
200g room temperature soft unsalted butter
400g caster sugar
30ml of Queen Pillarbox red liquid food colouring
4  teaspoons of concentrated pure vanilla extract
350ml of full cream milk
2  teaspoons of cider vinegar
4  eggs
1  teaspoon of fine table salt  

Sour cherry syrup

Liquid from a 500g or 600g jar or Morello Cherries.
80grams caster sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice.  

Sour cream white chocolate ganache

1.25kg Cadbury melts white chocolate or Cadbury dream block white chocolate, or Callebaut white chocolate. Nestle white melts will work.
400ml Sour cream full fat (at least 30%)
¼ tsp Fine table salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar  

 

Method

Red Velvet with Sour Cream White Chocolate Ganache covered in and stencilled with black basic buttercream. This height was achieved with 1 and a half x the recipe for this cake mix (750g flour etc).

 

Red velvet cake
Line the bottom and sides of the cake tins with baking paper the baking paper should be a little higher than the edges of the tins to prevent overflow spray with canola cooking oil spray. Drop in a tablespoon of cornflour and tap and rotate the tin to ensure an even coating, tap out the excess.
Dry Mix: Add plain flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine.
Chop butter into cubes, add to dry mix. Mix the butter through on medium speed until the flour has a crumbly consistency and looks like rough breadcrumbs.
Wet Mix: In another bowl or jug add milk, vinegar, vanilla and microwave for 30-40 seconds to take the chill off. Whisk in eggs. Pour two-thirds of the now slightly curdled looking wet mixture into the dry butter-flour mix.
Mix slowly for a few seconds to combine then mix on medium high for at least 1 minute. Add remaining wet mixture and mix until fully combined. In total the mix should get roughly two minutes of mixing in order to develop the structure of the cake, skipping this step will create a less even texture.
Coating the flour in butter first and using cake four means the batter can take a lot more mixing than a regular cake batter would before it becomes tough, but try to keep it to about 2 minutes in total for best results.
Pour the mixture into prepared cake pans.
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for roughly 30 minutes before checking to see if the cakes are cooked. Test with a skewer or a cake tester in the centre of the cake, ensuring the skewer touches to bottom of the tin. The cake is cooked when the skewer comes out clean and the edges are just starting to shrink back from the edge of the tin. Do not open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking or the sudden drop in temperature can cause the cake to deflate.
I get an early indication by gently bumping the oven if the middle of the cake still wobbles it is too early to open the oven to test the cake. Never rely on a solely on a timer, as the cake will cook faster or slower depending on several factors. In addition to the obvious factor – oven temperature, the temperature of the batter before the cake goes in, the type of cake tins and how your oven cooks will all change the cooking time.
Sense of smell, sight, touch and using a skewer are more reliable than a timer for general cake baking. It sounds mental but listening to the bakes works for lighter cakes like this one. If the surface of the cake is still making a crackling noise that can be heard clearly when you put your face near the cake it is not yet cooked. Pop it back in the oven for another five minutes.

Red Velvet with Sour Cream White Chocolate Ganache covered in and stenciled with black basic buttercream.

Cool in the tins for 3-5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Once they stop steaming, cover loosely in clingfilm and place in a freezer to chill quickly, the sudden cold helps lock in the moisture and speeds everything up.
Once cold, but not frozen, cut the tops off to level them. I like more layers so I usually will cut each layer in half so there are 4 layers. Liberally brush the cakes all over with sour cherry syrup, leave for a few minutes for the syrup to soak in before stacking with a thin layer of ganache between cakes. Ganache and ice the stacked cakes to suit your chosen design.   

Sour cherry syrup
Pour juice from the cherries into a small saucepan. Add sugar and lemon. Cook on high until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup comes to a gentle simmer, simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat to cool. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use. Sprinkle liberally over cakes with a pastry brush, this stops the cake from drying out and adds some sourness and richness to the overall flavour. Use the leftover fruit for other projects, or use it to make jam for other cake fillings.

Sour Cream White Chocolate Ganache

Place all ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl.
Heat in microwave for 1 minute, then in half-minute bursts, stirring between bursts until combined. (Should take roughly 2 and a half minutes in total).

Do not overheat, instead stir and use the residual heat to continue melting the chocolate instead risking overheating.

Once fully combined pour into large sheet pan and place in fridge or freezer and cool until the correct consistency is reached or the mix sets completely.
Scrape back into a bowl and heat in the microwave in 5-second bursts and stir until it has the consistency of peanut butter.

Do not mix the ganache while it is setting up after it is first made or it will split.

After it has set up for the first time it will be more stable and it can be rewarmed, mixed or even whipped to get the right texture. 

Harry Potter cake.

Made with this recipe in sheet pans, layered and carved, covered in sour cream white chocolate ganache and homemade fondant. 

Carved red velvet cake ganached and fondant base for page corners applied

Layered and Carved Red Velvet cake with Sour cream White chocolate Ganache and homemade fondant.

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle cake.

 Made with this recipe covered in white sour cream chocolate ganache and homemade fondant/modelling chocolate mixture.

                                       

 

           

Review of Ready Made Fondants and Modelling Pastes I Tried Recently

I’m generally not a fan of shop bought ready-to-roll fondant and modelling paste. They usually taste unpleasant or behave in unpredictable ways or take too long to get used to using. I almost always make my own fondant because, for me, there is nothing more important than flavour. This habit has been handy as being familiar with making fondant makes it easier to adjust shop bought ready to roll fondant to better suit a project. I have the luxury of time, I only make a couple of cakes each month. Even though my fondant recipe is very easy and fast to make, if I was making 5 cakes a week I would not have the time or energy to make my own fondant as well. Similarly, if I get caught short for time, or I’m just not feeling great I will occasionally turn to bought fondant. So it’s important to still be familiar with what’s available.

The Australian market for fondant was for many years dominated by Bakels and Satin Ice, and these were the only options I could purchase with any ease. Bakels is fine to cover cakes with and easy to work with. Satin Ice is great for fine or small modelling work as it takes a little longer to set, but I found it quite soft and elastic so it takes a little getting used to when covering cakes and it tore too easily when covering cakes. I would use these brands only when I needed a clean finish on a cake, but they both have an unpleasant smell, even after they dry, and they don’t taste great. Whenever I used these fondants on cakes, the cake would look great but, people would peel them off and discard them. So I went back and refined my own fondant recipe and stopped using bought fondant for the better part of 8 years. They’re solid performing fondants and are the preference of several professionals and I’ve seen professionals do truly amazing things with Satin Ice and Bakels. I don’t use either them because I am repulsed by their taste and smell and I can’t get used to their stretchiness.

In the last 5 to 10 years more brands have entered the Australian market and the quality and variety of products around have improved. Now there are so many other options available. Two of the relative newcomers are Fondtastic and more recently Renshaw. I tried both – here are my thoughts.

Fondtastic:
I love the way Fondtastic covers cakes. It’s very smooth and very soft making it really easy to hide seems and get a smooth finish.

The downside is that it tastes and smells awful, really awful. I would not willingly eat it on its own. It’s very greasy and doesn’t ever really dry out hard. This is part of what makes it great for achieving a smooth finish on a covered cake, but I found it a major nuisance as it will mark easily if I bump it lightly while I’m decorating. It’s not great for sculpting with straight from the pack as it’s way too soft and takes weeks to set, however, with a LOT of CMC or tylose powder it will form a paste that is very nice to sculpt with. When I tested it, after adding enough CMC to make it stiff enough to sculpt, this fondant took more than a week for small pieces and small sculpts to dry. I would not use it to make plaques or more structural pieces,  Bakels and Satin Ice still manage to taste slightly better than Fondtastic and my own homemade fondant is much better for most projects, so I have not felt any need to purchase it ever again.

Renshaw
This is one of the newest to our market and the last bought fondant I tried.
I was dubious at first about using Renshaw, it’s got a good name overseas but I figured like a lot of products that do well elsewhere it might not work with our climate. I discovered in several cake forums that Renshaw Australia worked really hard on the formulation and asked for feedback from Aussie decorators to make sure Renshaw Extra fondant is balanced for our climate and heat. I was still a little dubious, that was until I tried it… The first impression I had on opening the pack, was that the smell, although better than other brands,  was not especially great, but it dissipated really quickly leaving a faint, pleasant sugary smelling, near odourless icing. This is a major point in their favour as the smell of most ready to roll fondant makes me feel ill even after it dries. Most importantly Renshaw also tastes really good, almost identical to my basic homemade fondant recipe. I have no hesitation about using it on anything because I know it will not affect the flavour of my cakes or biscuits, and I’m even quite happy to munch on it on its own. This is the only non-chocolate containing  RTR product I would ever willingly eat on its own… That’s a massive achievement for a ready-made fondant!

The texture is quite firm. It’s very firm right out of the pack, but it’s quite elastic when it’s warmed up from kneading, but it’s firmness means it’s not prone to tearing when covering a cake. It’s not as soft as Fondtastic or Satin Ice and has a better overall structure that’s easier to work with. It’s got a generous drying time. The magic of this fondant is that although it takes a couple of days to dry hard, the surface firms up quickly enough that the cake can be handled fairly easily without damaging it or leaving marks. Hitting it with steam will finish it off nicely, the heat also helps set the surface so it will dry a little firmer and shinier. It’s very easy to cover cakes with and isn’t prone to stickiness, a light dusting of icing sugar was all it took to prevent it from sticking when rolling it out.
It is also a dream to sculpt with and a little CMC or Tylose will give it enough stiffness for structural elements and more structured modelling and sculpting.  I have used it to decorate sugar cookies for a tutorial I made and to cover cake boards with good results. Once covered, placing the cake board or sugar cookies in an oven at 80 degrees Celsius for ten minutes will set the fondant hard so it can’t be dented and provides a solid surface to decorate. It comes out of the oven very soft and firms up like dry, like hard-set royal icing once it’s cool.

I used my test batch of Renshaw on a wedding cake. I badly bumped the top tier when I was loading it in the car for delivery and left a massive dent in the top. I thought this was a disaster, but when I got to the venue I was able to use my fondant smoothers to get the tier back into shape with no issues. The fondant was set  firm enough for me to lift the cake tiers from the sides without leaving fingerprints, but I was still able to fix and buff out a major dent in the fondant – after it had been drying for 24 hours on the cake. Any other fondant I have access to would have cracked or been so soft the bump would have broken through to the cake. This resilience in addition to the flavour is why it’s now my favourite bought fondant.

I also tried a sample size of Renshaw flower and modelling paste, I like it but haven’t used it on a cake yet. My cake decorator friends love using it and like how it performs for them, which is very promising.

I’m really thrilled with the Renshaw products I have encountered so far. Renshaw is easily my favourite of the ready to roll brands I’ve tried – for taste, function and as an added bonus, customer interaction. They are reasonably priced and definitely worth trying. I look forward to experimenting with their other products.

Other exciting Modelling Pastes:
Two other pastes that are relatively new to the market are Daisy paste by Laped, and Cake Duchess Modelling Paste. Laped Daisy Paste and Laped Modelling paste are wonderful for making flowers and figurines. Daisy paste is quite firm, and allows for fairly fine flowers and sculpting and it stays flexible for quite a few days. The flexibility, even after several days, is great because it makes the flowers bump proof,  less likely to break, and allows petals to be arranged to fill gaps to make a arrangements look fuller with a minimum of fuss. A small lump of Daisy paste can be heated in a microwave and forced into a lace mat with a bench scraper to create the fastest edible lace possible.
So what are the downsides of this near miracle of sugary wonder? Well, it tastes like chemicals and sadness… It is “edible”, but no one would willingly eat it – ever. It’s also pretty expensive in Australia.
It is great to work with and can speed up modelling or flower making, but it tastes so aggressively awful I consider it inedible, I wouldn’t personally classify it as a food product. The other downside is that fine flowers can droop in heat and humidity, this happens with a lot of flower pastes, but it means I’d never use it for competition work. I wouldn’t use it for anything I wanted people to eat either…. which defeats the purpose of edible lace and edible sculpted decoration. I wouldn’t use it… I have had a block of it in my cupboard for a year and used it only once when I was experimenting with it and have not felt the need to use it again.

My other notable paste is Cake Duchess modelling paste.  This is a specific purpose paste, It’s designed for modelling figurines. It ticks a lot of boxes for me, it smells and tastes amazing, there is nothing on the market as easy to use for sculpting. It takes colour really easily and it is just a dream to work with. It contains a lot of cocoa butter but still behaves like fondant. It exhibits the very best features of both fondant and modelling chocolate. The paste is firm enough that it is self supporting and won’t easily flop or lose shape on its own. It firms up and is quite solid at room temperature, making freshly made figurines very sturdy and stable and massively speeds up the sculpting process. It takes a long time to dry out completely, making it possible to make adjustments to completed figures without cracking them.  If you don’t make your own modelling chocolate, or your own modelling paste etc (and even if you do) there is nothing better on the market to work with for sculpting figurines quickly with a minimum of fuss. The only negative with this paste is that it’s designed specifically to be a modelling paste, although it’s priced competitively with other modelling pastes, it is too expensive to use for very large amounts of decorations and it would be massively wasteful to use it to cover a cake,it is a fairly “short” dough it is not designed to be stretchy it’s designed to model with. I love this product, but I make my own modelling chocolate in huge quantities. I’m not likely to buy it on a regular basis, but I will probably grab a  tub of white to keep on on hand to use, mix, and match with my modelling chocolate for figurines because it is more heat resistant and can be handled for longer without melting than modelling chocolate.

Choc-it Modelling chocolate
This is the best modelling chocolate on the market in Australia. It is very firm and easy to work with and takes regular gel paste colours well. 
I make my own modelling chocolate in 5 kg batches, so I have rarely bought it, but I use it in cake workshops and demos and I am super impressed with it.
If you struggle making modelling chocolate, or can’t be bothered/have no time, this is the product to buy. DIY is great, but time is money, and this is a perfect ready made modelling chocolate.
Grab a small pack to practice with, it goes further than you’d expect and it’s great for fine modelling, fast flowers, banners and is surprisingly good to use with Clickstix or Tappits and best of all it doesn’t dry out easily so off cuts can be reused, and finished practice sculpts can be squashed down and re-kneaded and the modelling chocolate can be used again for a different practice piece.
Also, it’s chocolate based so it goes without saying that it tastes and smells better than any fondant or sugar paste ever could.

Final thoughts

This is just my opinion of the few products I have tried fairly recently. There is now more choice and lots more new and exciting products available to Australians than there has ever been previously. Products and product recipes get updated more frequently than you’d expect, so it is worth revisiting certain brands every few years. Also what a particular decorator is used to using and their preferred method of working makes a massive difference to how they will perceive the performance of a fondant.

Ultimately it’s important to use what you are most comfortable with and use products that fit the project. Realistically most clients won’t ever eat icing flowers, and the ease of application of one fondant might be worth the flavour trade-off.
I’m very particular about flavours and smells and I’m a bit old-fashioned in my preference for having only edible decorations I could and would actually eat on my cakes. There are always some exceptions of course, for example it’s not possible to create certain flowers or structures without wires or supports. Also, while it is nice to be able to make everything from scratch, it does take a lot of extra time and the benefits may not be worth the time it take to make a product when you can just buy it.

The types of fondant available are so much more varied and of a better quality than they ever used to be. Get familiar with a few different products that will be readily available to you and use the product or a combination of products and home made products that are most appropriate to achieve a good looking finish in the most delicious, time-effective, cost-effective way possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment and don’t stick to just one brand or type of paste or product. They all have something unique to offer, weigh the pros and cons and find what works for you.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe

How to make perfect modelling chocolate, and how to work with it.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

I am in awe of the smooth detailed work done by cake artists like Liz Marek. I noticed a lot of my favourite cake artists were using modelling chocolate instead of fondant, or they were using modelling pastes that have cocoa butter, giving the paste the properties of fondant and modelling chocolate; pastes like Cake Duchess, Daisy Paste or Saracino.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/I was attracted to working with modelling chocolate because it doesn’t dry out and it sets very solid at room temperature allowing sculps to be built quickly. Best of all, edges blend perfectly so there are no seams and details can be remodelled and reworked, built up or shaved down repeatedly until they are perfect.

I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day.

Video below showing the whole process in real time from start to usable product in 20 minutes. It’s a fairly rough video but it covers everything.

Ingredients:

The recipe I use is a simple ratio of 4.5:1 by weight of white compound chocolate to light corn syrup. This makes a very firm, all-purpose modelling chocolate. I’ve found it’s easier not to use expensive couverture chocolate, a good white compound chocolate works best for texture and still tastes pretty good.
If the piece is designed for eating I have used Cadbury chocolate, but using regular eating white chocolate will make the mixture grainy and a lot harder to work with.
Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

I’ve found that in general corn syrup produces smoother, stretchier sugar products than glucose. Fondant I make with corn syrup is stretchier and smoother than fondant made with glucose, which is “shorter” and more brittle. I found it was similar for modelling chocolate when I was developing this recipe. Karo corn syrup was the best, but it’s super expensive, it’s $17 for 473ml at my local cake supplies shops.
I experimented to find an alternative when a friend suggested Korean corn syrup. You can find Korean corn syrup at most local Asian grocers for a lot less, and nearly every Korean grocer will have it. I buy 5 litres for $15 and every brand I have tried has performed better than glucose, been a cheaper than glucose and performs as well as the more expensive Karo Corn syrup.

Bulk compound white chocolate is the best way to lower the cost. You can get 15kg of Callebaut white compound chocolate for $130 ($90 on special) at most baking shops and likely cheaper again elsewhere. This makes a firm, easy to work with modelling chocolate that tastes really as good, easily as good as cadbury and it’s much easier to mix and work with. Mixing at a ratio of 4.5:1 means you can potentially make 18Kg of modelling chocolate for around $105. Other bulk white chocolate brands can be bought for $79 for 15kg – dropping the cost further.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Gru-Zinkerbell cake. Modelling chocolate and sugar lace

Method:
Weigh the white compound chocolate out in grams. Divide the weight by 4.5 and weigh out that amount of corn syrup.

If you have 600 grams of white compound chocolate you will need to weigh out 133 grams of corn syrup.

Or an easier ratio: 450g white chocolate to 100g of corn syrup.

Weigh the chocolate and break it up into a clean, dry microwave proof bowl.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Microwave in bursts of no more than 30 seconds stirring in between blasts. The time in the microwave will need to be reduced if you are working with smaller portions. I usually work in batches of 600 grams or more, so can put the chocolate in for longer stretches. 600 grams usually only takes a total of 2 minutes.

Do not overheat the chocolate. Ideally, use the residual heat from each interval in the microwave to melt the chocolate by stirring it.  A plastic bowl can help to prevent “hot spots” that sometimes happen from a glass bowl getting too hot, but I like to use the residual heat from a glass bowl to finish melting the chocolate and have it in the microwave for less time.

Ensure the chocolate is completely melted and all the lumps are gone. Do not try to rush the melting.
Allow the chocolate time to cool down slightly, it should be approximately body temperature or slightly cooler before combining.

 

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

100% edible flowers. Firm modelling chocolate with a rice krispie centre

In a smaller bowl weigh out the correct amount of syrup for the amount of chocolate you’re using. If using glucose, warm the syrup in the microwave for a few seconds, do not overheat it and never boil. Glucose needs to be just slightly warm to the touch, but not hot. Corn syrup is already liquid at room temperature so it doesn’t need to be warmed. Scrape the syrup into the melted chocolate and gently, but thoroughly fold through using a spatula. Scrape the chocolate off the sides and bottom folding through carefully until there are no large streaks of unmelted chocolate left. Ensure nearly all the chocolate has been mixed through, it is crucial at this stage not to over stir. The chocolate will begin to seize up very quickly. It only takes a few strokes through the chocolate and in just a few turns the mixture will lose its shine start to look rough and slightly crumbly. The aim is to make the chocolate seize up evenly. Do not stir any further, or the fat will separate, it’s better to stop stirring earlier and work the lumps out later than risk separating the oils from the chocolate. Transfer the mixture to a large ziplock bag or two and press flat to fill the bag.
If the mixture starts to look greasy or the oils begin to separate then stop immediately and transfer the mixture to a large ziplock bag and press flat.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Other recipes suggest the chocolate should now be wrapped and put aside to cool and set overnight, but I rarely have the time, and in my usually hot kitchen it would take days to set… So I speed up the process – interestingly, my impatience and need to speed up the process resulted in a better product.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/I usually make and use a large quantity of modelling chocolate on the same day. The only way to do this is by using a freezer. Once mixed I spread the mixture into a thin sheet inside a very large zip lock bag (or a couple of them) and lay the slabs of chocolate in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until most of the mix is firm and leathery. Once the chocolate has fully set it will be very firm and a little crumbly. Knead small pieces of it until you have a smooth plasticine like mixture. If the chocolate is too firm to knead, pop it in the microwave for 3 or 5 seconds to soften it up slightly. If the mixture has a few small lumps you can work them smooth by pinching them flat with your thumb against the work surface, melting them a little with the heat from your hands and working through the modelling chocolate. If there are a lot of lumps, pop the whole mix in the microwave and heat gently for a few seconds at a time until the mixture is soft, knead it just enough to mix the now slightly melted lumps through and again set the chocolate aside in a zip lock bag to set up before using it.

Occasionally I have had to repeat this process a couple of times to remove lumps or because I have overheated/overworked the chocolate with my hands at the initial kneading stage and made the oils start to separate, but the freezer fixes everything.
Using a combination of the microwave and freezer I can get excellent modelling chocolate made in well under half an hour while I’m doing other things and have is coloured and ready to use right away.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Wafer-thin micro modelling chocolate flowers

NB: When you are making the modelling chocolate, if the oils start to come out of the mixture, you have likely overheated the syrup or the chocolate or over-stirred the mixture or kneaded it too much while it’s warm. When you see oil come out of the mixture, stop immediately, transfer it to a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer and repeat the setting and kneading process until the mixture is smooth, or if you’re working on a piece and it starts to get oily stop and let it cool down, or pop it in a fridge for a few seconds before continuing.

Some recipes recommend squeezing the oils out of the chocolate and soaking them up with a paper towel – Do not do this! The cocoa fats/vegetable oils are what makes modelling chocolate so amazing to work with, if you remove it you have not made modelling chocolate, you’ve made sugar paste. It will not smooth and blend as well as real modelling chocolate.
The main and most important two things to remember when making or working with modelling chocolate are to never overheat and never overwork the mixture when it’s warm. Additionally, use tools instead of hands where possible and on extremely hot days have a shelf in the freezer set aside so you can pop the piece/pieces you are working on in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up before you continue to work on it. Be careful not to leave the piece in the fridge/freezer to get too cold as you’re working or it might start to sweat and will become sticky. If too much water gets incorporated/absorbed it won’t set as well.

Colouring Modelling chocolate:

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Modelling chocolate takes regular liquid gel paste colours extremely well. I get more vibrant and dark colours in modelling chocolate than I ever have with fondant.

A few drops of gel paste colour will work through easily and give a very vibrant result. However, for very dark colours like bright reds or black it can help to mix in a bit of fondant, it’s not at all neccessary, it just allows the chocolate to take a lot more colour without getting too soggy. Firm modelling chocolate will take a huge amount of colour without any issues and doesn’t need the added fondant.
For bright white modelling chocolate add a few drops of Americolor white, some food grade titanium dioxide colouring powder or just use a lighter coloured compound chocolate. For race-car red or jet-black knead in about 1.5 tsp of gel colour to 150g of white modelling chocolate then set it aside in a cool place or the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up again before kneading to use. The colour darkens up further after a few minutes resting.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Peony made from firm modelling chocolate with a rice krispy core. 100% edible and delicious!

Counterintuitive texture fix:

I noticed my dark red and black modelling chocolate had a better texture and were easier to work with than the uncoloured mix. That’s when I realised I could use a tiny amount of water to correct the texture. I occasionally make white modelling chocolate with “real”/eating chocolate, made with cocoa butter instead of vegetable fat. This usually results in a dryer, brittle,  rough-textured paste. A couple of drops of water kneaded in smooths the mix out and makes it easier to work with. This is particularly useful with dark chocolate and occasionally even some brands of white compound chocolate benefit from a drop of water. Just a few drops of water will smooth the mix and make it less crumbly. Do not add the water until the mixture is made, and be very sparing with the amount of water added, you can always add more, but can’t remove it. To correct the texture of 250 grams of brittle modelling chocolate dip a fingertip in water, then knead it through. set aside to firm up and test for texture, repeat if needed.
Some brands of chocolate are terrible for making modelling chocolate with, especially regulare eating chocolate. If the mix is too crumbly, a tiny amount of fondant will act as an emulsifier and smooth out the mix.

Hot hands/hot climate:

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

If you have extremely hot hands and want a more stable mixture that needs to stay flexible for longer, add a little fondant to the mixture, just keep the ratio to, or below 5:1 modelling chocolate to fondant. Modelling chocolate mixed with fondant in a ratio of roughly 5 parts chocolate to 1 part fondant has some interesting and handy properties. It can be smoothed and joined seamlessly by applying gentle heat or with little water, it’s also easier to paint with liquid colours or lustre dust/alcohol paint than straight modelling chocolate and it is more heat resistant when you are modelling pieces with your hands. In extreme humidity, modelling chocolate can sweat and get sticky,  dust your hands and the chocolate with cornflour to stop it sticking while working with it.

 

Ratios to use for different kinds of modelling chocolate.

I prefer a very firm setting modelling chocolate, often stabilised with a little fondant because I have super hot hands, and I live in Perth, WA, where the weather is insanely hot nine months of the year and it’s still hot inside for the other three months because everyone else in the house actually feels the “cold” and insists on heating the house… I don’t want my figures to droop in the heat or melt too quickly while I am trying to shape them, so I make a slightly firmer mix than most European recipes would recommend.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

For firm white modelling chocolate, the ratio should be between 4.5 and 5 parts white chocolate to 1 part corn syrup.

Medium setting white modelling chocolate: 3.5-4 parts white chocolate to 1 part corn syrup.

Soft white modelling chocolate: 2.5-3 parts white chocolate to 1 part corn syrup.

Firmer modelling chocolate is more structural, I prefer using a 4.5:1 ratio as it provides the structural integrity I like and is still just soft enough to be able to add detail to and smooth the surface. I use it to make ultra detailed thin petals for flowers and sculptures, I use it for nearly everything.

I would only ever make soft modelling chocolate if it is going to be used to very thinly cover another surface or to cover a firmer part of a figure, the softer chocolate is easier to smooth, and easily takes a lot of detail but it is not useful for structural parts or pieces. Soft to medium setting modelling chocolate is nice to cover cakes with instead of fondant.

Medium firmness modelling chocolate is nice for ultra detailed non-structural pieces.

Ratios for dark modelling chocolate:

I use Cadbury Old Gold dark chocolate (40% Cocoa product) or Callebaut Dark Chocolate Callets for best taste and smoothness. They’re both really nice to work with and both taste great.

Firm: 3-3.5 parts Dark chocolate to 1 part corn syrup
Medium: 2.5-3 parts Dark chocolate to 1 part corn syrup
Soft: 2 parts Dark chocolate to 1 part corn syrup

I tend to use firm dark modelling chocolate for most things.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Tips for working with Modelling Chocolate:

The key rule is to not work on warm modelling chocolate. Once it’s warm stop moving/sculpting it, leave it alone or the oil will squeeze out. Chill or leave to rest for a while if the surface becomes greasy or oily while working to stop too much fat from escaping. A pasta roller can be used to help roll out thin sheets of chocolate and is used by some people to mix and further knead their chocolate without adding extra heat from their hands. I don’t use a pasta roller because I can’t be bothered setting it up and a small nylon rolling pin works just fine.

Modelling chocolate can be rolled very thinly, to the point the chocolate is fabric-like and nearly transparent. Dust the surface and the rolling pin generously with cornflour to stop it sticking.I use thin modelling chocolate for super detailed flowers and for clothing figurines.  Super thin sheets of modelling chocolate are perfect for making letters with Clickstix and Tappits, dust the chocolate and the cutters with cornflour and they’ll pop out easily. If they start to stick then place them in the fridge to set and they will release from the moulds more easily, but I don’t need to do this if I avoid handling the paste as much as possible and use a lot of cornflour. The writing on the banner on the Tigger cake to the right is made with Windsor Clickstix.
Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

The BernzOmatic Premium Flexible Lighter is the ultimate chocolate tool. $8.99 from any Bunnings Hardware store!

Use a gas gun or barbecue lighter with a focused flame to gently warm the surface the letters will be fixed to, or gently warm the backs of the letters. They will then stick firmly to fondant, chocolate or modelling chocolate. You can get a focussed flame (windproof) gas lighter from a hardware store, they work like a mini crème brûlée torch, but they’re a lot more accurate and gentle for detailed chocolate work, and they’re cheaper. Use the tip of a scalpel or a scribe tool to lift and move the letters around so they don’t melt from your hands and stretch out of shape. The letters can also be fixed to fondant or chocolate with a tiny amount of water, royal icing, or piping gel. Pass the torch over the surface of the letters a couple of times to make them go shiny, the cornflour will be absorbed leaving no white marks and the letters will round off slightly.

Surfaces can be shaved down, built up and smoothed with your hands or very basic tools, once the surface is near smooth it can be further smoothed further with a little water and pressure or by applying heat with your hands or by passing a mini blowtorch over the surface a few times quickly, then using hands or tools to finish smoothing. Once the surface is very smooth, passing a torch over a few more times will bring fat to the surface and start to crystallise the sugar in the chocolate forming a tough shiny shell. This makes for an attractive finish but will make the surface prone to cracking if it is remoulded.

Impression mats and moulds work well with modelling chocolate, and most are a lot faster and easier to use with modelling chocolate than with fondant. Dust the mould with cornflour, press the chocolate in with a palette knife, smooth off the excess with the knife then peel/pop the piece out. Freeze more complex or detailed work for a few minutes to make removing the mould easier.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Dragon is firm modelling chocolate on armature wire. Modelling paste banner and homemade fondant on main cake

Modelling paste

Mix a small amount of firm modelling chocolate into fondant to create a modelling paste with similar properties to Saracino, Cake Duchess or Laped Daisy modelling paste. Weigh out ready to roll fondant then knead in roughly between one fifth and one quarter the fondant’s weight in modelling chocolate. It will depend on the fondant used, as to how much chocolate is needed. Do not add any additional tylose or the mix will become very rubbery and unusable.
I don’t use modelling paste very often as I prefer working with straight modelling chocolate, but it is super handy.

 

Covering cakes

Modelling chocolate on its own has no stretch, so cakes need to be covered using the paneling method. This method works well as seams and joins can be blended out completely. 3D cakes can be covered in patches, again the ability to blend joins makes a super smooth finish. I often use a half-half mixture of fondant and modelling chocolate to make a stretchier version. The 50/50 mix takes colour more easily than fondant alone and is very easy to work with. It’s great for creating vibrantly coloured super shiny cakes like car cakes or the suitcase below where a bit of extra stretch was handy to create the smooth covering quickly.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Castle cake covered in 50/50 modelling chocolate and homemade fondant

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Suitcase cake, covered in 50/50 modelling chocolate/fondant icing

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Patching Firm Modelling Chocolate Over a Ganached 3D Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making modelling chocolate start to finish in real time

 

 

My experiments with supermarket chocolate.

Testing a few different supermarket white chocolate brands.

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/ | Modelling chocolate hand.

Hand – Home Made Modelling Chocolate and Americolor Ivory Gel colour

I’m a home – hobby baker, I don’t have time to source specific couverture chocolate or search for a specific brand, so I tested a few of the chocolates that I can get at a local supermarket at short notice if I need to. Another bonus of this is that Cadbury chocolate goes on special regularly, so do the nestle baker’s choice white melts and a few others so it was worth testing to see what I should grab when it’s cheap and I’m out of my regular bulk chocolate. I tested for taste, how easy it is to get a smooth and seamless shape and how crumbly they are when reshaped. Chart of results below:

 

I tested Cadbury Dream white chocolate, Cadbury Melts white chocolate, Nestle Baker’s Choice white melts – these are a kind of candy melt not actually white chocolate, and Nestle Milky bar.

In short, the best texture and moldability was the Nestle baker’s choice white melts, but they tasted pretty average at the time. Just slightly behind for texture was the Cadbury white chocolate melts, these had the best flavour by far and had an okay texture but the oils separate out easily and it’s brittle and more temperamental. The Cadbury dream was almost identical to the Cadbury melts for taste, texture, and usability. The milky bar had horrible texture, would not set and didn’t taste good as modelling chocolate. The milky bar was so bad, I repeated the experiment twice to make sure it wasn’t just a result of bad preparation, it still did not set, had horrible texture and tasted gross… which was pretty unexpected as I normally like this chocolate bar…

I concluded at the time that for structural elements that aren’t designed just to be eaten, Nestle baker’s choice melts are an excellent option, they updated the recipe recently so it now tastes god as well. For element’s that where flavour is more important I mix about the nestle and Cadbury together, the flavour is then better and the texture is all right, and can be further corrected with a drop of water.

For the majority of my work I like to use bulk Callebaut white compound chocolate, it’s the most delicious, easy to work with and I can buy it in 15kg lots making it super affordable. But If I run out of my bulk chocolate now I know I can use what’s on special, or a blend of supermarket Nestle and Cadbury to produce a great tasting and great textured product.

The best way to become good at making modelling chocolate is to buy a few blocks of different kinds of chocolate and experiment 200grams at a time. I have tried a lot of different recipes including ones with glucose instead of corn syrup, ones with water and glucose and all sorts of other variations. Generally, I avoid candy melts, but the nestle bakers choice ones just happened to be excellent and all the other bulk compound chocolate I have used have been excellent, especially Callebaut. This recipe and these techniques work for me, give it a go. Experiment, keep notes and find what works for you.

For a laugh, here are my first experiments
Experiments by weight:
180g Nestle Milky Bar: 38g Corn Syrup
182g Cadbury Melts Real White Chocolate: 40g Corn Syrup.
182g Nestle Baker’s Choice Melts – white: 39g Corn Syrup.
182g Cadbury Dream white chocolate: 40g Corn Syrup

Modelling chocolate test chart | Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

Modelling chocolate test chart

Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/Modelling Chocolate Recipe - How to make perfect Modelling chocolate and how to work with it.. | I experimented a lot to get a modelling chocolate recipe that performs well for me, is cheap to make and can be consistently and quickly made in large quantities to use on the same day. | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Modelling chocolate
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Ingredients
  1. 4.5 parts white compound chocolate to 1 part Corn syrup
Instructions
  1. The recipe I use is a simple ratio of 4.5:1 by weight of white compound chocolate to light corn syrup. This makes a very firm, all-purpose modelling chocolate. I’ve found it’s easier not to use expensive couverture chocolate, a good white compound chocolate works best for texture and still tastes pretty good.
  2. If the piece is designed for eating I have used Cadbury chocolate, but using regular eating white chocolate will make the mixture grainy and a lot harder to work with.
  3. I’ve found that in general corn syrup produces smoother, stretchier sugar products than glucose. Fondant I make with corn syrup is stretchier and smoother than fondant made with glucose, which is “shorter” and more brittle. I found it was similar for modelling chocolate when I was developing this recipe. Karo corn syrup was the best, but it’s super expensive, it’s $17 for 473ml at my local cake supplies shops.
  4. I experimented to find an alternative when a friend suggested Korean corn syrup. You can find Korean corn syrup at most local Asian grocers for a lot less, and nearly every Korean grocer will have it. I buy 5 litres for $15 and every brand I have tried has performed better than glucose, been a cheaper than glucose and performs as well as the more expensive Karo Corn syrup.
  5. Bulk compound white chocolate is the best way to lower the cost. You can get 15kg of Callebaut white compound chocolate for $130 ($90 on special) at most baking shops and likely cheaper again elsewhere. This makes a firm, easy to work with modelling chocolate that tastes really as good, easily as good as cadbury and it’s much easier to mix and work with. Mixing at a ratio of 4.5:1 means you can potentially make 18Kg of modelling chocolate for around $105. Other bulk white chocolate brands can be bought for $79 for 15kg – dropping the cost further.
Method
  1. Weigh the white compound chocolate out in grams. Divide the weight by 4.5 and weigh out that amount of corn syrup.
  2. If you have 600 grams of white compound chocolate you will need to weigh out 133 grams of corn syrup.
  3. Or an easier ratio: 450g white chocolate to 100g of corn syrup.
  4. Weigh the chocolate and break it up into a clean, dry microwave proof bowl.
  5. Microwave in bursts of no more than 30 seconds stirring in between blasts. The time in the microwave will need to be reduced if you are working with smaller portions. I usually work in batches of 600 grams or more, so can put the chocolate in for longer stretches. 600 grams usually only takes a total of 2 minutes.
  6. Do not overheat the chocolate. Ideally, use the residual heat from each interval in the microwave to melt the chocolate by stirring it. A plastic bowl can help to prevent “hot spots” that sometimes happen from a glass bowl getting too hot, but I like to use the residual heat from a glass bowl to finish melting the chocolate and have it in the microwave for less time.
  7. Ensure the chocolate is completely melted and all the lumps are gone. Do not try to rush the melting.
  8. Allow the chocolate time to cool down slightly, it should be approximately body temperature or slightly cooler before combining.
  9. In a smaller bowl weigh out the correct amount of syrup for the amount of chocolate you’re using. If using glucose, warm the syrup in the microwave for a few seconds, do not overheat it and never boil. Glucose needs to be just slightly warm to the touch, but not hot. Corn syrup is already liquid at room temperature so it doesn’t need to be warmed. Scrape the syrup into the melted chocolate and gently, but thoroughly fold through using a spatula. Scrape the chocolate off the sides and bottom folding through carefully until there are no large streaks of unmelted chocolate left. Ensure nearly all the chocolate has been mixed through, it is crucial at this stage not to over stir. The chocolate will begin to seize up very quickly. It only takes a few strokes through the chocolate and in just a few turns the mixture will lose its shine start to look rough and slightly crumbly. The aim is to make the chocolate seize up evenly. Do not stir any further, or the fat will separate, it’s better to stop stirring earlier and work the lumps out later than risk separating the oils from the chocolate. Transfer the mixture to a large ziplock bag or two and press flat to fill the bag.
  10. If the mixture starts to look greasy or the oils begin to separate then stop immediately and transfer the mixture to a large ziplock bag and press flat.
  11. Other recipes suggest the chocolate should now be wrapped and put aside to cool and set overnight, but I rarely have the time, and in my usually hot kitchen it would take days to set… So I speed up the process – interestingly, my impatience and need to speed up the process resulted in a better product.
  12. I usually make and use a large quantity of modelling chocolate on the same day. The only way to do this is by using a freezer. Once mixed I spread the mixture into a thin sheet inside a very large zip lock bag (or a couple of them) and lay the slabs of chocolate in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until most of the mix is firm and leathery. Once the chocolate has fully set it will be very firm and a little crumbly. Knead small pieces of it until you have a smooth plasticine like mixture. If the chocolate is too firm to knead, pop it in the microwave for 3 or 5 seconds to soften it up slightly. If the mixture has a few small lumps you can work them smooth by pinching them flat with your thumb against the work surface, melting them a little with the heat from your hands and working through the modelling chocolate. If there are a lot of lumps, pop the whole mix in the microwave and heat gently for a few seconds at a time until the mixture is soft, knead it just enough to mix the now slightly melted lumps through and again set the chocolate aside in a zip lock bag to set up before using it.
  13. Occasionally I have had to repeat this process a couple of times to remove lumps or because I have overheated/overworked the chocolate with my hands at the initial kneading stage and made the oils start to separate, but the freezer fixes everything.
  14. Using a combination of the microwave and freezer I can get excellent modelling chocolate made in well under half an hour while I’m doing other things and have is coloured and ready to use right away.
  15. NB: When you are making the modelling chocolate, if the oils start to come out of the mixture, you have likely overheated the syrup or the chocolate or over-stirred the mixture or kneaded it too much while it’s warm. When you see oil come out of the mixture, stop immediately, transfer it to a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer and repeat the setting and kneading process until the mixture is smooth, or if you’re working on a piece and it starts to get oily stop and let it cool down, or pop it in a fridge for a few seconds before continuing.
  16. Some recipes recommend squeezing the oils out of the chocolate and soaking them up with a paper towel – Do not do this! The cocoa fats/vegetable oils are what makes modelling chocolate so amazing to work with, if you remove it you have not made modelling chocolate, you’ve made sugar paste. It will not smooth and blend as well as real modelling chocolate.
  17. The main and most important two things to remember when making or working with modelling chocolate are to never overheat and never overwork the mixture when it’s warm. Additionally, use tools instead of hands where possible and on extremely hot days have a shelf in the freezer set aside so you can pop the piece/pieces you are working on in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up before you continue to work on it. Be careful not to leave the piece in the fridge/freezer to get too cold as you’re working or it might start to sweat and will become sticky. If too much water gets incorporated/absorbed it won’t set as well.
Colouring Modelling chocolate
  1. Modelling chocolate takes regular liquid gel paste colours extremely well. I get more vibrant and dark colours in modelling chocolate than I ever have with fondant.
  2. A few drops of gel paste colour will work through easily and give a very vibrant result. However, for very dark colours like bright reds or black it can help to mix in a bit of fondant, it’s not at all neccessary, it just allows the chocolate to take a lot more colour without getting too soggy. Firm modelling chocolate will take a huge amount of colour without any issues and doesn’t need the added fondant.
  3. For bright white modelling chocolate add a few drops of Americolor white, some food grade titanium dioxide colouring powder or just use a lighter coloured compound chocolate. For race-car red or jet-black knead in about 1.5 tsp of gel colour to 150g of white modelling chocolate then set it aside in a cool place or the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up again before kneading to use. The colour darkens up further after a few minutes resting.
Counterintuitive texture fix
  1. I noticed my dark red and black modelling chocolate had a better texture and were easier to work with than the uncoloured mix. That’s when I realised I could use a tiny amount of water to correct the texture. I occasionally make white modelling chocolate with “real”/eating chocolate, made with cocoa butter instead of vegetable fat. This usually results in a dryer, brittle, rough-textured paste. A couple of drops of water kneaded in smooths the mix out and makes it easier to work with. This is particularly useful with dark chocolate and occasionally even some brands of white compound chocolate benefit from a drop of water. Just a few drops of water will smooth the mix and make it less crumbly. Do not add the water until the mixture is made, and be very sparing with the amount of water added, you can always add more, but can’t remove it. To correct the texture of 250 grams of brittle modelling chocolate dip a fingertip in water, then knead it through. set aside to firm up and test for texture, repeat if needed.
  2. Some brands of chocolate are terrible for making modelling chocolate with, especially regulare eating chocolate. If the mix is too crumbly, a tiny amount of fondant will act as an emulsifier and smooth out the mix.
Hot hands/hot climate
  1. If you have extremely hot hands and want a more stable mixture that needs to stay flexible for longer, add a little fondant to the mixture, just keep the ratio to, or below 5:1 modelling chocolate to fondant. Modelling chocolate mixed with fondant in a ratio of roughly 5 parts chocolate to 1 part fondant has some interesting and handy properties. It can be smoothed and joined seamlessly by applying gentle heat or with little water, it’s also easier to paint with liquid colours or lustre dust/alcohol paint than straight modelling chocolate and it is more heat resistant when you are modelling pieces with your hands. In extreme humidity, modelling chocolate can sweat and get sticky, dust your hands and the chocolate with cornflour to stop it sticking while working with it.
  2. Ratios to use for different kinds of modelling chocolate.
  3. I prefer a very firm setting modelling chocolate, often stabilised with a little fondant because I have super hot hands, and I live in Perth, WA, where the weather is insanely hot nine months of the year and it’s still hot inside for the other three months because everyone else in the house actually feels the “cold” and insists on heating the house… I don’t want my figures to droop in the heat or melt too quickly while I am trying to shape them, so I make a slightly firmer mix than most European recipes would recommend.
  4. For firm white modelling chocolate, the ratio should be between 4.5 and 5 parts white chocolate to 1 part corn syrup.
  5. Medium setting white modelling chocolate: 3.5-4 parts white chocolate to 1 part corn syrup.
  6. Soft white modelling chocolate: 2.5-3 parts white chocolate to 1 part corn syrup.
  7. Firmer modelling chocolate is more structural, I prefer using a 4.5:1 ratio as it provides the structural integrity I like and is still just soft enough to be able to add detail to and smooth the surface. I use it to make ultra detailed thin petals for flowers and sculptures, I use it for nearly everything.
  8. I would only ever make soft modelling chocolate if it is going to be used to very thinly cover another surface or to cover a firmer part of a figure, the softer chocolate is easier to smooth, and easily takes a lot of detail but it is not useful for structural parts or pieces. Soft to medium setting modelling chocolate is nice to cover cakes with instead of fondant.
  9. Medium firmness modelling chocolate is nice for ultra detailed non-structural pieces.
Ratios for dark modelling chocolate
  1. I use Cadbury Old Gold dark chocolate (40% Cocoa product) or Callebaut Dark Chocolate Callets for best taste and smoothness. They’re both really nice to work with and both taste great.
  2. Firm: 3-3.5 parts Dark chocolate to 1 part corn syrup
  3. Medium: 2.5-3 parts Dark chocolate to 1 part corn syrup
  4. Soft: 2 parts Dark chocolate to 1 part corn syrup
  5. I tend to use firm dark modelling chocolate for most things.
Tips for working with Modelling Chocolate
  1. The key rule is to not work on warm modelling chocolate. Once it’s warm stop moving/sculpting it, leave it alone or the oil will squeeze out. Chill or leave to rest for a while if the surface becomes greasy or oily while working to stop too much fat from escaping. A pasta roller can be used to help roll out thin sheets of chocolate and is used by some people to mix and further knead their chocolate without adding extra heat from their hands. I don’t use a pasta roller because I can’t be bothered setting it up and a small nylon rolling pin works just fine.
  2. Modelling chocolate can be rolled very thinly, to the point the chocolate is fabric-like and nearly transparent. Dust the surface and the rolling pin generously with cornflour to stop it sticking.I use thin modelling chocolate for super detailed flowers and for clothing figurines. Super thin sheets of modelling chocolate are perfect for making letters with Clickstix and Tappits, dust the chocolate and the cutters with cornflour and they’ll pop out easily. If they start to stick then place them in the fridge to set and they will release from the moulds more easily, but I don’t need to do this if I avoid handling the paste as much as possible and use a lot of cornflour. The writing on the banner on the Tigger cake to the right is made with Windsor Clickstix.
  3. Use a gas gun or barbecue lighter with a focused flame to gently warm the surface the letters will be fixed to, or gently warm the backs of the letters. They will then stick firmly to fondant, chocolate or modelling chocolate. You can get a focussed flame (windproof) gas lighter from a hardware store, they work like a mini crème brûlée torch, but they’re a lot more accurate and gentle for detailed chocolate work, and they’re cheaper. Use the tip of a scalpel or a scribe tool to lift and move the letters around so they don’t melt from your hands and stretch out of shape. The letters can also be fixed to fondant or chocolate with a tiny amount of water, royal icing, or piping gel. Pass the torch over the surface of the letters a couple of times to make them go shiny, the cornflour will be absorbed leaving no white marks and the letters will round off slightly.
  4. Surfaces can be shaved down, built up and smoothed with your hands or very basic tools, once the surface is near smooth it can be further smoothed further with a little water and pressure or by applying heat with your hands or by passing a mini blowtorch over the surface a few times quickly, then using hands or tools to finish smoothing. Once the surface is very smooth, passing a torch over a few more times will bring fat to the surface and start to crystallise the sugar in the chocolate forming a tough shiny shell. This makes for an attractive finish but will make the surface prone to cracking if it is remoulded.
  5. Impression mats and moulds work well with modelling chocolate, and most are a lot faster and easier to use with modelling chocolate than with fondant. Dust the mould with cornflour, press the chocolate in with a palette knife, smooth off the excess with the knife then peel/pop the piece out. Freeze more complex or detailed work for a few minutes to make removing the mould easier.
  6. Modelling paste
  7. Mix a small amount of firm modelling chocolate into fondant to create a modelling paste with similar properties to Saracino, Cake Duchess or Laped Daisy modelling paste. Weigh out ready to roll fondant then knead in roughly between one fifth and one quarter the fondant’s weight in modelling chocolate. It will depend on the fondant used, as to how much chocolate is needed. Do not add any additional tylose or the mix will become very rubbery and unusable.
  8. I don’t use modelling paste very often as I prefer working with straight modelling chocolate, but it is super handy.
  9. Covering cakes
  10. Modelling chocolate on its own has no stretch, so cakes need to be covered using the paneling method. This method works well as seams and joins can be blended out completely. 3D cakes can be covered in patches, again the ability to blend joins makes a super smooth finish. I often use a half-half mixture of fondant and modelling chocolate to make a stretchier version. The 50/50 mix takes colour more easily than fondant alone and is very easy to work with. It’s great for creating vibrantly coloured super shiny cakes like car cakes or the suitcase below where a bit of extra stretch was handy to create the smooth covering quickly.
Notes
  1. Full video and further details can be found my site.
  2. https://robertscakesandcooking.com/modelling-chocolate-recipe/
  3. Say hello on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertscakesandcooking/
Robert's Cakes and Cooking https://robertscakesandcooking.com/

Sour Cream White Chocolate Ganache

I love white chocolate ganache but I usually find it way too sweet. I found that using sour cream instead and adding some apple cider vinegar and salt gives an almost cheesecake-like flavour to my ganache and drops the sweetness out while boosting the flavour. This is by far my most favourite filling and has become a go-to for covering and filling cakes. The flavour is so well balanced that it is even fine to use under fondant, where regular white chocolate ganache would be too sweet and I have used it to fill and cover white chocolate mud cake. 

Sour cream white chocolate ganache

1.25kg Cadbury melts white chocolate or Cadbury dream block white chocolate, or Callebaut white chocolate. Nestle white melts will work, but aren’t as delicious
400ml Sour cream full fat (at least 30%)
1/4 tsp Fine table salt, more to taste
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
A few drops of concentrated natural vanilla extract
(Ratio is 3:1 White chocolate to Cream)

Or for a smaller amount: 600g White chocolate and 200g of sour cream, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of fine salt. 

Method

In a large microwave-safe bowl place one teaspoon of salt, the white chocolate and sour cream. Heat in microwave in one-minute bursts, stirring between bursts until combined. (should take roughly 2 and a half minutes in total). Once fully combined pour into large sheet pan and place in fridge or freezer and cool until the correct consistency is reached. test by poking at a corner of the pan with a palette knife. 

The most important tip when making ganache is not to overheat it. Take time to melt the chocolate into cream slowly.  

Once combined, do not mix, stir or disturb the ganache until it is nearly set to the right consistency. The aim is for the consistency to be the same as peanut butter. 

The only time I have ever split ganache is if I overheat the chocolate, or stir it before it has set the first time.

Something about the chemistry of ganache changes after you allow it to set, or nearly set.
I find that if I let it set to the right consistency or fully set up before I use it, then I can then reheat it gently to get it workable without any issues and mix it and work with it as much as I want.
However, if I stir it when it is only half way to being set, right after making it, then the oils will split from the mixture. 

 

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

This is not my usual Risotto recipe, it’s made with what I had on hand in the fridge and the cupboard. It’s a fast enough, lazy “I’m not going to the shops today, no matter what” kind of throw together. It worked well and made enough to feed 4 hungry people, so I thought I’d record the results.

This is heavily based on my regular more fussy version, but with what was on hand and with some shortcuts. I found the shortcuts I took didn’t adversely affect the end result. I would usually have parmesan, porcini and snow peas, but this recipe really didn’t need it. Most of the vegetables can be switched out in this recipe. Same goes for the cheese. If using parmesan just cut the amount down added. 

The method below is my lazy way of doing things… I would also usually pre-cook the chicken and add it at the end to prevent it drying out, but using chicken thigh makes it unnecessary, the chicken was flavoursome and tender as it cooks through quite gently despite simmering in the risotto for around 20 minutes. This is not traditional risotto, There are some techniques in here that are great though. My family likes this version as much as my regular one, so I’m calling it a win and keeping this to use in my rotation of regular recipes. 

Ingredients

1 Shallot
2 spring onion
1 stick of celery
1 tsp of minced garlic 
2 slices of middle bacon
2 chicken thigh fillets
Fresh parsley 
About 80g Colby or mild cheddar cheese
1 cup of fresh broccoli florets, about 2/3 of a head of broccoli
1 cup of sliced button mushrooms, 9 or 10 mushrooms
1 and 1/3 cups of arborio rice
1/3 cup of Riesling
1 tablespoon of butter
180ml cream
Salt and cracked black pepper
5 cups of weakish chicken stock, (6 cups hot water 5 level teaspoons of chicken stock powder)
It doesn’t matter if the stock cools down again it doesn’t affect the risotto making process much using cold stock, it just adds a couple of minutes.

Method

Very finely dice the shallot, the celery, and the spring onion. Finely chop the parsley.
Finely slice the mushrooms, and break up the head of broccoli into very small florets. 
Cut the bacon into very fine shreds. Cube the chicken thighs into roughly 2cm cubes. 

In a large, deep frypan begin to fry off the spring onion, shallot, celery, garlic, butter, and bacon.

Once the pan is quite hot move the bacon, onion mix to one side, and begin to fry off the chicken cubes.  Try to only turn the chicken cubes once, leave them on one side until it browns then turn over to brown the other side, the middle should still be pink and undercooked at this stage as it cooks through later while making the risotto.

Pour in the rice into the pan with the chicken, onions, and bacon and mix it around. Toast off the rice for a few minutes, mixing and stirring a couple of times to toast off the rice fairly evenly, The aim is to get a good amount of the rice to a very light, nutty, toasted, golden colour.
Deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine. Allow the wine to cook off before pouring in 1 cup of stock. Cook down the stock, stirring regularly to prevent the rice from sticking and ensuring the risotto cooks evenly. Add another cup of stock and the mushrooms. Cook the stock down stirring regularly. Continue adding stock, half a cup at a time and cooking it down, stirring regularly until the rice is just cooked, still firm but no longer chalky in the middle. Drop in the broccoli florets and add another cup of stock. By the time the stock reduces the rice and broccoli should be perfectly cooked, the texture of the sauce should be gravy-like once again. Add several very generous coarse grinds of black pepper, pour in the cream, mix it through and allow to warm up again for about a minute, then take off the heat. The cream will loosen the risotto up to the right consistency.  Fold in the cheese and parsley then pour into bowls and eat. If you’re feeling especially fancy sprinkle some extra parsley on top.

Perfect risotto should not stand up like a b

 

all on your spoon, it should flow like a thick gravy. Poured into a bowl it should take on the shape of the bowl, not pile in the middle. The rice should be plump and not mushy; it should have some resistance when bitten into, but not be chewy and definitely not chalky in the middle. 

 

 

Fast-ish Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

This is my fairly quick recipe for cannelloni. It’s delicious, not too fussy to make and I need to make this more often. The sauce is ultra fast, browning the onions brings out their natural sweetness and adds delicious savoury depth. Using a shallot adds a lot of extra flavour and a lot of natural sweetness. This is the sort of fast and kind of lazy recipe I like to make for dinner. It takes a few shortcuts to speed things up, but it’s pretty tasty…

375g smooth ricotta cheese
25g Shaved Parmesan
400g baby spinach leaves
2 medium brown onions
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest and Juice of half a small lemon
4 tbsp semolina
4 (1/4cup) tbsp Verjuice or Riesling Wine
Coarsely ground black pepper
Salt
A pinch of nutmeg
1 egg
30 Cannelloni cubes

Extra shaved Parmesan for topping

Simple garlic and tomato sauce
690g jar of tomato passata
1 medium brown onion
1 shallot (the small sweet onion type, not spring onions/scallions- they are not shallots…)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 of a birds eye chili
3 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup verjuice, Riesling or stock to deglaze
1 very small sprig of fresh oregano (optional, but a  nice addition).
A very  small handful of fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Optional: 1 slice of Bacon or ham, this is completely unnecessary, but I throw it in if I have any left I need to use up.

Method

Filling
Dice the garlic very finely/mince it with the knife. Finely dice the onions.
In a deep, heavy-based frypan gently fry the onions and garlic with a little olive oil over medium heat until they are clear and beginning to brown on their edges.

Deglaze the pan with the juice from half a lemon and a few tablespoons of verjuice or white wine. Drop about half the spinach on top of the onions and wilt over low heat, turning the spinach occasionally to ensure it wilts evenly.  Once the spinach has reduced in size by half add the remaining spinach and cook turning occasionally until the spinach has wilted.

Remove from the heat and gather the spinach and onion to one side of the pan, apply gentle pressure to squeeze out some of the extra liquid.

Tip off the excess then gently remove a little more liquid from the mix by patting the ball of spinach and onion with a couple of pieces of paper towel.

Tip onto a large cutting board, add a tiny amount of lemon zest, then roughly chop the spinach to break up the stems and prevent any long stringy pieces.

Scrape into a bowl, fold in the semolina, pepper, and nutmeg. Fold in the parmesan and ricotta then taste the mixture, add salt and pepper to balance the filling. Fold in an egg then place in the fridge until it’s time to fill the cannelloni.

  

Sauce

Very finely dice/mince the garlic and chili,  finely dice the shallot and the onions and bacon or ham, I only add meat to the sauce if I have it in the fridge and need to use it up. Fry the onions, shallot, garlic, and chili in a little olive oil stirring regularly to ensure even cooking. Cook until the onions are evenly browned then deglaze the pan with some verjuice, white wine, or stock and cook out the excess liquid. Pour in the Passata, add a few grinds of pepper and simmer for 5-10 minutes. While the sauce simmers, finely chop the basil, parsley, and oregano and put to one side. Once the sauce has thickened slightly and the raw taste has gone from the tomatoes remove from the heat and stir in the herbs. Taste the sauce and add extra salt and pepper to balance off the seasoning.

  

To Assemble

Pour a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of a medium-sized baking tray. Fill the cannelloni tubes, I’ve tried using a piping bag to load the filling, but I found it easier to load the tubes by picking up blobs of filling with my fingertips and use my thumb to force the mixture into the tube. Pack the tubes tightly ensuring they are filled al the way to the ends. Lay them in a neat layer on the bottom of the tray then cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top with parmesan. Cover with foil and bake at 180C for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 8 minutes to semi crisp off the top.
Serve and eat!!!

  

 

Homemade Roll out Fondant Icing Recipe

Homemade Roll out Fondant Icing Recipe | The fondant created with this recipe is soft and pliable, with just the right amount of stretch, it is perfect for sealing and decorating cakes. The fondant will store for a couple of weeks in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. I also use it for some modelled flowers and to model figures. |https://robertscakesandcooking.com/homemade-fondant-icing-recipe | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/homemade-fondant-icing-recipe/

The fondant created with this recipe is soft and pliable, with just the right amount of stretch, it is perfect for sealing and decorating cakes. The fondant will store for a couple of weeks in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.
I also use it for some modelled flowers and to model figures.
For flowers, you should use modelling paste, flower paste or Mexican paste, but I occasionally get lazy and find it works surprisingly well with a pinch of tylose and a small amount of vegetable shortening. A ratio of 4:1 fondant to Mexican paste makes excellent paste for sculpting super detailed figures.

Homemade Roll out Fondant Icing Recipe | The fondant created with this recipe is soft and pliable, with just the right amount of stretch, it is perfect for sealing and decorating cakes. I also use it for some modelled flowers and to model figures. |https://robertscakesandcooking.com/homemade-fondant-icing-recipe | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/homemade-fondant-icing-recipe/

On a side note, the weather gets pretty interesting December through to February in Australia. As a general rule do not try to cover a very cold cake straight from the fridge with fondant on humid or overly hot days and never with an evaporative air conditioner in operation as the extra moisture in the air will turn your icing to slush.  All the cakes pictured on this post have been decorated using my homemade fondant recipe.

The best tip for perfect fondant every time is weigh everything, this removes the variation and ensures consistent results. Due to differences in eggs and how compact the icing sugar is in the cup measure, I was getting mixed results until I started weighing the ingredients and recording results.
Weigh everything, it is the key to making a consistent product.
Using actiwhite powdered egg whites also produces a more uniform product that is shelf stable with none of the potential issues of fresh egg whites, but I still use fresh egg whites for family cakes if I have them left over in the fridge. Fondant made with powdered whites and stored in an airtight container will last a very, very long time in the fridge and even longer if vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer.

Recipe Below

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Lace Mat Chocolate Mousse Cake

Lace JacondeLace mats have become more and more popular with cake decorators but they are a unitasker. Most of us might use them a few times a year to make edible lace, but that’s it. Kevin from Bake boss made a great video showing how to use them to create decorative patterned jaconde sponge layers. The recipe is what most people use for a piped or combed patterned jaconde sponge.  

Check out his original video here. Or look up the Bake Boss YouTube channel and search for their ” baking in a lace mat” video. 

This cake is a combination of a few different ideas and recipes I have collected together from a few different sources. 

blog2The decorated sponge outside is made by spreading jaconde sponge mixture onto a silicone lace mat. The inside of the cake is made with a dark chocolate roulade sponge recipe from Kara’s couture cakes check out her incredible blog here.

 

Decorative mix for jaconde

Decorative part – enough for two mats.

40g melted butter
40g icing sugar
50ml egg whites
10g cocoa
25g flour
Lace mat spongeMix with a fork until lump free. Do not incorporate air, butter needs to be warm or you’ll incorporate air. Swap cocoa with cornflour and add gel colours if you want some variation other than brown.

Place 2 silicone lace mats on a baking sheet, spray lightly with oil, scrape the jaconde mix into the pattern and remove any excess with a bench scraper or angled palette knife. Place the trays in the fridge to firm up the mixture.

Alternatively, you could pipe the pattern onto the smooth side of the mat.

 
Jaconde – Thin almond sponge

Makes the Background of the decorative jaconde
Enough for two mats

30g ground almonds. 

80g semi-melted butter

3 yolks

3 whites

pinch of salt

80g castor sugar

30 grams plain flour

20 grams cornflour. 

Whisk the butter and yolks into the almond meal.

Beat the egg whites with the salt, slowly add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form.

Carefully fold some of the meringue mix into the butter mix, continue adding until a roughly equal amount of meringue has been added to the butter mix, then fold the butter mix into the remaining meringue mixture.

Sift the flours in on top and very gently fold in until there are no more streaks of flour.

Divide the mixture into two equal parts and spread very thinly and evenly over the chilled lace mats, run your finger around the edge of the mats to allow some room for spreading and to help prevent the sponge mix running off the edge.

Bake in a 150C oven for 5-7 minutes, or just until set. Avoid overbaking, this is a very thin sponge, it quickly goes from being a flexible thin sponge sheet to a very brittle crunchy biscuit.

Once set, cover with a sheet of nonstick baking paper, turn upside down to cool on the baking paper with the silicone still attached, this helps to seal in the moisture.

Cool for 5 minutes before gently peeling off the silicone lace mat backing.

 

Black Cocoa Roulade original recipe from Kara’s Couture cakes. 

Make two or three cocoa roulade sheets depending on how many layers you want the cake to have, two works nicely. 

8 eggs, separated
225g (8oz), caster sugar 
70g (2.5oz) dark, dutch process cocoa powder. (The Cadbury Bournville cocoa is not quite right but still works). 

 

Make a meringue with the egg whites and sugar- whip egg whites, slowly add sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and beat until it is all dissolved.

In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks briefly then pour onto the meringue. Fold through until just, combined quickly sift the cocoa onto the meringue mix and quickly fold through until combined.

Spread into large, well-greased sheet pan and bake at 170 until the edge shrinks away from the pan, or a skewer comes out clean,

When cooked cover the top with baking paper leave to cool five minutes then turn out on a bench or onto another baking sheet to cool, both sides should have the baking paper on them still to lock in the moisture. This sheet of cake can be easily filled and rolled, this is a super easy, incredibly versatile recipe

 

Stabilised chocolate cream 

600ml whipping cream, 

2 teaspoons gelatine

1/4 cup water,

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

 

Combine water and gelatin in a microwave safe mug let sit for 10 minutes then heat for a 30 seconds stirring every 15 seconds, continue to heat and stir in 10 second intervals until all of the gelatine is melted.

Allow the mixture to cool, but not set, it can’t be hot when it is added to the cream.

Whip the cream to soft peaks, pour the gelatine and vanilla in a steady stream while beating at a medium speed, then sift in the cocoa, icing sugar and salt. Mix until the cocoa and sugar are combined, taste and add more sugar or cocoa to suit your taste. whip until firmer peaks can be formed from the cream. Store in a covered bowl the fridge until ready to use.

 

Cherry jelly,

1 Jar of pitted morello cherries, with juice, check each cherry to ensure there are no left over pits. Roughly 670g

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

3 tablespoons of sugar.

2.5 teaspoons of granulated gelatine 

Add juice, sugar, gelatine, and cherries to a saucepan. Heat just enough to melt the sugar and gelatine.

Once melted, blend everything together with a stick blender.

Pour into one or two baking trays lined with clingfilm, then place in the fridge to set.

For a more fancy finish, set in two trays and turn them out onto the cake while assembling it.

I’m too impatient for this so often just scrape it out of the tray and spread it on in a messy jelly layer.

 

Assemble by starting with one layer of decorated sponge, spread it thinly with the cream, lay on the first cocoa roulade, then add a thicker layer of cream, lay on the jelly layer, then roulade, cream, and printed sponge, vary the layers to suit. Chill the assembled cake in the fridge for a few hours, or freeze for an hour prior to trimming off the outside edge for neatness and then cutting into generous rectangular slices to serve. 

 

Lace Mat Mousse cake
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Decorative mix for jaconde -Decorative part - enough for two mats
  1. 40g melted butter
  2. 40g icing sugar
  3. 50ml egg whites
  4. 10g cocoa
  5. 25g flour
Jaconde - Thin almond sponge - Makes the Background of the decorative jaconde - Enough for two mats
  1. 30g ground almonds
  2. 80g semi-melted butter
  3. 3 yolks
  4. 3 whites
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 80g castor sugar
  7. 30 grams plain flour
  8. 20 grams cornflour
Black Cocoa Roulade - make 2 batches - original recipe from Kara's Couture cakes. Make two or three cocoa roulade sheets depending on how many layers you want the cake to have, two works nicely
  1. 8 eggs, separated
  2. 225g (8oz), caster sugar
  3. 70g (2.5oz) dark, dutch process cocoa powder. (The Cadbury Bournville cocoa is not quite right but still works)
Stabilised chocolate cream
  1. 600ml whipping cream
  2. 2 teaspoons gelatine
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
Cherry Jelly
  1. 1 Jar of pitted morello cherries, with juice, check each cherry to ensure there are no left over pits, roughly 670g
  2. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  3. 3 tablespoons of sugar
  4. Enough gelatine to set 600 ml of liquid just under 3 teaspoons
Decorative mix for jaconde
  1. Mix with a fork until lump free. Do not incorporate air, butter needs to be warm or you'll incorporate air. Swap cocoa with cornflour and add gel colours if you want some variation other than brown.
  2. Place 2 silicone lace mats on a baking sheet, spray lightly with oil, scrape the jaconde mix into the pattern and remove any excess with a bench scraper or angled palette knife. Place the trays in the fridge to firm up the mixture. Alternatively, you could pipe the pattern onto the smooth side of the mat.
Jaconde - Thin almond sponge (background) Enough for two mats
  1. whisk the butter and yolks into the almond meal.
  2. Beat the egg whites with the salt, slowly add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
  3. Carefully fold some of the meringue mix into the butter mix, continue adding until a roughly equal amount of meringue has been added to the butter mix, then fold the butter mix into the remaining meringue mixture.
  4. Sift the flours in on top and very gently fold in until there are no more streaks of flour.
  5. Divide the mixture into two equal parts and spread very thinly and evenly over the chilled lace mats, run your finger around the edge of the mats to allow some room for spreading and to help prevent the sponge mix running off the edge.
  6. Bake in a 150C oven for 5-7 minutes, or just until set. Avoid overbaking, this is a very thin sponge, it quickly goes from being a flexible thin sponge sheet to a very brittle crunchy biscuit.
  7. Once set, cover with a sheet of nonstick baking paper, turn upside down to cool on the baking paper with the silicone still attached, this helps to seal in the moisture.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before gently peeling off the silicone lace mat backing.
Black Cocoa Roulade - original recipe from Kara's Couture cakes - Make two or three cocoa roulade sheets depending on how many layers you want the cake to have, two works nicely
  1. Make a meringue with the egg whites and sugar- whip egg whites, slowly add sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and beat until it is all dissolved.
  2. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks briefly then pour onto the meringue. Fold through until just, combined quickly sift the cocoa onto the meringue mix and quickly fold through until combined.
  3. Spread into large, well-greased sheet pan and bake at 170 until the edge shrinks away from the pan, or a skewer comes out clean,
  4. When cooked cover the top with baking paper leave to cool five minutes then turn out on a bench or onto another baking sheet to cool, both sides should have the baking paper on them still to lock in the moisture. This sheet of cake can be easily filled and rolled, this is a super easy, incredibly versatile recipe
Stabilised chocolate cream
  1. Combine water and gelatin in a microwave safe mug let sit for 10 minutes then heat for a 30 seconds stirring every 15 seconds, continue to heat and stir in 10 second intervals until all of the gelatine is melted.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool, but not set, it can't be hot when it is added to the cream.
  3. Whip the cream to soft peaks, pour the gelatine and vanilla in a steady stream while beating at a medium speed, then sift in the cocoa, icing sugar and salt. Mix until the cocoa and sugar are combined, taste and add more sugar or cocoa to suit your taste. whip until firmer peaks can be formed from the cream. Store in a covered bowl the fridge until ready to use.
Cherry jelly
  1. Add juice, sugar, gelatine, and cherries to a saucepan. Heat just enough to melt the sugar and gelatine.
  2. Once melted, blend everything together with a stick blender.
  3. Pour into one or two baking trays lined with clingfilm, then place in the fridge to set.
  4. For a more fancy finish, set in two trays and turn them out onto the cake while assembling it.
  5. I'm too impatient for this so often just scrape it out of the tray and spread it on in a messy jelly layer.
Cake Assembly
  1. Assemble by starting with one layer of decorated sponge, spread it thinly with the cream, lay on the first cocoa roulade, then add a thicker layer of cream, lay on the jelly layer, then roulade, cream, and printed sponge, vary the layers to suit.
  2. Chill the assembled cake in the fridge for a few hours, or freeze for an hour prior to trimming off the outside edge for neatness and then cutting into generous rectangular slices to serve.
Notes
  1. Lace mats have become more and more popular with cake decorators but they are a unitasker. Most of us might use them a few times a year to make edible lace, but that's it. Kevin from Bake boss made a great video showing how to use them to create decorative patterned jaconde sponge layers. The recipe what most people use for a piped or combed patterned jaconde sponge.
  2. Check out his original video here. Or look up the Bake Boss YouTube channel and search for their " baking in a lace mat" video.
  3. This cake is a combination of a few different ideas and recipes I have collected together from a few different sources.
  4. blog2The decorated sponge outside is made by spreading jaconde sponge mixture onto a silicone lace mat. The inside of the cake is made with a dark chocolate roulade sponge recipe from Kara's couture cakes check out her incredible blog here.
  5. Decorative mix for jaconde
  6. Decorative part - enough for two mats.
  7. 40g melted butter
  8. 40g icing sugar
  9. 50ml egg whites
  10. 10g cocoa
  11. 25g flour
  12. Lace mat spongeMix with a fork until lump free. Do not incorporate air, butter needs to be warm or you'll incorporate air. Swap cocoa with cornflour and add gel colours if you want some variation other than brown.
  13. Place 2 silicone lace mats on a baking sheet, spray lightly with oil, scrape the jaconde mix into the pattern and remove any excess with a bench scraper or angled palette knife. Place the trays in the fridge to firm up the mixture.
  14. Alternatively, you could pipe the pattern onto the smooth side of the mat.
  15. Jaconde - Thin almond sponge
  16. Makes the Background of the decorative jaconde
  17. Enough for two mats
  18. 30g ground almonds.
  19. 80g semi-melted butter
  20. 3 yolks
  21. 3 whites
  22. pinch of salt
  23. 80g castor sugar
  24. 30 grams plain flour
  25. 20 grams cornflour.
  26. whisk the butter and yolks into the almond meal.
  27. Beat the egg whites with the salt, slowly add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
  28. Carefully fold some of the meringue mix into the butter mix, continue adding until a roughly equal amount of meringue has been added to the butter mix, then fold the butter mix into the remaining meringue mixture. Sift the flours in on top and very gently fold in until there arr no more streaks of flour,
  29. Divide the mixture into two equal parts and spread very thinly and evenly over the chilled lace mats, run your finger around the edge of the mats to allow some room for spreading and to prevent the sponge mix running off the edge.
  30. Bake in a 150C oven for 5-7 minutes, or just until set.
  31. Avoid overbaking, this is a very thin sponge, it quickly goes from being a flexible thin sponge sheet to a very brittle crunchy biscuit.
  32. Once set, cover with a sheet of nonstick baking paper, turn upside down to cool on the baking paper with the silicone still attached, this helps to seal in the moisture. Cool for 5 minutes before gently peeling off the silicone backing.
  33. Black Cocoa Roulade - original recipe from Kara's Couture cakes.
  34. Make two or three cocoa roulade sheets depending on how many layers you want the cake to have, two works nicely.
  35. 8 eggs, separated
  36. 225g (8oz), caster sugar
  37. 70g (2.5oz) dark, dutch process cocoa powder. (The Cadbury Bournville cocoa is not quite right but still works).
  38. Make a meringue with the egg whites and sugar- whip egg whites, slowly add sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until it is all dissolved. in a separate bowl beat the egg yolks briefly then pour onto the meringue. fold through until just, quickly sift the cocoa onto the meringue mix and quickly fold through until combined, spread onto large, well-greased sheet pan and bake at 170 until the edge shrinks away from the pan, or a skewer comes out clean,
  39. When cooked cover the top with baking paper leave to cool five minutes then turn out on a bench or onto another baking sheet to cool, both sides should have the baking paper on them still to lock in the moisture. This sheet of cake can be easily filled and rolled, this is a super easy, incredibly versatile recipe
  40. Stabilised chocolate cream
  41. 600ml whipping cream,
  42. 2 teaspoons gelatine
  43. 1/4 cup water,
  44. 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  45. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  46. pinch of salt
  47. 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
  48. Combine water and gelatin in a microwave safe mug, heat for a minute stirring every 15 seconds, continue to heat and stir in 10 second intervals until all of the gelatine is melted.
  49. Allow the mixture to cool, but not set, it can't be hot when it is added to the cream.
  50. Whip the cream to soft peaks, pour the gelatine and vanilla in a steady stream while beating at a medium speed, then sift in the cocoa, icing sugar and salt. Mix until the cocoa and sugar are combined, taste and add more sugar or cocoa to suit your taste. whip until firmer peaks can be formed from the cream. Store in a covered bowl the fridge until ready to use.
  51. Cherry jelly,
  52. 1 Jar of pitted morelleo cherries, with juice, check each cherry to ensure there are no left over pits. Roughly 670g
  53. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  54. 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  55. Enough gelatine to set 600 ml of liquid just under 3 teaspoons.
  56. Add juice, sugar, gelatine, and cherries to a saucepan. Heat just enough to melt the sugar and gelatine. Once melted, blend everything together with a stick blender. Pour into one or two baking trays lined with clingfilm, then place in the fridge to set.
  57. For a nicer finish, set in the two trays and turn them out onto the cake while assembling it.
  58. I'm too impatient for this so often just scrape it out of the tray and spread it on in a messy jelly layer.
  59. Assemble by starting with one layer of decorated sponge, spread it thinly with the cream, lay on the first cocoa roulade, then add a thicker layer of cream, lay on the jelly layer, then roulade, cream, and printed sponge, vary the layers to suit. Chill the assembled cake in the fridge for a few hours, or freeze for an hour prior to trimming off the outside edge for neatness and then cutting into generous rectangular slices to serve.
Adapted from Kara - Kara's Couture Cakes, Kevin Martin - Bake Boss NZ
Adapted from Kara - Kara's Couture Cakes, Kevin Martin - Bake Boss NZ
Robert's Cakes and Cooking https://robertscakesandcooking.com/