This weekend I'm going home to see my parents as it is my day's birthday. So, this week I have been making his cake. He likes a particular cake in M&S so i tried to emulate it. I started at the weekend by making the sponge.
3 eggs (weigh these and then add equal weights of the following ingredients,
Self raising flour (6-7oz usually)
Caster sugar (6-7oz)
Margarine (you know I always use flora light!) (6-7 oz)
Put all the ingredients in one bowl, and mix together with a hand mixer. That's it, you're done! Pour into two greased cake tins and bake at 150 (fan) until a skewer comes out clean.
When cool, I popped each cake into a freezer bag and put in the freezer until need.
250g milk chocolate
125ml double cream
Put ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts and the cream and chocolate combine. Put in the fridge until cool.
1 bar of white and 1 bar of milk choc
Microwave on 50% power until the bar is just a little soft - but not melted!! Then start at one edge of the bar and use a vegetable peeler to gently make a curl. It takes some practice but you get them in the end!
Assembly of the cake
Put one of the sponges (defrosted if you have frozen it) on a flat surface and smooth over some of the ganache. Add the second sponge on top. Add more ganache on top and let it run down the sides a bit. Smooth with a palette knife. Grab handfuls of chocolate curls and push against the ganache on the side of the cake. I found tilting the cake whilst doing this helped. I then melted some white chocolate and then let it cool a bit - by letting it cool it pipes a bit easier and you have a bit more control. I then put the chocolate in a disposable piping bag ( from Lakeland - makes life a lot easier!) and either use a fine writing nozzle (no. 2) or just snip off a tiny bit off the end of the bag. Pipe your message and then refrigerate.
Happy Birthday Dad!
P.s. never try and pipe a balloon on a cake if your piping skills aren't amazing. It does NOT look good! I'll be honest - my balloon ended up looking like a sperm!! ahhh! If you do make a mistake with your piping, scrape it off with a knife, then get a hot, but dry, palette knife and smooth over the area you scraped off. You'd never guess you'd made a blooper :)