Race Track Cake for his 6th birthday and he wanted a helicopter cake, and a chocolate cake at that, this time. I made a obviously- not-so-successful attempt at one. I tried making piping gel at home and also made a trial picture of Pooh last week to test the piping gel and the fondant mixed with CMC. My trail piece was a success and survived in the fridge for almost a week, till my daughter broke it:-((. I will be posting the recipe of the piping gel later this week.
We celebrated the birthday at a pizza joint and I was not sure if the fondant would stay undissolved and survive on whipped cream topping out of the fridge for a couple of hours. So I played safe and made a Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganache frosting. Though I was not very happy with the end product, it was worth all the time and effort I took to bake and finish the cake. My son was very happy with the cake and his friends were thrilled to see a helicopter cake, and a home-made one at that. Now on to the recipe and some boring details...
The recipe is from Hersheys website and the same I had tried earlier for theValentine Cupcakes. This recipe makes a large quantity of cake and I made two cakes, one big and another small with the batter. Its a delicious moist cake, specially with a chocolate ganache topping.
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and line cake pans, dusting lightly with flour.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. ( I sifted all dry ingredients). Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in water (batter will be thin). Fill in prepared cake pans and bake for about 40 minutes or till toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
For the ganache: I have used
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Bring the cream and butter to a boil in a heavy saucepan, over low heat. Boil for a full minute, taking care not to burn the cream. Take off the heat. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and leave for 2-3 minutes, till the chocolate dissolves completely. Stir gently with a rubber spatula till it becomes a homogeneous mixture. Do not stir or whisk vigorously as it may cause the ganache to become grainy. Once cool, whip ganache till thick and of frosting consistency. Do check this site for more tips and info on ganache.
Slice the cake into two horizontal slices. Fill and frost the cake on the top and sides with the ganache.The above quantity was enough for one 9-inch cake.
For fondant topping:
Lemon sized ball of white rolled fondant( I have used Wilton)
Food colors(Wilton again)
A small pinch of CMC (Available at most super markets)
Cornflour for rolling
Brushes for painting.
I microwaved the fondant for about 5 seconds to make it soft. Mixed the CMC into it. Then rolled it thinly and laid it on a flat plate lightly dusted with cornflour. This will help avoid the fondant sticking to the plate. I kept it in the fridge for about 5 hours to make it hard. I have traced the picture of the helicopter using wax paper. Painted the helicopter with the food color mixed in the piping gel. I wanted the outline to be black, somehow it just keep turning a dark shade of green. Was too scared to add too much color, fearing the gel tasting bitter as a result.
I have dried the painted fondant in the fridge overnight and placed it on the cake about an hour before cutting the cake. The picture color was intact for about 2 hours and then I could see the ganache beneath the fondant. The fondant was soft enough to be eaten by the time we cut the cake. I personally do not like the sweetness of fondant, so made it a very thin layer, purely for decorative purpose. Yeah, only whipped cream to fatten me up:-))
Whew! End of my long post. Will post the other cake - Mocha Chocolate Gateaux in a couple of days.
Tips and help on using fondant welcome!!
This cake is also my entry to Divya's Best Chocolate Cake Event.