Mandala Coconut Mini Cakes

This is my very own coconut cake recipe! I’m really proud of how it came out, as it is soft, moist and so fluffy I could die! (Despicable me reference).

The designs and the cake decoration are dedicated to one of my best friends, Holly, who loves coconut cakes and is passionate about Mandala art and designs. Shame she won’t be able to eat it!

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cake:

1 cup sugar

100gr butter

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups desiccated coconut

1 tsp coconut essence

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

For the Buttercream:

200 gr butter

2-3 cups of icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

1 cup of desiccated coconut

For the Decoration:

Block of different colour fondants, I used white, dark purple and pink

Royal Icing:

2 egg whites

4-5 cups icing sugar

blue, pink, yellow, green food colours

Turn oven on 180°. Beat the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs. Scrape down the bowl and add the dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk and coconut essence. Put in round cake tray and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Prepare the buttercream but beating all the ingredients together and set aside.

Let it cool and then, with a serrated knife cut the top dome of the cake, so to level it out.

cake half

With a round cookie cutter or a glass or anything you have handy, cut circles out of the bottom cake. Do not throw away the leftover cake! You can make cake pops with it. That will be the next post of the week! 🙂

Take two of the round cakes. With a small knife palette spread the buttercream on the bottom half, sandwich it and then cover the whole cake with buttercream. A thin layer will be enough. It might be a bit challenging as the cake is really fluffy and crumbs will come off.

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Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Start making the royal icing. Beat egg whites and add the sugar a bit at the time. Divide in 4 separate bowl, colour and pour into piping bags with thin round nozzles, or cut the piping bag at the very tip to make a small hole.

Take the cakes out of the fridge, cover with another layer of buttercream. Roll out the fondant. Place the fondant sheet on the cake. Make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in the cake, by delicately pulling the fondant on the sides and flattening it on the cake.

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Cut the excess fondant with a knife or a pizza cutter.

Now the fun part starts. It was hard to actually take pictures of this part, so I apologise if it is just the finished product. I will post another article with video instructions 🙂

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Voilà! These won’t be the last ones I make 🙂

Ciao for now xox

Mini Mud-Cakes

My mom the other day sent three huge boxes of baking equipment from Lakelands (wonders I might add!). Although she says it’s not, I consider this as my early graduation present 😀 I have so many new things to use and new recipes to try with these (also savoury), just have the itch to use everything in one go, because now I can!

I wanted to make something different that I’ve never done. I’ll admit these were supposed to be salted caramel, but it didn’t really work out 😦 BUT they were oh so good all the same! Perfect for the stormy weather, post exam treat and for dinner with friends.

INGREDIENTS: makes 13-14

(I will list the items in order of preparation, i.e. Chocolate Curls will be made before everything else)

Chocolate curls:

100 gr dark chocolate

Chocolate Ganache:

50 gr white sugar

2tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp water

75gr double cream

50+100gr butter (soft)

150 gr dark chocolate

pinch of salt

Chocolate Sponge:

150gr butter (soft)

100gr brown sugar

75gr white sugar

2 eggs

80gr flour

30gr cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

100ml buttermilk

For the Curls: Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in bowl over simmering water. Once it is all melted, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Pour the chocolate on a tipped over baking tray, and spread the chocolate evenly with a metal spatula. Let it cool and set. This might take hours depending on the temperature outside. It is pretty humid here in Brisbane, so the chocolate, although it was set, it was too soft to curl. I had to place it in the fridge for 20 minutes before curling (give a try with the knife before doing this in case your chocolate is fine as is). That will be the last step.

For the Ganache:

Place both sugars and water in saucepan over medium heat. When the caramel starts simmering, bubbling and reducing, take off the heat and add 50gr butter and the cream. Mix and put on the heat again until it starts to boil. At this point remove from heat, transfer in a clean bowl, let it cool, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

While these elements are resting and cooling, make the sponge. I used the mini cake pop up base tray for make these 🙂

tray

Oven on 180°. In a bowl mix butter and both sugar until pale. Add one egg at the time and then add all the sifted dry ingredients. Lastly add the buttermilk. Spray-grease the cake tin and spoon the batter in the holes. Try to level the batter with a teaspoon.

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Bake for 15minutes. Let them cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then pop them out and let them cool completely.

mini choc cake

Assuming that the two hours have passed, you can finish the ganache. Melt 150gr of dark chocolate (microwave or bagnomaria). Add the chocolate and the remaining butter with the previously made cream and mix until evenly combined. Put in the fridge for another half hour.

With a serrated knife, cut the cakes separating the bottom from the top half, like a sandwich. (in the original recipe they are triple layer, but I wasn’t able to do that, I’ll try next time).

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Pour the ganache in a piping bag (it’s easier to place the bag in a tall glass and fill it like that). But the bottom and with a circular movement starting from the middle, fill the cake bottom. The piping bag should make this process neater and avoid using too much ganache, as when you place the top half it will press the ganache and spread it evenly inside the cake.

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Now pipe some ganache on the top half and set aside.

Now for the curls! Get a knife. Hold the blade against the chocolate in a 70° angle and pull it towards you. This should make some curls in the chocolate layer 🙂 It is a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite fun!

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Now place the curls on top of the cakes. As I mentioned before it is very hot here and just touching the curls, melted them. So I just used a knife to transfer the curls. You can move them around with tooth picks if you want to be more decorative.

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And that is that! Put in the fridge until you need to serve, they will set neatly.

Enjoy. Ciao for now! xox