Category Archives: Chocolate

Sparkles, Glitz and Glamour

If ever you were going to have sparkles, glitz and glamour as your wedding theme, then a celebration between Christmas and New Year is the time to have it! The bride came to me at the end of last year with a limited budget for her wedding cake spread, but big ideas of lots of gold and sequins to match her theme. Rather than go down the well-trodden naked wedding cake route, I created a styled dessert table of decadent little bites for their guests, swapping the usual cake centrepiece for a pyramid of gold embellished brownies!

The wedding reception was held at Loft Studios, Kensal Rise. A huge thank you to Paper and Primrose for the lovely pics and Westwood Design for the little floral finishing touches.

Where else to look for sequins and sparkle than of course Rebecca of Glimmer and Threads who supplied the beautiful gold sequin table cloth.

I created personalised “Oreo” love heart cookies dusted with gold…

Gold dusted hazelnut praline macarons…

Vanilla meringues sprinkled with edible gold glitter…

And sparkly vanilla marshmallows!

For the “cake cutting”, the couple lit sparklers on their gilded brownie pyramid and sliced into a brownie of course!

All in all a wonderful winter wedding celebration don’t you think? Plus all of the cake platters are now available for hire from my new Hire page. Click here for details!

Chocolate Ganache Wedding Cake

Not a fan of icing but can’t stand the sight of ANOTHER naked wedding cake? Then the chocolate ganache wedding cake could be the alternative choice for you! Left bare for a simple, minimalist finish, it remains elegant with clean crisp edges and is versatile in terms of decoration.

The example I have today on the blog is a chocolate ganache wedding cake that I created for a very dear friend of mine this summer. The couple had a low-key marquee garden reception with simple decoration and flowers so this cake fit the bill perfectly with its simplicity.

The chocolate ganache sides were left plain and I created an unstructured cascade of handmade sugar flowers, leaves and berries in my signature “sprouting” style. The blush and neutral colours tied in with the bouquets and arrangements provided by the florist.

As there is no sweet icing, the chocolate ganache wedding cake is also perfect to serve as a decadent dessert as this couple did. Serve it alone or with the addition of cream, berries, ice cream or anything you fancy really!

Huge congratulations to two of the most beautiful people I know. It was a pleasure to spend this most special of days with you and share in your happiness.

x x x

Photo credits: White Ribbons Photography

Naked Chocolate Wedding Cake

Wedding season has officially begun here at LBC and I’m excited to share with you this naked chocolate wedding cake from last week. I delivered and set it up at the stunning venue Leez Priory in Essex.

The couple were inspired by a previous naked chocolate cake which I created a few years ago. They opted for beautiful vintage look roses and gysophila from Lily & May as well as the cute little bird toppers from Diana Parkhouse which I have used on several wedding cakes before.

The couple chose flavours from my cake menu which I then customised for them to suit their tastes and overall look.

From top to bottom they had “Banana Choc Chip” with vanilla bean cream cheese icing, “Chocolate Orange” with Cointreau, hidden Belgian chocolate ganache and orange buttercream and “Belgian Chocolate” with hidden Belgian chocolate ganache and vanilla bean cream cheese icing.

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Tried & Tested #6: Chocolate Truffle Torte

This chocolate torte from Delia Smith’s Christmas has been a favourite in my family for years. Yesterday my uncle hosted a delicious Sunday lunch to celebrate my Nana turning 90 and so I brought this crowdpleaser for dessert. I dressed it up for the occasion with some crystallised edible flowers from eatmyflowers.co.uk as well as a few candles naturally! I can’t recommend this recipe highly enough – it’s super easy and seriously chocolatey and you can easily get 14 portions out of it (rather than the suggested 10). With the festive season fast approaching, you have no excuses not to give it a go. Find the recipe here.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Biscuit Cake

This is a twist on an old classic. I’ve added a layer of peanut butter buttercream to one of my favourite childhood recipes. You can use either crunchy or smooth – whichever you prefer.



Ingredients
450g digestive biscuits
3 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
200g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup

90g unsalted butter, softened
90g icing sugar, sifted
60g peanut butter

150g dark chocolate, at least 50% cocoa solids

Method

  • Grease and line an 11″x7″/27cmx17cm tin (or whatever you have of a similar size)
  • Blitz up the biscuits with the cocoa powder to a fine crumb.
  • Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a microwave or in a saucepan.
  • Mix the butter and biscuit mixture together.
  • Press the mixture into the tin evenly.
  • Place the tin in the fridge until firm.
  • To make the buttercream, cream together the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy and then beat in the peanut butter.
  • Spread the buttercream evenly over the biscuit base and put it back in the fridge to firm.
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain marie until smooth.
  • Remove the tin from the fridge and spread the melted chocolate evenly over the biscuit mixture.
  • Return to the fridge to set.
Once the chocolate has set, it is ready to slice. It will be easier to slice neatly once the chocolate has just set. After a few hours in the fridge, the chocolate will become more brittle. If this happens simply remove the biscuit cake from the fridge and bring it to room temperature by leaving it out for half an hour before slicing.

Makes 40 mini squares

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Chocolate Mousse Torte

I created this dessert for a friend who wanted a special recipe to cook for her partner on their anniversary. It’s adapted from a Fiona Cairns recipe from Bake & Decorate. I have combined my favourite nuts and dried berries in the tiffin base and added a hit of coffee to the mousse which enriches and deepens the flavour. All in all, a luxurious dessert which is simple to create, but will definitely impress!



Ingredients


for the base
65g unsalted butter, softened
50g pistachios
2 tsp golden syrup
65g dark chocolate (I use 50% cocoa solids)
65g digestives
25g dried sour cherries
25g dried blueberries

for the mousse
200g dark chocolate
300ml whipping cream
2tsp coffee
10ml boiling water
10ml milk

to serve
cocoa powder
pouring cream

Method

  • Preheat the oven to Fan 150°C.
  • Place the pistachios on a baking tray and into the oven for around 5 minutes to lightly toast them.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool before roughly chopping along with the sour cherries and blueberries.
  • Grease and line the bottom of a 7″/17.5cm diameter springform tin with baking parchment and lightly butter the sides.
  • Place the digestives in a food processor and blitz to a crumb. If you don’t have a food processor, give them a good bash with a rolling pin (or similar bashing device).
  • Break the chocolate into pieces into a medium sized microwaveable bowl along with the butter and golden syrup.
  • Melt them all together in the microwave in 30 second bursts stirring between each burst. Alternatively you could heat them together in a bain marie.
  • Once melted together, stir in the fruit, nuts and digestive crumbs.
  • Pour this mixture into the prepared tin, pressing it to the edges so that you have an even surface and place in the fridge for an hour or so to set.
  • To make the mousse, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bain marie.
  • Once melted, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Mix the boiling water with the instant coffee and stir to dissolve.
  • Once all of the granules have dissolved, add the milk.
  • Slowly stir this coffee mixture into the chocolate. Don’t worry if the chocolate stiffens slightly, it will loosen up again once you add the cream.
  • Whip the cream with an electric whisk (or with a regular whisk and a bit of elbow grease) until it begins to thicken. It only needs to be lightly whipped until the whisk starts to leave a trail.
  • Now whisk half of the cream into the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  • Take a spatula or spoon and fold in the remaining cream until just combined. Try not to overmix it as you want to retain the air.
  • Pour the mix onto the prepared base and place back in the fridge for a few hours to set.
  • Once set, carefully run a knife around the edge before releasing the springform tin.
  • Dust with cocoa, then slice and serve with a drizzle of pouring cream.
Serves 10-12