Triangles and Shapes
TRIANGLES AND SHAPES
Small children who are learning shapes will enjoy this cake. To make this cake for a grown-up, replace the shapes with stars or hearts.
Makes up to 12 servings.
Chocolate Triangles: **
Every 100 g (3½ oz) of chocolate will yield 10 triangles. The following instructions are for 40 triangles, using 400 g (14 oz) of dark or milk chocolate.
For squiggles, use 100 g (3½ oz) of white chocolate.
1) To make templates for the exact number of triangles you need to cover your cake:
- Measure the circumference of the cake.
- Measure the height of the cake.
2) Cut two pieces of greaseproof paper for the cake, as long as the circumference of the cake and as high as you want to make the triangles, e.g. 50 x 7.5 cm (20 x 3 in.).
3) Now make a cutting template for the triangles:
Using normal paper or light cardboard, cut a triangle the same height as the greaseproof paper, e.g. 7.5 cm (3 in.) and as wide as you want to make your triangles, for example 5 cm (2 in.) wide. Set aside to use later as a guide for cutting your chocolate into equally-sized triangles.
4) Place one of the greaseproof paper templates on a flat surface and use adhesive tape or masking tape to make a handle for each end and to keep the paper in place.
5) Melt 100 g (3½ oz) white chocolate and colour it with 2.5 ml (½ tsp) vegetable oil mixed with 10 drops of yellow food colouring or a drop of paste colouring and pour into a zip-lock bag. Snip off one corner to make a piping bag.
6) Pipe lines or squiggles on one of the pieces of greaseproof paper and wait for it to set, otherwise it will smudge when pouring the dark or milk chocolate on top.
7) To reuse the piping chocolate later on the other piece of paper, reheat inside the bag in the microwave oven at the Defrost setting or at 20% power at 10-second intervals until the chocolate is runny again.
8) Melt the first batch of 200 g (7 oz) dark or milk chocolate and pour in a thick line onto the greaseproof paper over the piped squiggles.
9) Quickly spread the chocolate with a palette knife from side to side and keep on spreading from one side to the other, keeping a 2.5 cm (1 in.) strip of paper open at each end by which you will later pick up the paper. Spread the chocolate over the edges of the paper because the chocolate on the edges always sets more quickly than the chocolate in the middle. By keeping the chocolate moving, you regulate the temperature for the chocolate to set more evenly. Keep on spreading until the chocolate starts to thicken and set slightly. If you are working with eating chocolate only, this may take up to 30 minutes.
10) Touch the surface of the chocolate with your finger. When the chocolate starts to thicken, but with some chocolate still coming off on your fingertip, the paper is ready to be lifted.
11) Quickly lift the paper off the work surface by holding the clean edges or the masking tape and lay it on a clean surface or on a baking or wooden tray that will fit into your refrigerator.
12) Place the cutting template on top of your chocolate. Using the outer edge of the template as a guide, cut through the chocolate with a knife or pizza wheel to make triangles.
13) After cutting all the triangles, place the tray with the chocolate in the refrigerator for no longer than 10 minutes, to let the chocolate cool and set completely.
14) Scrape all leftover hardened chocolate from your worktop to use as decoration for the top of the cake.
15) Carefully remove the hardened chocolate triangles from the paper.
16) Repeat all the steps with the other paper and 200 g (7 oz) milk or dark chocolate.
How many triangles should you make?
You do not want to be caught with too few triangles to cover your cake nor do you want to waste time making unnecessary triangles. You can work out approximately how many triangles you will need. If you want to lay them with the long end pointing to the side, do the following calculations:
1) Measure your triangle (e.g. the width could be 5 cm (2 in.) and the height 7.5 cm (3 in.)).
2) Measure your cake (e.g. the circumference could be 50 cm (20 in.) and the height 10 cm (4 in.)).
3) To calculate how many triangles are needed to go round the cake once, divide the circumference of the cake by the height of one triangle (e.g. 50 cm (20 in.) divided by 7.5 cm (3 in.) = 6.5 triangles).
4) To calculate how many layers of triangles are needed to cover the height of the cake, divide the height of the cake by the width of one triangle (e.g. 10 cm (4 in.) divided by 5 cm (2 in.) = 2 layers).
5) Now multiply the number of triangles needed to go round with the number of layers to find the total number of triangles needed to cover the cake (e.g. 6.5 x 2 = 13 triangles).
6) Since the triangles will be overlapping each other you will need to make triple the amount of triangles (e.g. 13 x 3 = 39 triangles).
Remember that you can always remelt any leftover triangles for another project.
Chocolate Sugar Shapes: *
These shapes are made by cutting them out of greaseproof paper, spreading the paper with chocolate and then sprinkling coloured sugar onto the wet chocolate.
100 g (3½ oz) of chocolate will make about 25 shapes.
Place a baking or wooden tray aside that will fit into your refrigerator. If working with eating chocolate only, you can put the tray in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before using it.
1) Print any basic shapes such as triangles, stars, ovals or squares on white paper.
2) Place a piece of see-through greaseproof paper on top of the template and trace the shapes onto the greaseproof paper with a permanent marker. Cut out the shapes and turn them over to pour the chocolate onto the side without pen marks.
3) Put 30 g (1 oz) of granulated sugar in a zip-lock bag.
4) Add 2 drops of liquid food colouring, e.g. green, and close the bag. Shake and squish the bag between your hands to colour the sugar.
5) Pour out the sugar into a shallow bowl or plate.
6) Repeat with another 30 g (1 oz) granulated sugar and colour it with food colouring, e.g. yellow.
7) Melt 100 g (3½ oz) of white chocolate.
8) Pour a teaspoonful of melted chocolate onto a paper shape and spread it with the back of the teaspoon.
9) While the chocolate is still wet, lift the shape with a knife and place it on the baking or wooden tray.
10) Quickly pour some coloured sugar over the wet chocolate and wait for the chocolate to set and harden.
11) Repeat with the other shapes until they are all coated.
12) If it is a very hot day, you could place the tray with shapes in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to cool down the chocolate more quickly.
13) Turn the shapes over and brush off the excess sugar with your fingers.
14) Peel the paper from the back of each shape.
15) If you want some of the shapes to stand upright, dip a toothpick in melted chocolate and place it onto the back of a shape. Place in a refrigerator for 5 minutes to set.
The shapes can be made up to two weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE FULL PROJECT AS ILLUSTRATED, YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING: **
1 round 15 cm (6 in.) cake in 2 layers
1 round 20 cm (8 in.) cake board, plywood board or cake stand
¾ batch of chocolate buttercream icing or ¾ batch each of dark or milk chocolate ganache filling and coating, recipes in Katrien's Mini Cakes Book
Chocolate triangles made with:
400 g (14 oz) dark or milk chocolate
100 g (3½ oz) white chocolate
2.5 ml (½ tsp) vegetable oil
Food colouring such as yellow
100 g (3½ oz) dark or milk chocolate melted, for attaching the triangles to the cake
Chocolate shapes made with:
100 g (3½ oz) white chocolate
60 g (2 oz) granulated sugar
A few drops of food colouring, e.g. green and yellow
Assembling and decorating the cake:
1) Divide each layer in two (see instructions for filling and coating cakes in Katrien's Mini Cakes Book). Fill, assemble and coat the cake with either chocolate buttercream icing or dark or milk chocolate ganache filling and coating.
2) Melt 100 g (3½ oz) dark or milk chocolate, pour into a zip-lock bag and snip off a corner to make a piping bag.
3) Pipe some chocolate onto the back of each triangle before pressing it onto the cake. Start at the top of the cake and work your way down to the bottom edge of the cake. Place triangles next to each other and overlap them where necessary.
4) If you have not used a cake stand or serving plate, follow the method for decorating a cake board in Katrien's Mini Cakes Book.
5) Place chocolate sugar shapes around the bottom of the cake and push some of the shapes on toothpicks into the cake.
MINI CAKES: *
1) Follow the instructions for preparing your mini cake in Katrien's Mini Cakes Book.
2) Decorate them with small triangles stuck on with melted chocolate.
3) Put a shape on top of each cake.
1) Pipe a swirl of chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake using a zip-lock bag.
2) Place a chocolate shape on top of each cupcake.
1) Prepare your cake pops as described in Katrien's Mini Cakes Book but form them into different shapes.
2) Dip the cake pops in white chocolate and while they are still wet, quickly dip them in yellow and green coloured sugar.
3) Place the pops in a glass or push them into floral foam or foamalite to serve.