Winter Wonderland Cake Tutorial
Winter Wonderland Cake
Layering a collar with cut-out snowflakes over a cake decorated in another, contrasting colour adds depth and dimension. Sparkly snowflakes round off this celebration of winter.
FOR THIS PROJECT YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING:
1x 15 cm (6 in.) round filled cake of 12.5 cm (5 in.) high
1x 25 cm (10 in.) round cake board
800 g (1 lb 12½ oz) blue chocolate ganache coating made from:
200 ml (7 fl oz cream) and 600 g (1 lb 5¼ oz) white chocolate
Blue gel food colouring
Chocolate collar made from:
Snowflakes made from:
100 g (3½ oz) ready-prepared or store-bought light blue modelling chocolate
Snowflake cutters such as Fox Run Craftsman tin-plated cookie cutter set
Differently sized piping nozzles or tubes
Food-safe edible sparkles (optional)
Apricot jam or sugar syrup
Icing (confectioner’s) sugar (optional)
30 g (1 oz) melted white chocolate to attach snowflakes to side of cake
Non-stick cooking spray or white vegetable fat (shortening)
Assembling and decorating the cake:
1. Bake and fill your chosen cake and place it on the cake board.
2. Soften your ganache in a microwave oven at 20% power or on the Defrost setting until it reaches the consistency of smooth peanut butter. Use a toothpick to add drops of blue gel food colouring to the ganache.
3. If your white chocolate ganache has a yellow undertone it might look slightly green after adding the blue colouring; add a few drops of purple food colouring to counteract the yellow tint until the ganache has a light blue shade.
4. Coat the cake with a thin layer of the blue ganache and place it in a refrigerator for 5 minutes to set.
5. Coat the cake with the rest of the blue ganache and scrape the coating into an even layer with a scraper or spatula. Leave the cake overnight to rest or place in a refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. Dip the spatula into boiled water to smooth the ganache.
6. Measure the height and circumference of your cake and add 5 mm (⅕ in.) to the height and 5 cm (2 in.) to the circumference.
7. Cut a template from a piece of greaseproof paper to these measurements (this is the same technique that you would use when making a chocolate collar).
8. Knead the white modelling chocolate until it is soft enough to roll out. Roll out the chocolate on a piece of cling wrap between spacers to an even thickness of about 4 mm (⅙ in.). Use a non-stick rolling pin or dust with some icing sugar if the chocolate sticks to the roller.
9. Place the greaseproof paper template on top of the rolled white modelling chocolate and cut out a rectangle with a pizza wheel, using the template as your cutting guide. Remove the template from the chocolate collar and set aside to use later.
10. Dip your snowflake cutters into icing sugar and cut out snowflakes from the modelling chocolate collar.
11. Cut out any random pattern with the snowflake cutters. Remember to set aside some of the snowflakes to use as decoration on the cake.
12. Spray the greaseproof paper template with non-stick cooking spray or coat with a thin layer of white vegetable fat (shortening). Place the template on the modelling chocolate collar again and smooth it out with your hands so that the chocolate sticks to the paper. Flip over the rectangle holding onto the paper and the cling wrap underneath. Remove the cling wrap from the modelling chocolate.
13. Lift up the collar and bend it around your cake (similar to making a chocolate collar).
14. Overlap the ends where they meet and cut through both layers of modelling chocolate with a sharp knife. Open up this seam and remove the excess modelling chocolate at the bottom and top to get a smooth joint. Rub over the joint to seal the seam.
15. Pinch the top edge of the collar with your fingers to give it a softer, frilly look.
16. Knead the light blue modelling chocolate until it is soft enough to roll out. Roll out the modelling chocolate on a piece of cling wrap to an even thickness of about 4 mm (⅙ in.). Use a non-stick rolling pin or dust with some icing sugar if the chocolate sticks to the roller.
17. Dip the snowflake cutters into icing sugar and cut out snowflakes.
18. Cut out small circles from the inside of the snowflakes with differently sized piping nozzles or tubes.
19. Dip the ends of a few toothpicks into edible glue and twist them into some of the snowflakes.
20. If preferred, brush the snowflakes with edible glue and sprinkle food-safe edible sparkles over them. Set them aside to firm up or place in a refrigerator for 10 minutes.
21. Brush apricot jam, sugar syrup or water over the visible edge of the cake board. Mix all the leftover white and light blue modelling chocolate together until it looks slightly marbled and roll it out until very thin. Lay patches of the marbled chocolate neatly on the visible edge of the cake board and cut it into tiles of a similar size to decorate the board. Attach a ribbon around the board.
22. Push the snowflakes on toothpicks into the top of your cake.
23. Attach snowflakes to the side of the cake and cake board with drops of melted chocolate.
24. Dust the cake with icing sugar to resemble snow.
If your modelling chocolate feels too firm, heat it in a microwave oven at 20% power or on the Defrost setting at 10-second intervals until it is soft enough to roll out.
If you find it difficult to work with modelling chocolate, mix it with sugar paste (fondant) in a ratio of 1:1.