Ellie & Simon's Wedding Cake

I made a mini-wedding cake for my sister and her groom. the original recipe is the 'heavenly christmas cake' recipe in Felicity Barnum-Bobb's '200 chocolate recipes'.

Method

Place dried fruit and Amaretto (or sherry or orange juice) in a sterilized jar and leave to macerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.

Grease and line a 15cm/6inch cake tin. Make sure the lining paper forms a tall collar sticking out of the pan - the mixture would definitely have overflowed without the tall paper when I made it.

Preheat the over to 180 degrees Celsius (350F), Gas Mark 4.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, then sift in the flour, cocoa and mixed spice.

Use a food processor to whizz together half of the macerated fruit until smooth. Add this to the cake mixture wiht the rest of the fruit and soaking liquid. Add the white chocolate chunks and fold everything together.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. The cake is ready when a skewer pushed in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin. Put on to a plate or board and peel away the paper.

To decorate:
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I found the cake rose a lot and the top was quite cracked. I levelled off the top with a breadknife and turned the cake upside down to decorate it.

For the wedding cake, I covered it in chocolate ganache, followed by a layer of chocolate sugar paste, with white chocolate cigarellos round the outside.
Felicity's recipe suggests cream cheese frosting or classic marzipan and royal icing.

Chocolate heaven decoration:
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Make the ganache by heating the cream until it only just starts to bubble. Pour the hot cream over chopped dark chocolate. Leave the chocolate to melt for a minute then start whisking to a homogenous mixture. Leave the ganache to cool and thicken to a spreading consistency (some say like peanut butter) before doing battle with the cake - you can make the finish as rough or as smooth as you desire. If you want/need more ganache, use chocolate to cream in a ratio of 2:1.

The way I decorated it, the ganache was a yummy interface between the cake and a smooth sugarpaste covering. You could just leave it at the ganache though.
I bought the chocolate sugar paste and rolled it out to cover the cake. I then used some left over ganache, melted a little, to stick the cigarellos round the outside.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
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150g butter
150g golden icing sugar
150g cream cheese
1 tbsp brandy
125g dried cranberries

blend together butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and brandy in a food processor until smooth and spread on top of cake. Finish by decorating with dried cranberries (e.g. in a heart shape) and tie a ribbon round the sides.

Classic Marzipan and Icing decoration:
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instead of cream cheese frosting,
brush top and sides of cooled cake with 4 tbsps apricot glaze.
Roll our 500g of natural marzipan to a 25cm/10inch circle then position on cake, press in place and trim off any excess.
Mix 3 egg whites in a large bowl, then beat in 500g sieved golden icing sugar until stiff. Add 1 teaspoon glycerine. use a palette knife to spread teh icing over the cake. Leave to set before decorating, e.g. with cranberries.

Hints 'n' Tips

Comments

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The cake looks great and I like the recipe - love the idea of soaking the fruit in all that amaretto! Thank you for sharing. Hope you all had a wonderful day on Saturday!