Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Chocolate cake decorated with strawberries and musical notes

You can never have too many chocolate cakes.  Especially when celebrating birthdays.  This cake was a fairly plain old vegan chocolate cake that I jazzed up with chocolate frosting, chocolate sticks, strawberries and more chocolate.  It was a significant birthday for my niece and I wanted to make a fancy cake for Quin.

The birthday was a few months ago so my memory is it is a bit hazy.  The photo I saw on Larder Love of a fancy birthday cake was the inspiration.  It seemed quite easy.  Chocolate fingers are even easy to buy these days.  I remember a time when they were rare in Australia.  Perhaps I noticed this after caring for an elderly woman in the UK who was rather fond of these biscuits.

However the cake was more challenging than I anticipated.  Firstly I made it while we were without a car after some idiots stole it.  So I baked the cakes and took them in a cake box down to Geelong on the train.  When I got down I decorated the cake at my parents' house.

I followed a similar recipe to the frosting at Larder Love and mine was a thick mass that I could barely spread between the cakes let alone spread over the cakes.  I gave up and just made some basic chocolate ganache (a bit like this) for the outside of the cakes.  At least the chocolate fingers covered up the lack of frosting.

Then I had a brilliant idea to make chocolate musical notes because Quin is very musical.  Later I was told that white chocolate is softer to handle.  Which may explain why it was so hard to pick up the notes that I piped onto baking paper.  The broken notes were scattered over the strawberries.  It took me so long that I had barely finished the cake when it was time to sit down for dinner.  Hence my lack of decent photos.   (However I took lots of process photos which will have to do in lieu of a recipe.)

Despite the frustrations, I was still happy that the cake was more fancy than a plain old iced cake.  After one of my younger nieces wanted an adult cake last year, I have decided to need to make more effort in presentation of celebration cakes.  This one is a good start.  And for those who notice that this is the third chocolate cake I have posted in a row, I finish the post the way I started.  You can never have too many chocolate cakes!

More fancy cakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful! What a special cake made with love (and chocolate) :)

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  2. This is a stunning cake and your niece must have been thrilled. I love how you decorated it with the music notes and the piled-high strawberries. And yes, you can never have too many chocolate cakes xx

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  3. You are the queen of celebration cakes Johanna! Chocolate fingers bring back so many childhood memories. On my 11th birthday I insisted I wanted to make my own cake and remember making a house with a chocolate finger roof and lots of sweets for decorations!

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    1. Wow emma that is impressive for an 11 year old!

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  4. I've always wanted to make one of these chocolate biscuit/finger cakes! I once bought lots of boxes of Pocky but I ate them before I could make a cake out of them-oops! This looks fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - Pocky would work well here - though I understand why it might get eaten first :-)

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  5. Wonderful.. great chocolate cake..and using the biscuit fingers is brilliant!

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  6. What a stunning cake - worthy of being in a shop, for sure! My Mum used chocolate fingers like this and I was sad when they stopped being readily available as they did do wonders for fancy decorating. I'm glad they're more available again.

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    1. Thanks Kari - I thought it looked better by candlelight which is probably not the way to sell them in shops :-) I don't remember chocolate fingers being available when we were little (we had the odder shaped tv shapes which would not have worked here)

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  7. What a brilliant job! Your niece is a lucky girl! I love the white chocolate notes, I don't think I could have managed that

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    1. Thanks Kate - the amount of white notes that collapsed made it very slow work on the cake - I needed the contrast but I am not sure I would attempt it again

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  8. You are so creative in the kitchen Johanna! I love this cake and I bet your niece thought it was lovely =) Great idea with the musical notes, I should do something like that for my husband next time I make him a cake =)

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    1. Thanks Kimmy - I have been told that darker chocolate is more stable for this sort of thing - perhaps it might work better with dark notes on a white background

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  9. Chocolate, more chocolate and strawberries are a perfect summary treat and a great combo for a celebration. The notes are very inventive..... but I agree.... white chocolate can be very tricky to work with!

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  10. Wow that is fantastic! My mother is a music teacher - if I remember this I'll be inspired for her next birthday I think! :-)

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