When someone who follows me on-line, whether it is my Facebook page or Instagram or Twitter, asks me to bake for them I am always thrilled. It’s reassurance that what I am doing is right. After all of the positive comments about the Chocolate and Cherry Explosion cake I was asked by a local woman to make it for her and her husband as they were celebrating their 25th or Silver wedding anniversary. I said yes straight away. Then the lovely Kate started to question the flavour of cake: she had seen a few in recent weeks on my page that she also liked. In the end, and a quick consultation with one of her sons, we settled on Raspberry and Coconut. But this couldn’t be an ordinary sandwich cake: this has to be spectacular and shout out “celebration” and so my mind went straight to edible silver leaf and I started to scour the supermarkets for luxurious confections that could adorn the cake.
The cake itself is a coconut all in one recipe that I use from an old Good Food supplement. I made it twice, giving me four 8” rounds. I wanted to ensure the cake was moist and flavourful in every bite, so I made a sugar syrup with added Chambord to drizzle over each layer.
I whipped up a coconut buttercream and a fresh raspberry puree and lined them up with a pile of fresh Scottish raspberries (because we have beautiful rasps in Scotland).
After spreading a thin layer of buttercream on the bottom layer I piped a dam of icing around the edge and filled in the centre with fresh raspberries, squashing or breaking a few up, then drizzled some of the fresh raspberry pureé over the top. The middle layer was simply a good spread of buttercream and the top was a repeat of the bottom. I quickly crumb coated the entire cake and fired it into the fridge to cool down and firm up. After an hour I took the cake out and gave it its final thicker coat of buttercream and back into the fridge it went.
The real fun was decorating this cake. I made a white chocolate ganache and gently spread it across the cake and coaxed it to drizzle down the sides. I broke up the white chocolate and freeze dried raspberry bark that I’d made the day before and imbedded it in the top of the cake and set about filling in the gaps with: fresh raspberries; freeze dried raspberries; coconut flakes; silver balls; Mikado white chocolate sticks; Lindt Strawberries & Cream chocolates; and, my absolute find, white chocolate coated freeze dried raspberries from Marks & Spencer.
I had made a “25” from flower paste which I added to the rest of the decorations then went about embellishing the decorations with a touch of edible silver leaf.
I was delighted with the overall appearance of the cake. I struggled to get photographs because of the thunderstorm raging outside at the time. The light was poor but I managed to snap a few shots in a window between really dark clouds and monsoon like rain.
I dug out a rigid cubed box normally reserved for delivering stacked wedding cakes to protect all these precious decorations on the top of the cake from the elements, and off I went.
And Kate, the customer that this cake was for, was such a lovely woman. She was so excited to see her cake and thrilled with it. We stood chatting for ages about all manner of things and I left after a couple of hugs having made a new friend.
It gives me so much pleasure to make and bake delicious things for people, especially when it’s for a special occasion. When someone has such a positive reaction to what I have made it fills me with such joy and satisfaction. I love to bake and I love to share what I have made with people.