Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snowy Chocolate Cake Cottages

 
These cottages are really cute and so wintery and they're also a little festive with the wreaths and Christmas trees. 
These were a bit of a labour of love to make, they took a while especially the piping but I was really happy with the result. The first stage was to make a dense chocolate cake. The recipe specified a 6 inch square tin which I don't have so I used some foil backed parchement and tried to reduce the size of an 8 inch tin as you can see above...and it actually worked quite well. If you wanted to make something similar you could use any dense chocolate cake recipe.
Once baked and cooled the cake went in the fridge overnight to firm up so it was suitable for carving. The 6 inch tin produces four cottages.
I carved two types of roof on my cake for a bit of variation. This is also useful if you have different flavour cakes so you can tell which one is which. Another potential cake recipe for the cakes was spiced ginger cake.
Once the cottages were carved they were covered in marzipan to create a smooth base. A lovely chocolate ganache was then poured and spread over the top with a small cranked palette knife.
Warning, the next part will give you hand cramps! This was quite fine piping and I used royal icing in a piping bag with a 1.5 nozzle. I also used an angled turntable to pipe on the sides more easily. First up the roof tiles were piped and some were given extra icing to show a build up of snow. It doesn't matter if they're not perfect as the whole thing gets a dusting of icing sugar on top. Also add some icicles as a finishing touch.
Once the roof was complete it was on to the doors and windows. The snowmen were created by pressure piping a small circle for the head and a slightly larger circle beneath for the body.
Finally, some of the white icing was mixed up to create green, red and yellow for the wreaths, window decorations, Christmas trees and snowmen. The Christmas trees are 3D as the first layer was piped on by zig zagging from side to side with the lines gettting progressively longer to create the shape. When this was dry a slightly smaller zig zag was piped on top and then a final third layer. A star and Christmas decorations were then added to finish the trees off.
Lastly, royal icing was spread over the boards around the cottages and a ribbon added. I think these could even make cute Christmas presents next year! The idea is from the most recent Squires magazine and is by Ayako Saida.

22 comments:

  1. Wow! Those cottages are amazing, you're very talented :)

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  2. Awesome! Look too beautiful to cut. Well done!

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  3. These are just perfect, clever lady! I'm not sure I'd have the patience to have a go myself!

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  4. Helen, Hudson BakeryJanuary 5, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Laura, they are fantastic! I'm so impressed!

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  5. They are gorgeous Laura...really pretty.

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  6. How charming are these cottages! : )

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  7. These are wonderful, so very festive. Know what you mean about doing all the icing who would of thought your hands had so many muscles that could ache :)

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  8. These are so pretty, just amazing! Your icing is brilliant and best of all they look as if they would also be delicious to eat!

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  9. More fabulous than fabulous:)

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  10. Beautiful work - and how nice that they're made out of solid cake rather than gingerbread panels. You're such a neat piper!

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  11. Beautiful work. I am impressed with the details I see on the cakes. Bravo once again! :-)

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  12. Thanks all...the hand cramps have just about subsided from all that piping! ;-)

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  13. So cute, these are gorgeous! Wish I could make something like that!

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  14. WOW!!! These are ever so cute! You have "fairy hands" as we would say in Italy. Really really well done on these beautiful little houses :-)

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  15. Laura, your cottages are superb and so so cute. I do admire your patience, I don't think I could do this if I had all year to do it.

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  16. These cottages are absolutely beautiful, I especially admire all the little details!

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  17. Laura, you are amazing! These cakes look stunning. You are really good creating the fine details of these cakes.

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  18. I love these - brilliant variation on gingerbread cottages and don't think I've ever seen cakes being given the same treatment.

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  19. So awesome, these are quite impressive, I dont think I could cut into one they're so pretty

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  20. These are absolutely adorable! What a fabulous job you've done on them. :) Loving the new look on the blog too, happy new year and all the best for 2013 :)

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  21. Laura these are SO good!! They're so cute. Think they might be my favourite Christmassy bake. Well done! :)

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  22. How gorgeous and perfectly iced!

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