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My Chinese New Year Cake *pics*


lorinda
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Here's a few pics of the cake I made for a Chinese New Year's party. It's the first time I've done modelling; as it's year of the dog I made a few doggies. Dogs, kennels, lanterns and firecrackers made from modelling paste, 'grass' of royal icing mounted on a plaque.

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The cake itself turned out gargantuan.

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The bottom layer is chocolate (as per 'Finding the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe' thread, Epicurious tweaked version), middle layer is Amanda Hesser's mother-in-law's Almond Cake which I read about on Amateur Gourmet and top tier was a hazelnut cake. The chocolate cake was excellent, quite rich, the almond cake very nice too and a keeper.

I made some whipped white chocolate/creme fraiche ganache which went between one layer, however second batch curdled on me, as did the white chocolate ganache which I had been planning on covering the outside. Originally, I was planning on hanging down the side some red fondant banners to look like traditional chinese new year banners (like the ones in this pic but when things started going pear shaped, I scraped that idea.

So going to Plan B, I made some chocolate plastic which I'd never done before. What a waste of 300g of Lindt couverture! Oily melted chocolate everywhere, with the plastic of a peculiarly teeth-cementing texture. Never making that again.

Frustrated, sweaty and tired with less than one hour till party time, I swore never to work with chocolate again, rushed to the shops and got some double cream, whipped it into espresso cream, which worked beautifully and tasted great.

Perhaps someone could advise, given that whipped double cream tastes great, is easier to make than buttercream and stands up to being left at room temp for almost as long, I'd say, as buttercream, what are the advantages of using buttercream over whipped double cream?

Despite my oath above on never to work with chocolate again, any tips on how to make (whipped) ganache without it curdling would be appreciated. When I made it the night before, left in fridge and whipped morning after, it worked. However, subsequent attempts without leaving overnight curdled. Or could it be that I was using creme fraiche, which seemed more watery than heavy cream?

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous Year of the Dog.

"I'll just die if I don't get this recipe."
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What a SUPER cake!!! It has everything, and sounds YUMMY!

We're headed out to our fave Chinese place tonight; we've been going there for years, have watched the young ones grow up and go off into their lives, and it feels like family. Needless to say, I made a quick trip for red envelopes this week.

Please post more cakes!!!

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Very cute! Though maybe more Chinese breeds would've been appropriate. Like the Chow Chow

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or the Pekingese

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Yes, I thought about the chow chow, but decided long haired dogs are too hard to represent in modelling paste, to get that fluffy look. I will need to experiment further.

"I'll just die if I don't get this recipe."
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Lorinda, I loved your cake. The English Bull Terriers are sooo cute. My boss breeds English bull terriers so now i have a great idea for his cake! Thanks for posting and for the ideas!

"A few days ago, I heard a doctor talking on television about the dangers of stress. It can kill you. It can cause a heart attack or stroke. The doctor listed many ways of coping with stress. Exercise. Diet Yoga. Talk a walk. I yelled, "Bake cookies." I often talk to the television. I yelled it again and again. The doctor went on with his list of 12 ways to reduce stress and he never once mentioned my sure-fire treatment......"

Maida Heatter

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