Made from a raspberry & white chocolate triple layered cake, smothered in a white chocolate & mascarpone frosting, this jelly bean illusion cake marks Only Crumbs Remain's first anniversary. To celebrate and to say 'thank you' to all of our readers we are also hosting a giveaway! (The giveaway has now ended).
A year ago I tentatively and excitedly pressed the publish button and set Only Crumbs Remain live! It was nervous moment, wondering what was going to happen, but I can honestly say that I've LOVED the past twelve months in the blogging world! Not only have I been able to indulge in my passion for baking, I have also been privileged to work with a couple of great brands on collaborative posts, whilst also increasing my limited knowledge regarding photography and coding, amongst other things. Though small in the grand scheme of things, I feel like my blog & I have been on quite a journey during this past year.
I've received an inordinate amount of help with my little vegetarian blog from family and friends, for whom I am incredibly grateful, though for fear of making this sound like an Oscars speech I shall only identify Mr E - my biggest helper. He not only samples my baking (difficult task there ;-) ) but also helps me proof read my posts, offers suggestions and is my No 1 tea and custard pourer for those movement shots! He's the best :-)
One of the best parts about blogging though is undoubtedly you, the reader. It's wonderful to see people call by and read my recipe posts, and even more so when I hear that somebody has re-created a recipe, perhaps with their own twist. The support, lovely comments and friendships forged are very much valued. And for that reason, Mr E & I are hosting our first giveaway as a massive "thank you" to all those visitors, new and returning (NB the giveaway has now closed). I do hope you like what we have pulled together and that you will take part, though more about that later as to kick off the celebration we have cake. After all what's a celebration without cake!
Wanting to mark my blogiversary with a cake, I decided to challenge myself and make an illusion cake (also referred to as gravity defying cake). I've often been impressed with illusion cakes, remember the one which Nadyia baked on GBBO last year, and wondered how on earth all of those delicious sweets were held in suspended animation. I imagined it required some form of complex assembly accompanied by a little hocus pocus, but how wrong was I! Thanks to You Tube, I soon realised that it is seriously straightforward and no magic spells were needed.
Now illusion cakes often seem to be adorned with Maltesers or M&Ms, but wanting to use something colourful and cheery I decided to work with Jelly Beans! Not only are they vegetarian friendly, they're so much fun too, you never really know which flavour you're going to get! I used a mixture of regular shaped jelly beans and some heart shaped ones from Valentine's Day. In hindsight I think I should have used some cigarellos or white chocolate fingers to create a fence around the cake, but I'm still more than happy with how well it turned out given that it is my first attempt at an illusion cake.
The cake itself is a 3 layered raspberry and white chocolate sponge covered in a delicious white chocolate mascarpone frosting. Two layers were flavoured with a raspberry paste and coloured with a little Sugarflair paste. The colour I used was 'peach' which I admit is not ideal when hoping for it to carry a raspberry hue, but I simply worked with what I had available. These two layers sandwiched a delicious white chocolate sponge. This particular layer sadly sunk very slightly in the centre due to the weight of the melted chocolate, but this certainly didn't affect the assembly nor the flavour. This was in fact my favourite layer. The three sponges were sandwiched with a thin layer of raspberry jam and frosting. The frosting was applied in two layers, being chilled after the first application to allow it to firm up. The frosting to the sides was then slightly patterned with a cake scraper. The illusion was then created with the use of drinking straws creating a support and melted white chocolate which was used as a glue.
So let's get to it and bake!
Raspberry & White Chocolate with Jelly Beans Illusion Cake. Yum
Serves: 10 - 12
Time: hands on time around 90 minutes; plus 40 - 50 minutes bake time; cooling time.
Freezable: Yes, undecorated
You will need:Electric Hand Held Beater
Spatula or large Metal Spoon
2 x 7" Sandwich Cake Tins
Bowl & Pan suitable for building a bain marie for melting chocolate
Cake Stand or Plate
Piping Bag (optional)
small strip of narrow Cellotape
Small Paint Brush, reserved for food use only
Tissue or Tissue Paper
For the Raspberry Sponge140g Unsalted Butter, softened (plus a little extra for preparing the tins)
4 medium Eggs, beaten
10g Raspberry Flavoured Gel Flavouring
Gel Food Colouring
140g SR Flour (Plus a little extra for preparing the tins)
30g Natural Yoghurt
For the White Chocolate Sponge20g White Chocolate (plus a little extra for preparing the tin)
70g Unsalted Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 medium Eggs, beaten
70g SR Flour (plus a little extra for preparing the tin)
For the White Chocolate & Mascarpone Frosting400g White Chocolate
400g Mascarpone (Full Fat)
Assembly and Decoration1 tbsp. Seedless Raspberry Jam
40g White Chocolate
500g Jelly Beans
White Chocolate Cigarellos (optional) or White Chocolate Cadbury Fingers (optional)
How to make it:1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c / Fan 160c / Gas 4.
2. Prepare the sandwich tins. Grease the base and side of two sandwich tins. Place a teaspoon of flour into one of the tins. Rock the tin around so that all of the greased surfaces are covered in flour. Knock the excess into the second tin and again distribute the flour in the same way. Tip out any excess flour.
3. Make the raspberry sponge. Place the softened butter and sugar into a good sized bowl. Beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the raspberry flavouring and beat again. Use a toothpick (or similar) to add a little of your chosen gel food colouring to the mixture. Beat again. Sieve the flour into the mixture. Using a spatula or large metal spoon fold this in gently. Add the yogurt and mix gently to combine.
4. Fill the two sandwich tins. Divide the mixture between the two prepared sandwich tins. You're aiming for the tins to be half to two - thirds full. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to level out the mixture. Make a small hollow in the centre of the batter to encourage the cake to bake level rather than domed.
5. Bake. Place the two tins in the centre of the oven and bake for about 22 - 25 minutes. You may need to rotate the tins three quarters of the way through the bake. The cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean. The cake will also pull away from the side of the tin slightly. Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling tray. After 5 minutes carefully remove the cakes from their tins and allow to cool fully on the cooling tray.
6. Prepare a sandwich tin. Wash one of the used sandwich cake tins for the next sponge. Grease the base and side of the tin. Place a teaspoon of flour into the tin. Rock the tin around so that all of the greased surfaces are covered in flour. Tip out any excess flour.
7. Melt the white chocolate. Break the chocolate for the frosting and the sponge cake (totalling 420g) into smallish pieces and place in a bowl. Select a pan which allows the bowl to rest safely on the top of it. Pour a little water into the pan, about 5cm deep. Rest the bowl on the pan and ensure that its base doesn't touch the water. Place the pan and suspended bowl over a medium heat on the hob. Once the chocolate has almost melted remove it from the heat and stir with a metal spoon or spatula. Set aside to cool for a 4 or 5 minutes.
8. Make the white chocolate sponge. Place the softened butter and sugar into a good sized bowl. Beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat again to combine. Sieve the flour and salt into the mixture. Using a spatula or large metal spoon fold this in gently. Add 1.5 tablespoon of the cooled melted white chocolate and fold in until all of the ingredients are combined.
9. Fill the sandwich tin. Spoon the mixture into the prepared sandwich tin. You're aiming for the tin to be half to two - thirds full. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to level out the mixture. Make a small hollow in the centre of the batter to encourage the cake to bake level rather than domed.
10. Bake. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for about 22 - 25 minutes. You may need to rotate the tin three quarters of the way through the bake. The cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean. The cake will also pull away from the side of the tin slightly. Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling tray. After 5 minutes carefully remove the cake from its tin and allow to cool fully on the cooling tray.
11. Meanwhile make the frosting. Tip the mascarpone into a bowl. Use a metal spoon to briefly stir it to soften, avoid over stirring. Pour in the remaining cooled melted white chocolate. Mix the mascarpone mixture well. Cover and place in the fridge to firm up for about two hours.
12. Prepare to assemble. Place a tablespoon of raspberry jam into a bowl. Stir to loosen. Add a teaspoon of water and stir again. Remove the frosting from the fridge and briefly stir through to loosen. Fill a piping bag (no nozzle required) two-thirds with some of the frosting, (I find it easier to apply the frosting to the cake this way, though isn't essential).
13. Start the assemble. Place one of the raspberry sponges on your chosen cake stand or plate. Spoon a little raspberry jam onto the cake's upper surface. Spread it out. Pipe on (or use a pallet knife) some frosting. Use a pallet knife to spread it out. Place the white chocolate cake onto the prepared surface. Repeat with the jam and frosting layer to the white chocolate cake. Place the second raspberry cake on top. Try to ensure that the three stacked cakes aren't leaning.
14. Apply the frosting. Pipe some of the frosting over the top of the cake and around the sides (or apply with a pallet knife). Use a pallet knife to spread the frosting all around the cake. Ensure that all of the surfaces have a nice thin layer of frosting. Place the cake into the fridge for half an hour to allow the frosting to firm up. Apply the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake either by piping it or with the pallet knife. Take your time to smooth out the frosting as best you can. Aim to get the side of the cake as smooth as you're able if you're not affixing any cigarillo (or similar). Either leave it this way or use a patterned cake scraper to apply a parallel pattern to the side, as I did.
15. Melt the white chocolate. In the same way as point 7, above, melt the white chocolate.
16. Build the illusion. Place the three straws into top of the cake, very close together, on a slight angle. Use a narrow piece of cellotape to secure the three exposed straw tips. Use a small brush (reserved for food use only) to apply a layer of melted white chocolate to the exposed straws. Decant the jelly beans into a bowl, remembering to retain one of the containers for the illusion. Paint a small amount of white chocolate to a jelly bean's surface which will be in contact with the straw. Stick the bean to the base of the straw where it emerges from the cake, apply a small amount of pressure. Gradually add two or three more jelly beans around the base of the straw. Allow the white chocolate 'glue' to dry for a few minutes before building up the layers of sweet on the straw. Whilst those on the straw are drying, start to apply a few to the top of the cake. You may want to have some overflowing the side of the cake too.
17. Affix cigarellos or white chocolate fingers (optional). Consider standing a line of cigarellos (or similar) to the sides of the cake. Simply apply a small amount of pressure to affix them to the frosting.
18. Complete the illusion. Place a clean tissue or tissue paper into the jelly bean container. Position the container in the illusion so that the straws sit inside the sweet container.
Notes:a) Avoid overfilling the sandwich cake tins. Should you have any sponge batter remaining, consider using it to make a muffin sized cupcake and bake it for about 20 minutes. If you have room in the oven you could bake it at the same time as the cake layers.
b) Avoid using too much jam and frosting between the cake layers as this could result in them slipping.
c) Don't be concerned if the first layer of frosting shows a few cake crumbles, these will be hidden once the second layer of frosting is applied.
d) Consider the angle which will create a 'natural' looking illusion. Place the straws into the cake at this angle.
e) Stand back from the cake periodically to try to judge how 'realistic' the illusion of pouring sweets look, considering where more sweet need to be positioned.
f) Take your time in building up the layers of sweets, allowing them to dry before adding more (this only takes a couple of minutes).
g) The tissue inside the jelly bean container will help you to position it on a more effective angle.
The Baker's Baking Bundle Giveaway!
Since deciding to mark Only Crumbs Remain's first blogiversary with a giveaway I've been so excited trying to decide what the prize should be! After a lot of pondering, we decided to select a few items which I find useful when baking. We decided to choose thirteen baking related items, a baking dozen of course.
These thirteen items, with a combined RRP of over £30, have all been personally selected by Mr E & I and purchased with our own hard earned money. There's no whizz-bang fancy-schmancy gadgets which cost a fortune here, just honest, practical and commonly used items which most home bakers (or food bloggers for that matter ;-) ) would find useful.
The thirteen giveaway items of the Bakers Baking Bundle are:
- A six hole silicone mini bundt mould, identical to the one I used to make our Lemon & Cardamon Mini Bundt Cakes,
- A 'cupcake' shaped cookie cutter, copper coated finish with convenient handle. It measures 11cm x 8cm,
- A pack of 100 pretty paper cupcake cases in five red & pink designs,
- A pack of 20 disposable icing bags for use with or without a decorating nozzle,
- A stainless steel piping nozzle for filling cupcakes, though I imagine it would also be good for filling donuts and éclairs too,
- A cake tester / skewer,
- A tub of vegetarian Sugarflair colour paste, in the colour 'Ruby',
- A pack of 10 "Baked by..." gift tags with red ribbons attached,
- A pretty blue plate with a diameter of 18cm, it co-ordinates with item 10 and would be perfect for staging blogging pictures,
- A pretty blue small bowl measuring 12cm diameter and about 6cm high, it co-ordinates with the item above,
- A pack of 3 patterned cake scrapers for textured designed on buttercream and royal icing, as used to decorate the sides of the illusion cake above,
- A pack of 12 different party cake stencils,
- A pack of two non-stick fluted flan tins with a loose base, measuring 12.5cm diameter and about 3.5cm deep,
Phew.... I almost feel like a contestant of Bruce Forsyth's Generation Game listing all of those useful baking items!
How to enter the giveaway:
Entry into the giveaway is through the rafflecopter, below. For those who may be unfamiliar with a rafflecopter, rest assured it is very easy to use. It works in much the same way as a raffle, so the more elements you enter (ie/ leave a comment, send a tweet, etc) the more chance you have of winning. Simply click into the rafflecopter and you will be prompted to register. You can do this either with an email or facebook address, and only takes a moment. If you are the lucky winner, I shall contact you on that e-mail address (or the one linked to your facebbook addresss). Once you're registered, simply complete as many or as few elements of the giveaway as you like, though remember the more elements you complete the more chance you will have of winning.
There are 4 different entry methods to our giveaway, each one attracting 5 points thereby giving you a potential total of 20 points. These are effectively your raffle tickets.
- Leave a comment. Simply click on the button entitled 'leave a blog post comment' and then respond to the question by leaving your answer in the comment section at the bottom of this post. To be awarded the 'points' for commenting please remember to tick 'I commented' box in the rafflecopter to confirm that you have left a comment.
- Send a tweet about the giveaway. Remember to paste the tweet's URL into the rafflecopter and tick the 'I've tweeted' button to be awarded with the entry 'points' . To find the tweet's URL, simply click on the horizontal line of three dots beneath your tweet, select 'copy link to tweet' and then paste it into the relevant section on the rafflecopter.
- Follow me on twitter. If you don't presently follow me, and you would like to, then simply click 'follow @onlycrumbsremai', enter your twitter name and tick 'I followed' to be awarded the points. If you already follow me on Twitter, you can still gain your points by entering your twitter name and clicking 'I follow'.
- Visit my Facebook page, and then click 'I visited' to be awarded the points.
The Terms and Conditions:
Finally, I need to lay out a few terms and conditions for taking part in the giveaway. These will clarify who is eligible to enter, where it will be posted to and so on.
- The giveaway parcel will be posted to a mainland UK address only;
- The items creating the Baker's Baking Bundle are as described above and cannot be changed;
- There is no cash alternative;
- The thirteen items creating the 'bundle' is one combined prize. There will only be one winner.
- It will not be posted to PO Box address;
- It will be delivered via Royal Mail;
- Once the parcel has been posted via Royal Mail, Only Crumbs Remain cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to said parcel the during transit;
- It is only open to individuals of 18 years and above;
- Both bloggers and non bloggers are welcome to enter as long as the conditions are met;
- Entry is through the Rafflecopter only, below;
- The Rafflecopter giveaway will close at midnight on 19th March 2016;
- The randomly selected winner will be contacted by e-mail within 24 hours of the giveaway closing;
- The winner will have 7 days to respond otherwise a new winner will be drawn;
- The giveaway is free to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post has been shared with:
I've linked this illusion cake into Charlotte's Food Year Linkup as it would make a great addition to any event fundraising for Dementia UK's Time for a Cuppa (1st - 8th March 2016)
Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dominic over at Belleau Kitchen
Cook Once Eat Twice, hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice
Bake of the week co-hosted by Helen of Casa Costello and Sarah of Maison Cupcake