Saturday, 2 September 2017

Box of Chocolates Cake

Perfect for special occasions, this Box of Chocolates Cake is shaped to resemble a box of chocolates!  It's made with a simple vanilla flavoured batter, sandwiched together with raspberry jam and buttercream and covered with white chocolate ganache and fondant before being filled with the all important homemade chocolate truffles!

How to make a cake resemble a box of chocolates

And GBBO is back!  Despite the migration from the Beeb to channel 4 resulting in the loss of Mary, Mel and Sue, the introduction of adverts, and new hosts for our nation's favourite baking show, the new series of Great British Bake Off is still rich in all that we love: baking!

As with the past two series of GBBO I shall endeavour to bake along with the competition, sharing my interpretation of some of the challenges here on Only Crumbs Remain.

A box of chocolates illusion cake

Just like in previous years, week 1 was cake week and saw the 12 bakers face 3 challenges.  The signature bake asked the bakers to make a fruit cake (made with fresh fruit rather than the dried stuff), the technical bake set by Prue challenged the bakers to make a dozen Chocolate Mini Rolls and the showstopper challenge was an illusion cake, which saw cakes look like anything but cake.  There was a rather inventive BLT, a handbag, and a champagne bottle in a bucket - all made out of cake!

How to easily model a vanilla cake to resemle a box of chocolates with fondant icing

In recent months I've become a huge fan Zoe's Fancy Cakes and her YouTube channel.  As her name suggests, she's a whizz at making fancy cakes (do check out her channel if you've ever wondered how they're made!)  It was through watching her helpful videos that I learnt how to make some fondant Christmas cake character toppers, like a penguin, choir boy and Santa.  But until now I'd not tackled anything more intricate.  The GBBO challenge was the perfect excuse to push myself a little more and attempt an illusion cake.

Wanting to keep things relatively simple we decided to harness the square shape of our cake and fashion it into a box of chocolates, complete with a selection of handmade chocolate truffles (and lid!).  After all, who doesn't love a box of chocolates!


A box of chocolates cake, perfect for special occasions

Using two square vanilla cakes, one was sliced in half and sandwiched together with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream.  The second cake was also sliced in half, one half fashioned as the lid and the remaining part cut into strips to create the built-up sides of the chocolate box, resulting in a space for the chocolates to sit.  Once covered in a firm white chocolate ganache it was covered in a purple fondant (though the 'inside' of the box where the chocolates sat was lined with white fondant because the inside of chocolate boxes always seem quite plain)  and then simply decorated with fondant circles, which happily detracted the eye from any lumpy bumps!  Drinking straws were cut to size to act as dowels to support the chocolate box 'lid'.

How to make a Box of Chocolates Cake.

Although this is relatively simple as far as cake decorating goes, it still took an age.  I think Mr E had almost forgotten what I looked like until I finally re-appeared from the kitchen some hours later!

Overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out, though next time I'll be sure to measure the cake board which the lid sits on more carefully before purchasing! 


So, here's how to make a Box of Chocolates Cake.   






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Box of Chocolates Cake
Perfect for special occasions, this Box of Chocolates Cake is shaped to look just like a box of chocolates!  It's made with a simple vanilla flavoured batter, sandwiched together with raspberry jam and buttercream and covered with white chocolate ganache and fondant before being filled with the all important homemade chocolate truffles!

Details
Prep time: Bake time:     Yield: 1 x 20cm square cake, providing at least 20 servings 

Specific Equipment
    18cm Brownie Tin
    2 x Cake Boards (You may want the one for the main cake to be slightly larger than the cake to aid transportation)
    6 - 8 unused Drinking Straws 
    Small Paper Cases for truffles
    Piping Bag fitted with small plain writing nozzle

Ingredients
For the Cake Batter (see note a below) 
  • 115g + 115g Butter, unsalted & softened
  • 60g + 60g Caster Sugar
  • 55g + 55g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 2 + 2 Eggs (see notes b & c below)
  • small pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 115g + 115g SR Flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp Milk
For the White Chocolate Ganache
  • 250ml Double Cream
  • 400g White Chocolate
For Sandwiching the Cake
  • 1 tbsp Raspberry Jam (ideally seedless)
  • 65g Butter, unsalted & softened
  • 130g Icing Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Milk
To Decorate the Cake
  • 500g Coloured Fondant (see note e below)
  • 250g White Fondant
  • Royal Icing Sugar
For the Chocolate Truffles
  • 200g Double Cream
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 3 Digestive Biscuits, finely crumbled
  • Vermicelli
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Kirsch
  • Cocoa Powder

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180℃ / Fan 160℃ / 355℉ / Gas 4. 2. Prepare the brownie tin(s). Grease and fully line the tin with grease proof paper. 3. Make the sponge batter. Place the soft butter and sugars into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla extract and beat again to combine. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, (see note c below). Add the milk and mix in. Sieve the flour into the mixture. Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold this in gently. Gently work in a little more milk if the batter does not have a nice 'dropping' consistency. 4. Fill the brownie tin(s). Spoon the prepared batter into the prepared brownie tin(s). Spread the batter out gently to level. Use the back of a spoon to make a slight indentation to the centre of the batter. This will help it bake level. 5. Bake. Place the brownie tin in the centre of the oven and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes until golden brown, slightly pulling away from the sides and a cake skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You may need to rotate the cake tin after 30 minutes of baking. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. 6. Turn out the cake(s) and cool. Allow the cake(s) to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Finish cooling the cake(s) on a wire rack. Once completely cold place in the fridge to firm up before starting to assemble.7. Make the buttercream frosting. Place the softened butter into a good sized bowl. Beat to ensure it is soft and creamy. Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter. Use a wooden spoon to combine the two ingredients. Sieve the remaining icing sugar into the bowl and beat to combine. Beat well to create a creamy frosting. Add the vanilla extract mix until well combined. Add a drizzle of milk as necessary until it is the softness you like. Set aside.8. Prepare the raspberry jam. Spoon the jam into a small bowl.  Stir to slacken. Add a drop or two of water if the jam is still quite thick. 9. Make the chocolate ganache. Pour the cream into a small pan and set over a medium heat. Allow the cream to heat through but avoid letting it boil. Meanwhile chop the white chocolate into small pieces. Place into a bowl. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Use a teaspoon to stir the ganache, gradually the chocolate will melt and the ganache will become smooth. Once the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth, set aside to cool and firm up. 10. Begin to assemble the cake. Level the top of the cakes if they have domed during the bake. Slice one of the square cakes in half horizontally, aiming to keep each half equal in size. Place one of the halves onto a cake board, securing it with a small amount of buttercream to the underside. Spread a thin layer of jam over the cake. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the cut surface of the other half. Sandwich the two halves together. 11. Continue assembling the cake. Cut the second square cake in half horizontally. Place one half onto another cake board (ideally the same size as the cake), securing it with a small amount of buttercream. Cut the remaining cake half into 2cm batons. These will form the edges of the cake box to retain the chocolates. Spread a little jam around the upper edge of the first cake. Spread a little buttercream to one of the cake battons. Position the cake baton on top of the cake, aiming to ensure it is sat flush with the edges of the main cake. Repeat with another baton positioning it on the opposite side to the first one. The 3rd and 4th batons will need to be trimmed slightly. Do this by resting it carefully in position and use a sharp cake knife to trim off the excess length. Cover one side of the batons with buttercream and sandwich to the main cake to finish the wall. 12. Chill. Place the two cakes into the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up before coating with chocolate ganache.13. Make the dark chocolate ganache. Pour the cream into a small pan and set over a medium heat. Allow the cream to heat through but avoid letting it boil. Meanwhile chop the dark chocolate into small pieces. Place into a bowl. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Use a teaspoon to stir the ganache, gradually the chocolate will melt and the ganache will become smooth. Once the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth spoon half of it into a second bowl.14. Flavour the two truffle mixture. To one bowl of dark chocolate ganache add finely crumbled biscuits. Mix. To the second bowl add a little kirsch. Mix. Taste.  Avoid adding to much as it will soften the final truffle. Set the two bowls aside to firm up.15. Coat the cakes with white chocolate ganache. Remove the cakes from the fridge. Use a pallet knife,or similar, to spread the white chocolate ganache over all of the surfaces of both cakes. Take your time. You're aiming for the surface to be as smooth as you're able and for the edges to be crisp. Use the ganache to fill in any gaps too. Use a clean cloth or piece of kitchen roll to wipe away any ganache to your cake board.  Once the cakes have been coated return them to the fridge for at least half an hour.16. Shape the chocolate biscuit truffles. Pour some of the vermicelli into a bowl. Use a teaspoon to take a quantity of biscuit ganache. Roll it in your hand to create a ball. Roll it in the vermicelli to coat the sides. Place the truffle into a small case. Repeat until all of the truffle mixture has been used. You may find it helpful to regularly wash your hands and rinse them in cold water to help keep the truffle balls neat. Place them in a container as a single layer.  Chill them in the fridge until required.17. Shape the kirsch truffles. Pour a dessert spoon of cocoa powder into a bowl. In the same way as above shape the chocolate ganache mixture into truffle balls. Roll these in cocoa powder. Chill until required.18. Cover the cakes with fondant. Measure the inside surface of the 'chocolate box' . Roll out a piece of white fondant trimming it to about that size. Line the inside of the 'box' with it (base and upright edges). Gently smooth it into place. Use a sharp knife to carefully remove the excess. 19. Use the purple fondant. Consider the cake as panels (4 to the upper surface and 4 walls to the chocolate box). Start covering the cake with purple fondant.  Start with one of the upper horizontal pieces.  Measure the approximate length and width of that area.  Roll a piece of fondant to an oblong shape. Use a sharp knife to trim away excess fondant, leaving you with a neat oblong piece of purple fondant slightly bigger than what you need. Lay the piece of fondant in position. Carefully trim away the excess. Use the pad of your finger to smooth any edges as required. Repeat with the other 7 surfaces. Cover the chocolate box lid with one large piece of purple fondant. Trim away excess to neaten. 20. Decorate the box. Cut thin strips of white fondant to decorate the box and help to neaten the edges. Use a little water applied with a small brush to afix in place. Use piping nozzles of different sizes to cut circles from white fondant. Afix to the box as a decoration. 21. Mix some royal icing. Place 2 tbsp of royal icing sugar into a bowl and add a few drops of water to create a thick but pipable paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Write the word 'chocolates' across the 'lid' of the design.  Practise this on a plate, or similar, if needed.  22. Position dowels. Consider which corner you want the lid of the chocolate box to rest on. Push a drinking straw into the thickest part of that corner (the three layer part of cake rather than the two layer). Remove the straw keeping your thumb at the level just above the surface of the cake. Cut the straw to that length. Cut 5 or 6 other straws to the same length. 23. Assemble the chocolate box cake. Carefully place the chocolate truffles into the 'cake box'. Ours held 9. Push the straws into the cake, positioning them between the truffles and also the thick part of the cake in area you want the cake lid to rest. Position the cake lid. Add another straw dowel if necessary to ensure the lid is balanced. 24. Enjoy! 
Notes: a) This recipe requires two square cakes.  If you only have one cake tin or room in the oven for just one cake to bake make the two cake batters separately.  If you are able to bake both cakes together make the batter in one go and divide the mixture equally between both tins. b) When making the cupcake batter, consider weighing the cracked eggs first to ensure the batter has equal weight of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Simply weigh the butter, sugar and flour to the same weight as the eggs. Of course the value may be slightly different to the 120g listed in the ingredients above. c) Consider warming your lightly beaten eggs over a bain marie especially if they feel particularly cold. Warm them until they feel lukewarm. This should help prevent the batter from curdling and produce a better cupcake sponge.  d)  The dark chocolate ganache mixture will make more than 9 chocolate truffles.  Why not serve the excess to guests with the slice of cake.  e)  Either buy the coloured fondant ready coloured, or buy a white fondant and knead in a small amount of colour paste.  This will allow you to get the shade you want. We used Sugarflair's Paste, in the colour purple.  f)  Use a light dusting of corn flour to prevent the fondant becoming sticky.  'Sweep' away any cornflour on the cake with a dry brush.






 

 

 

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How to make a Box of Chocolates Cake easily, using vanilla sponge cakes, fondant icing and homemade chocolate truffles.





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Useful Baking Equipment when making a Cake Box of Chocolates

 


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41 comments:

  1. Loving that bake off is back!! This is suuuuch an amazing cake - I'm so impressed!

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    1. I know, I just love it when GBBO is on our screens :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment Jasmin,
      Angela x

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  2. Wow Angela...this just looks amazing. I can quite understand why it took you so long...especially since you made the truffles too. So clever! I am pleased GBBO is back...although I don't yet love the new version as much as the old, it was still very enjoyable and I like that they didn't tinker with the format too much. So now I am wondering when we are going to see you on GBBO???? :-D Eb x

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    1. Aw thankyou Eb :-) It took quite a while Eb, most probably because I don't ordinarily make this type of cake - though it also didn't help matters having to pop out to the local supermarket for an hour! You don't see the bakers in 'The Tent' having to do that! I'm happy GBBO is back, though i'll let you into a little secret - I almost switched it off to watch something else!! I know!! The adverts were doing my head in, and the less said about Noel Fielding the better! His voice over narration was just.... Next week we shall record it then fast forward the adverts and I'm just hoping I learn to put up with Noel Fielding! But yes, the format is still the same which really is the main thing. Haha, no, that's never going to happen! The idea of baking under such time pressures like they do in the tent isn't my idea of fun!
      Angela xx

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  3. Wow this cake is so impressive! You've done an amazing job!

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  4. You clever lady!!! This cake is absolutely fantastic! I really liked GBBO and was soo relieved that Prue and Sandi turned out to be lovely (already liked Noel) lol so will be following this series with the same excitement and anticipation as previously. x

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    1. Aw thankyou so much Jo :-) I personally didn't enjoy the first episode of GBBO as I usually do (though I did try ;-D ), I think part of the charm of BBC's GBBO was all about Mary as well as the baking. I'll still be watching - cos I love to bake if that aint obvious, but will be recording it to skip the adverts, and I have my fingers crossed that the new presenters bed in, so to speak, as the episodes go on.
      Angela x

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  5. Oh wow Angela! This is so impressive and I'd love to see you on the Bake Off one day. Although then you really would have to learn to love Noel Fielding! I'm hoping to bake along some weeks and would have loved to have a go at a cake but this week is quite hectic. If I'd had time I think I'd have gone for the easier option of a fruity cake, possibly an upside down cake inspired by one of your cakes this summer x

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    1. Aw thankyou Corina, that's so lovely of you :-) but trust me, me appearing on GBBO wont be happening. Ah yes, I can't see me liking, let alone loving, Noel Fielding any time soon!
      Yay, it'll be great to have you bake along with GBBO too Corina :-D
      Angela x

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  6. Angela what a stunning showstopper you have created! such a great idea and this would make a wonderful gift for someone special too! It is beautiful :) thank you so much for being involved with the #GBBOBloggers2017 again xx

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    1. Aw thankyou so much Jenny :-) And thankyou too for hosting GBBOBloggers once again, it's such a great few weeks :-)
      Angela x

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  7. It looks amazing! Well done! I love the idea too, it's so clever. You made it perfectly, it really looks like a chocolate box. It's so nicely decorated.

    I'm not too keen on the new GBBO, the jokes Noel does aren't funny and not family-friendly. They took out the "the history of the x cake" and that was a bit I loved at the BBC. The presenters look awkward together. I had an idea of an Illusion Cake, shaped as a house for our home anniversary (it was yesterady), but decided against it as it was a lot of work and I'm not loving Bake Off right now. I've recorded it and watch it the following day skipping the ads. Sorry about the rant. :)

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    1. Rant away Anca, I have to admit that I almost switched the programme off to watch something else! The adverts and Noel Fielding (especially the voice he was using for the voice over narration) were prooving just too much! Next week I'll fast forward the ads and have my fingers crossed that he doesn't annoy me quite as much! You're right, the history part was so interesting it' such a shame they decided to cull that.
      Thankyou so much Anca, I was pleased how it turned out :-) It'll be great if you join in wih the bloggers GBBO again this yr xx
      Angela x

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    2. Funnily enough, I joined with a fresh fruit cake and today I'm sharing another fresh fruit cake that I will link to the GBBO linky. But none were baked for GBBO as before, so it's just a coincidence.

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    3. Don't you just love coincidences Anca :-) Will keep a look out for it,
      Angela x

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  8. this is so much fun - I thought it would be one of those cakes with kitkats on the outside and lollies in wedged compartments on the inside so this gave me a fantastic surprise. We don't get GBBO here (not on terrestrial as far as I know - though it might be on earlier when we don't watch tv) but my mum watches it on foxtel and loves it - and I would really love to see the illusion cakes - have long been fascinated by this sort of cake ever since I spent hours at my grandmothers flicking through her women's weekly magazinse before the iconic birthday cakes cookbook came out.

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    1. Aw what a shame that you have to use a different TV supplier other than regular terrestrial to view certain programmes. Wonder if you can get it on Iplayer? I'd fully recommend trying to catch an episode or two of it, though I must admit that for me it's not the same since Mary Berry left (part of the charm of GBBO was Mary!) Fingers crossed the new presenters will settle in over the course of the series.
      Haha, no, there's kitkats or lollies here Johanna :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  9. This looks absolutely amazing, you have a real talent. Not only does the decoration look great, but the actual cake looks super tasty too x

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  10. Well I think it looks absolutely brilliant Angela, better than some of the offerings on the show. You can make me a box of chocolates anytime:)

    I Still haven't written up my Bake Off bake but hope to do so tomorrow so its published before the next episode.

    Not overly keen onNoel Fielding either but im hoping they will settle in. Im guessing It took a while for the original four to fully jell.

    Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare

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    1. Just tell me when Jacqui and I'll get one to you, lol ;-)
      I loved the sound of your pear and chocolate cake as soon as I saw it on Twitter, as I mentioned to you hubby and i played with the idea of doing something like that before we plumped for the Illusion Cake route with this Chocolate Box Cake. Looking forward to reading about it :-)
      I have my fingers (and toes) crossed that they settle in - though I'm still at a loss as to why they roped Noel Fielding into the role, he's so 'contraversial' shall we say!
      You're welcome, it's such a great linky Jacqui,
      Angela x

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  11. Looks gorgeous! Followed the picture from Recipes made easy 😋

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    1. Thankyou so much Priya, and I must thank Jacqui of Recipes Made Easy too :-)
      Angela x

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  12. WOW!! How can you call it simple Angela!! It's such a beautiful creation! Love the colors and the elegant presentation! I am sure a lot of work has gone into this.. But it's all worth it, because it has turned out fabulous!

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    1. Thankyou Deepika, shall I re-phrase that? It's comparatively simple compared to the cakes Zoe makes over on her YouTube channel!
      Angela x

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  13. this is soooo pretty and clever and has turned out so well. Can't wait til next weeks GBBO! x

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    1. Aw thankyou Rebecca :-) Not long now until the new episode :-)
      Angela x

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  14. Incredible Angela!!Not only stunning to look at but sounds scrumptious to eat.So very clever!My fingers are way too fat and clumsy for this beautiful work.You so should do bake off.I haven't watched it yet....I forgot!!!But intend to bake along with Jenny so am aiming to this time.I must admit Im not looking forward to it as I soooooooo loved it before....Fingers crossed xxx

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    1. Aw thankyou so much Jenny :-) Haha, no no, you shalln't be seeing me on GBBO - I'd get in a flumux just making a standard buttercream with all of those cameras etc! No, I'm happy just to bake and hide the disasters in our kitchen ;-)
      Yay, fab that you're going to bake along with the bloggers GBBO too :-)
      Angela x

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  15. This is absolutely amazing Angela, so beautiful. I has given me such a great idea for a special birthday cake x

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    1. Aw thankyou Cathy, I'm so happy to hear it's provided inspiration :-)
      Angela x

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  16. Wow. I'm absolutely impressed by the design of the cake, despite its simplicity. Not only that, but it looks yummy as well! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will make sure to try it out sometime.

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    1. Thank you so much John :-) Do let me know how you get on with your Box of Chocolates Cake when you try it out :-)
      Angela

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  17. That cake is amazing! Not for one minute would I can this simple decoration. I can make a decent tasting cake no problem, I just can't ice it! They always end up looking like a 2 year old has been moulding play doh lol

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    1. Aw thankyou Candace, that's so lovely of you :-) I know just what you mean, covering a cake in fondant aint easy is it, but because I put the fondant on the cake in sections (so each edge of the box separately rather than one very large piece) it seemed to make it an awful lot easier :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  18. That is such a fabulous idea, and your 'box' is so gorgeously decorated. What amazing effort - well done!

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  19. Angela I'm totally in awe of your incredible baking skills, another beautiful cake. Pinning for later.

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    1. Aw thankyou so much, you're far too kind Julie :-)
      Angela x

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