You may have seen a picture of this cake doing the rounds lately on all sorts of social media site and blogs:
So on Friday I set about to create my BuBakes version of this.
I had made my fondant pigs a few weeks before to ensure they dried out, unfortunately I forgot to take photos of this stage, but I will make some again soon and ensure I post the pictures. When making fondant decorations in advance I sit them in a clean, thick cardboard box on greaseproof paper. I then leave this in a cool place. It allows the pieces to dry out while protecting them and keeping them clean and safe.
On Friday morning started with my chocolate cake recipe to make two cakes. I think you could probably make it with different flavoured cakes, but I felt that there was so much chocolate elsewhere on the cake that a contrasting flavour may clash a little. Plus chocolate with chocolate orange frosting, and chocolate orange ganache, is a sure fire winner!
I sandwiched the two together and coated the outside of the cake with lashings of chocolate orange frosting. To this frosting I stuck the KitKats to form the barrel shape, I'd recommend doing this in a cool room, as I found that pressing the KitKats against the cake left fingermarks on the KitKats as it got warmer - I tried to make sure I only pressed where I knew the ribbon would sit.
Ganache seems scary to so many people, but as long as you understand the nature of the ingredients and the temperature it really doesn't need to be too scary.
First I decided that I wanted a thick ganache that would pour thickly and then set, so I opted for the 1:1 ratio. This meant I needed exactly the same weight of cream and chocolate. I cut up the chocolate very small to help the melting process, and then started to heat the cream.
If you do have bubbles in your ganache bang (or tap!) the bowl/jug on the side to help the bubbles rise to the top. You will be left with a lovely creamy shiny mixture (that smells divine!)
You will want to keep checking to see how set the ganache is, but you really have to hold back. You may also (if you are anything like me) want to pour the ganache onto your cake as you will have everything ready and waiting, however once again restraint is key. If you pour before the ganache is thick enough it will slip between the KitKats and you won't get the sharp effect you are no doubt hoping for.
After about 30 seconds you can place your piggies into the ganache and they will happily sit in place. This is another reason that you need to wait for the ganache to thicken, as if it is too thin your pigs will sink - which nobody wants!
I found at this point that my 'sitting pig' was starting to lean backwards so I rested a skewer on the barrel to help him prop up while the chocolate set around him.
The cake was then moved to my cake show area (where people get to view their cake when picking up from me) and there it stood happily until it was time to present it to Mr. BuBakes.
A couple of discoveries when we actually went to use this cake - there isn't a particularly great or stable place to put a candle; but on the flip side, the KitKats give a great bit of guidance for where to slice for even pieces.
I'm off to steal another slice and have it with a cuppa, if there are any parts of this that I have left out or aren't clear then do just give me a shout and I'll be happy to help.
Thanks for reading everyone!