But the stars of the show were obviously the cakes. We had some awesome creations, but the best thing about it was everyones' interpretation of the theme! It was a really impressive display of baking, exactly what the theme demanded! It turns out that our interpretation of decadence has something to do with chocolate and booze!
We had a delicious bourbon chocolate cake, with bourbon cream cheese icing and a bourbon cider jelly on top from Ai-Ling, the brains behind Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse! This was so impressive and such an original idea... The cake was Nigellas' Chocolate Guinness cake, but used bourbon instead! This cake is a go to fave of mine, so I was pretty much sold as soon as I tried it. I was really surprised how well the cider and bourbon went together! Such a great cake! We couldn't help but wobble it every now and again!
Bri of the fabulous blog Eat Meets West made a ridiculously impressive crepe cake, with something like SIXTEEN crepes! WOMAN! You crazy! But it was SO NICE. I thought it would be a bit sickly, as crepes have never agreed with me, but the swiss meringue buttercream between each layer did something to my cakey soul. It was so nice. We needed some teamwork to get the first slice out, but after that it was pretty special. Did I mention the chocolate icing that had been poured all over it? Bitch please.
To follow that was Liv's creation from Col Panna - Caprioska cake! She explained that to her, decadence meant cocktails, so she designed a cake to fit her favourite cocktail! There was lime, vodka in the cake, icing AND a glaze, as well as a coating of sugar with the vodka syrup, to replicate the crunch of the sugar in the cocktail. It was another really creative cake, as well as obviously being delicious! It was a nice change from all the chocolate too!
Then there was fellow organiser Carolanne, of Carolannes Kitchen, who, inspired by a recent trip to see Heston Blumenthal live, replicated one of his recipes - the exploding gateaux! Pop rocks in the base, and she used a water gun to squirt the top of the cake with chocolate! Very cool!
Then finally, my cake, which was a pimped up version of Trish Deseines Fondant au Chocolat. This, along with the choc guinness cake by Nigella is one of my go to choc cakes (along with the choc red wine cake I made last meeting!), because it is so simple, has few ingredients and is totally decadent! It is very rich, which is why its perfect for a Parisienne lady, as she only wants a tiny slice! I changed the recipe, but only slightly. I used almond meal rather than flour to make it gluten free, and to make it a bit more decadent I used espresso in the glaze rather than water. I made a coffee almond praline, blitzed it up and crumbled it on top for some crunch against the fudgy cake!
Here it is below...
Fondant au Mocha
200g Dark chocolate (minimum 65%)
200g butter (softened)
1 tbsp hot espresso coffee
2 heaped tbsp almond meal
100g Chocolate (minimum 65%)
2 tbsp espresso coffee
1 Cup sugar
1/2 chopped almonds
Rest of the espresso (1-2 tbsp)
1) Preheat the oven to 180C, and prepare a 25cm round cake tin.
2) Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl, set over barely simmering water and pour on the hot coffee.
3) Let it sit until the chocolate is mostly melted, then add the butter. Again, leave it until it has melted then give it a quick, gentle stir to incorporate everything together.
4) Add the sugar and stir well, then break the eggs into the mixture one at a time mixing well after each egg has been added. Finally mix in the almond meal.
5) Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, you'll find the cake very moist in the middle - it shouldn't wobble still, but if it does, a couple more minutes and it'll be done! Just keep an eye on it. Note this is not a cake that rises much, and any rise that DOES occur, it falls back pretty flat once its out - don't worry, that's normal!
6) Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin/mould, and if you can, leave it overnight before serving.
7) While its cooling (or while its cooking!) put the sugar and coffee into a pan on a medium heat, and watch it bubble up and thicken into a caramel - DO NOT STIR!
8) Once its thickened, add the almonds and swirl the pan to combine. Pour it out onto grease proof paper and let set.
9) Crack the disc of caramel up, and put it into your blitzing device and blitz away! You decide how fine/chunky you'd like it, but don't go too far with it or it'll feel like you're eating sand!