the idea to decorate this cake with chevron rhubarb came to me before I decided on the recipe, all I knew is I wanted to make a cake with a big puffy peony, (which after some research I found out are edible and I excited about using them to make some syrup or tea) and I knew I wanted to thinly slice the rhubarb and use it as decoration. I had some pistachio ganache left and a few strawberries so that’s how it all came together. if you want to learn how to style a cake I will be hosting a workshop in Manchester on the 24th of july (details below) and also I am co hosting some in London, click the workshop link in the menu for more info. any why back to the cake, I have felt a bit over cakes recently, I don’t know why as I love to decorate them but I felt a bit bored, I think its because they just don’t always get eaten and I was fed up of making something that got wasted, just so I could practice a recipe. its just me and my partner so a big cake like this would not get eaten, so I decided I would only make them occasionally. this has made me love them a bit more again so I’m glad I’m not making two a week like I used to. (no wonder I need to loose weight lol)
- 300g white chocolate
- 60g pistachios
- 300ml double cream
- 1 or 2 drops of almond extract
break up the chocolate and put it in a bowl over simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted, meanwhile grind the pistachios and almond extract in a food processor until a thick paste forms, add it to a pan with the cream and mix and bring to the boil, remove the bowl or melted chocolate from the heat and pour the warm cream mixture into it and stir it in.
cover and place in the fridge over night.
to make the sponge
- 330g unsalted butter
- 330g caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 330g self raising flour
- 1 large stalk of rhubarb
- 6 to 8 large strawberries
- 1/4 cut pistachios
- pinch salt
preheat the oven to 160c
grease and line four 11 cm tins
finely chop the rhubarb and strawberries and coat with some flour, then chop up the pistachios and set aside. in a mixer cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again, then add one egg at a time, mixing well before adding each egg, then turn up the speed and mix for a few minutes to get some volume. remove the bowl from the mixer and sift in the flour and salt and fold in, then fold in the chopped strawberries, rhubarb and pistachios.
separate between the four tins and level out and bake for about 25 minutes or until and knife inserted comes out clean.
for the frosting (ganache recipe from Giovanna torrico book cake decorating by Murdoch books)
- 3/4 or the pistachio ganache
- 400g ml double cream
- 250g mascarpone
- 4 tbsp. icing sugar
in a mixer add the cream and icing sugar and mix, then spoon in the pistachio ganache (it should be set like a truffle consistency) and the mascarpone and mix until thick, then spread some between each layer or sponge as you build up the cake and spread it around the sides.
with a mandolin slicer thinly cut the rhubarb in strips, cover in some caster sugar and place on a plate, microwave for 30 to 40 seconds until soft. let cool then make diagonal cuts across the strips so you have pieces to make the chevron pattern (I sliced the long strips in half as they where quite wide) position them up the side of the cake, I covered the front half, then use some thinly cut pistachios and do the same, top with a peony or rose. Or for other decorating ideas go here
if you want you can add some rose water into the frosting to give it a floral taste
I am pleased to announce that I am hosting a workshop at trove café and bakery in Manchester on sunday the 24th july
it will cost £80 each, there are limited spaces so if you are interested in attending email me at email@example.com to book
the day will begin at 10.30 where I will go over some camera basics, then I will decorate a cake with edible decorations, like fruit, edible flowers, I will discus ideas on how to decorate a cake as a portrait photo we will then style cake and talk about photographing it, we will then all get to photograph the cake and talk about the best light and angles for sharing on social media.
we will stop for lunch at 12.30
after lunch I will discus styling the cake as a flat lay photo, and how to arrange props for this type of photo then we can have a go as shooting it together and smaller bakes, then at 3pm we will sit down and enjoy the cake with a drink and we can discuss what you have learnt and I can answer any questions. we will finish at 4pm.
bring a camera (it can be a digital camera or a smart phone)
lunch and drinks included.