Saturday, 5 January 2013

Brownie Cake with Graffiti Sugar!

As I have already mentioned I am a MASSIVE fan of chocolate and I did really well over Christmas on the chocolate front!

It was my brother's 21st birthday back in November so I wanted to make him something chocolatey. He's at University, so I didn't really want to bake him a cake, as I knew that it would sit around for a couple of day's and then wouldn't be very nice, so I started to explore cake type products that last longer. I settled on making a Brownie cake but wanted to make it look quite impressive, not just a slab of brownie (although that is pretty amazing!).

I had seen Lorraine Pascal cook a 'Graffiti Cake' on her TV series 'Baking Made Easy' and thought I'd have a go at making the 'graffiti' aspect of the cake. I love trying new things with baking and stretching my ability, I studied Food Technology up to A Level but since leaving Sixth Form I haven't studied food, it's simply been an enjoyable hobby!

First of all I made THE best Brownie Recipe I have ever tried - personally I'm not a fan of chocolate brownies with no chunks of chocolate it, I'm a firm believer of the more chocolate the better, right?! So I adapted a Lurpack Chocolate Brownie Recipe into the following:

200g Slightly Salted Butter
350g Milk Chocolate (If you prefer your brownie to be less sweet combine 150g dark chocolate and 200g milk chocolate)
3 Eggs, Free-Range if possible
250g Dark Muscovado Sugar
50g Self-Raising Flour
100g White Chocolate, chopped roughly (cheap chocolate works better with white chocolate)
100g Milk Chocolate, chopped roughly

1. Heat the oven to 190°C /170°C Fan / Gas Mark 5 and line a round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Fill a small saucepan 1⁄4 full of water, lay the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl resting on top of the saucepan, but not touching the water. Warm on
a low heat, stirring occasionally, until everything has melted.
3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they’re pale and fluffy, but not too stiff. Add the sugar and whisk until it thickens up. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture and then sieve in the flour. Continue to fold until smooth.
4. Slowly pour the mixture into your tin, sprinkle over the roughly chopped white and milk chocolate and bake for 30-35 minutes. When you see the satisfying crust on top they’re done. They should be all squidgy inside too.

Using a round cake tin allowed me to try and create a typical 'birthday cake' shape, so that I could more easily wrap the spun sugar around it.

I moved on to the challenge of making the spun sugar, as I don't own a sugar thermometer making caramel is more of a guessing game! I put into a NON-STICK saucepan:

250g granulated sugar
130ml water
130ml golden syrup
Red food colouring
Few drops vanilla extract
1. Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment. Have handy a jug and a spoon in a cup of cold water. Put the sugar into a heavy-based pan with the water and golden syrup. Swirl a little rather than stirring. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and boil.

2. Take the spoon and dip it in, carefully scooping out some mixture, then put the spoon back into the cup and leave it to cool for a minute. Feel the sugar mixture on the end of the spoon. When the sugar is ready it will be rock hard. The mixture in the pan will start to turn light brown.
3. Turn off the heat and add the colouring and flavouring, stirring a little. Being extremely careful, pour the mixture into a jug. Use oven gloves, as hot sugar can spit and burn you. Leave to cool for a minute or two, then drizzle a long band of squiggle shapes on the parchment.

4. I then let it dry for about 2 minutes, while putting some melted milk chocolate around the edges of the brownie (for the graffiti to stick to, as there isn't any buttercream around the brownie like there would in on a cake).
5. Carefully wrap the squiggles around the brownie, pressing gently around the bottom to make sugar it's sticking to the melted chocolate. Don't worry if it breaks, you can just attach the broken pieces into the milk chocolate and it will have a similar effect.

I melted some more white chocolate and put it into a sandwich bag, snipped a very small hole on one of the corners and piped out happy birthday and some stars, i painted the stars with a little edible bronze dust but I wished I hadn't! I don't think it looked very good but hey ho!

Here's the final product:

Do you like experimenting with cooking?

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