Saturday, June 19, 2010

On The Beach Cake

To welcome Viola's little brother, Jordan, after thinking for a while and lokking for inspiration on the web, here is what I "dished out" (please excuse the slightly wrinkled tablecloth but I was on the rush finishing the cake between my return from work and leaving to go to the party which was for lunch so the photos were taken very rapidly)

If I was able to make this cake I have to thank several people. I'd already seen cakes made with the beach theme on American sites. Sand, beach thongs, sea shells, everything was there. But there's nothing to be done about it, European-style cakes are made with much more delicate colours. As I have always openly declared I am much better at making thins than at designing them and so I chose to embark on a quasi-replica cake (only in its outside look) of Sylvia's on Amuse bouches

 A huge thanks goes to Paola Lazzari for her support and advice.

The third fundamental  person my friend Gerburg, gave me the recipe of the base.  I asked her for it after tasting a lemon cake made by her on June 2nd. I would say that is a four quarters? can you say that in English, although I did not weigh the eggs.  Appena chiesta, la ricetta di Gerburg mi è arrivata rapidamente per cellulare, nonostante i suoi impegni della giornata. I myself made it using oranges insead of lemons , as they go better with white chocolate and chocolate ganache which is often a leitmotif in my cakes. Gerburg sent me the recipe from her Mobile as soon as I asked for it, despite her busy day. Gerburg is always tireless and generous with others. She does not spare herself when a friend calls.

I had a bit of trouble making such small thongs, but eventually I did it.  I cut out the shapes on paper and then I cut the sugar paste with a pastry plane wheel cutter. Once dry I tried to clean away any icing sugar residues using a small paint brush.  I did my best in trimming the edges. They are not perfect but I'm happy with the result anyway. At first I had no idea how I could make the dotted surface.  I had no useful tool at hand.

I was also sure that I had purchased the shell shaped molds for chocolates a few years ago during a rapid pre-Christmas raid at Peroni (a shop specializing in cooking utensils here in Rome) while Marcowebmaster finding no parking went around the block in the Prati suburb. Except that initially I did not remember where on earth I had hidden them.


Definitely funny the first attempt at purchasing  two large rectangular cake tins. I walked along the aisles at a METRO (a huge department store) looking for something suitable. l'insegna: "in allestimento", un vuoto totale. The  home baking department bore the sign: "shelves dressing in progress," a total void. So I opted for professional baking tins and after long reflection: shall I choose aluminum or stainless steel?, comparing prices, shapes and weight, tired but happy, I noticed my other half,  looking at me something between annoyed and baffled: "Rosy, but those won't fit in the oven."

That's right! In these megastore everything seems smaller. I did not have with me my Leroy Merlin tape meter , but comparing measures with other objects I decided that Marcowebmaster right, and did not to buy them.

While I was wandering in search of cake tins my eyes fell upon a set of two spatulas, either  for pastry or cake making and one of them instead of being smooth on both sides,  was dotted on one. :))))))) :)))))))



 What you need:
white chocolate
Chocolate molds
 sugar paste
biscuits (I used Digestives)
for the base two rectangular cakes
orange glaze
filling: dark chocolate ganache
to moisten cake: orange juice

FOR THE BASE (for each cake)

 350 g. of  butter,
350 g. of sugar
6 eggs,
350 g. of flour
juice and grated rind of 1 and a half orange
1 packet of baking powder (16 g.)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add one egg at a time, pour in the orange juice and the grated rind and vanilla essence, fold in the flour  (I usually sift it together with the baking powder in my mixer) . Pour the batter in a rectangular baking dish about 35 x 24 cm. lined with baking paper and lightly buttered. Cuocere in forno preriscaldato a 170°C - 180°C, per 40-45 minuti circa. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 ° C - 180 ° C for 40-45 minutes. Test with a skewer before removing from oven. E' bene preparare i due strati di torta da farcire il giorno prima, in modo che non siano troppo morbidi e non si rischi di romperli durante la farcitura. It 's important to make the two  cakes  a day ahead and to finish the cake the next day so that when cutting into layers they are not too soft and they won't break.


250 ml of whipping cream
 250 g. of dark chocolate

 Cut the chocolate into small pieces. Heat the cream without letting it boil, pour on the chocolate and mix very gently with a fork being careful not to whip the cream. Let it cool slightly before use.


4 tablespoons of butter
2 cups (330 grams) of icing sugar,

1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 or 2 tablespoons orange juice

Melt the butter, add icing sugar and the citrus juice. Mix well to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Spread a first layer of icing all around the sides of the cake and let it dry. Spread a second layer of icing and set the remaing icing aside. You'll need it to "glue" the chocolate shells around the sides of the cake.


30 ml. of water,
7 g. gelatin sheets (approx. 4 sheets),
50 g. of glucose,
450 g. of  vanilla flavoured icing sugar,
1 teaspoon of vanillina or almond essence,
1 tablespoon of oil (tasteless and colorless e.g.  rice, sunflower, almond oil )

 Heat water and glucose and mix well: there is no need to reach too high a temperature, just around 50-60 °C. Combine gelatin that has been already soaked in cold water for 10-15 min. and gently dried with a cloth.

La gelatina la metto nel liquido già caldo, e non nel liquido freddo da riscaldare, perchè in questo modo non corro il rischio di rovinarla con troppo calore.) Ottenuta la miscela aggiungere l'olio e versare a filo nel mixer in movimento, dove è già pronto lo zucchero a velo. . (I put the jelly in the liquid is warm, not cold in the liquid to be heated, because that will not run the risk of ruining it with too much heat.) Obtained the mixture add the oil and pour in wire moving in the mixer, where it is ready icing sugar. In pochi secondi la pasta è pronta. In seconds, the dough is ready. Se è un po' morbida si può lavorare sul tavolo con poco zucchero a velo. If it is a bit 'soft you can work on the table with a little icing sugar.

La pasta di zucchero appena “esce” fuori dal mixer è un mastice un po' appiccicoso. The sugar paste only "exit" out of the mixer is a putty a bit 'tacky. Va rovesciata con una spatola sul piano di lavoro spolverizzato con zucchero a velo e appena impastata con le mani sempre polverose di zucchero, per amalgamarla a palla. It should be overturned with a spatula on the work surface dusted with icing sugar and knead with hands just always dusty sugar, to mix into a ball. Va quindi fatta riposare alcune ore. It should therefore be made to stand several hours. Di solito la preparo il giorno prima, e quindi la lavoro almeno un dodici ore dopo. Usually I prepare the day before, and then work at least twelve hours later. Appena pronta la pasta di zucchero non è modellabile. Just ready the sugar paste is not modeled. Si avvolge nella pellicola e poi in una busta di plastica e si lascia riposare per qualche ora. Is wrapped in plastic wrap and then in a plastic bag and allow to rest for a few hours. Si conserva in frigo per molti giorni sempre ben avvolta in pellicola. It keeps in the fridge for several days always well wrapped in foil.

COME REALIZZARE LE CIABATTINE (due tre giorni prima) HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE COBBLER (two-three days before)

Le ciabattine sono state realizzate utilizzando un po' di pasta di zucchero ed una puntina di coltello di colore in polvere blu diluito in due gocce d'acqua. The slippers were made using a bit 'of sugar paste and a pinch of powder blue color knife diluted with two drops of water. Mi sono trovata bene a lavorare la pasta con una spatola fin quando il colore si è ben amalgamato. I was fine to work the dough with a spatula until the color is well blended. L'effetto puntinato l'ho ottenuto con una spatola che ho trovato alla METRO. The dimpled effect I got with a spatula that I found at METRO. Per fare i bottoncini blu ho usato una bocchetta per decorazioni e per le striscioline, una volta tagliate le striscioline le ho rapidamente sistemate in posizione supportandole con un rotolino di carta fin quando prima di uscire di casa le ho posizionate sulla torta. To make the blue buttons I used for decorations and a nozzle for the strips, once cut the strips I have quickly placed in position supported with a roll of paper until before leaving home placed them on the cake.

CIOCCOLATINI A FORMA DI CONCHIGLIA (tre-quattro giorni prima) CHOCOLATES shell-shaped (three-four days before)
Per fare i cioccolatini è necessario temperare 200 g. To temper the chocolate you need 200 grams di cioccolato. chocolate. Per quanto riguarda il cioccolato bianco va sciolto a bagnomaria (attenzione a non far cadere neanche una goccia d'acqua), portato intorno ai 45°C-50°C, abbassarne la temperatura versandolo su una lastra di marmo e lavorandolo con una spatola e poi riportandolo nel bagnomaria per riscaldarlo fino a 27°C°-28C. As for white chocolate is melted over hot water (be careful not to spill a single drop of water), brought about 45 degrees C to 50 ° C, lowering the temperature by pouring on a marble slab and work it with a spatula and then entered into the water bath to warm to 27 ° C °-28C.
Se il cioccolato è ben temperato i cioccolatini si staccheranno bene dalle forme e saranno lucidi. If chocolate is well tempered chocolates are good shapes stand out and be shiny.


Quando si è pronti per farcire, bagnare i il primo strato con succo d'arancio, mettere in frigo (questo aiuterà la ganache a non colare mentre la stendete) e nel frattempo preparare la ganache al cioccolato. When you are ready for stuffing, soak the first layer with orange juice, put in the fridge (this will help the ganache while not particular stretch) and in the meantime, prepare the chocolate ganache. Togliere la torta dal frigo, farcirla con la ganache e mettere di nuovo in frigo. Remove the cake from the fridge, stuffed with ganache and put back in refrigerator. Appena la ganache si è un po' freddata, aggiungere il secondo strato di torta, bagnare con altro succo d'arancia, e riposizionare ancora una volta in frigo. Once the ganache was a bit 'cold, add the second layer of cake, sprinkle with more orange juice, and relocate again in the fridge. Preparare la glassa all'arancio che servirà per rivestire i lati della torta. Prepare the orange frosting that will serve to cover sides of cake.
Mettere nel mixer tre o quattro biscotti, io ho usato i Digestive, e sono contenta del colore che ho ottenuto per la sabbia. Put the mixer three or four cookies, I used the Digestive, and I'm glad I got the color of the sand. Spolverare sulla torta dopo averla spennellata con un po' di sciroppo di zucchero ottenuto scaldando qualche cucchiaio di zucchero e succo d'arancia, questo aiuterà a tener fermo il primo strato di sabbia senza però bagnarlo. Sprinkle on the cake after it brushed with a little 'sugar syrup made by heating a few tablespoons of sugar and orange juice, this will help hold down the first layer of sand but not wet.
Spolverare, quindi, con i biscotti sbriciolati, attaccare ai bordi i cioccolatini e all'ultimo momento decorare con le ciabattine e con gli altri cioccolatini. Sprinkle then with crumbled cookies, chocolates and attack the edges at the last minute decorating with slippers and other chocolates.

Vi ho detto tutto? I told you everything?