Sunday, 23 September 2012

Grasshopper cake

I have wanted to improve my cake decorating skills of late, and although I have tried once to make a chocolate circle cake (with roll out icing, different coloured icing cut into circles and placed on top of one another) this was a bit of disaster. I purchased Peggy Porschen, legendary cake maker to the Royals, cake decorating book in the new year and was completely overwhelmed with the elaborate time consuming decorating designs, I have not made one thing from this book.
I noticed an Easy Cake Decorating book in The Works and the cake decorating seemed really easy! I promptly purchased this wonderful book published by Love Food and book marked several decorating recipes that I must try. A cake that really caught my eye was a grasshopper cake, named after the Creme de Menthe cocktail, a cake covered with green butter cream and flavoured with peppermint. I thought the flavour combinations of peppermint and chocolate, a classic, would be a first for me to try. Plus I have never used food colouring in my cakes before.
Here is how my grasshopper cake turned out (apologies for bad pictures from my iphone).

Grasshopper cake
Grasshopper decorated with chocolate mints

The recipe for the cake is a simple chocolate cake (and I'm sure many of you have your favourite) to serve 8 poured into a 20cm deep cake or spring form tin.
I will share the recipe for the frosting.
200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
250 ml/ 9fl oz double cream
400 g icing sugar, sifted
1tsp peppermint extract
few drops of green food colouring
3 packets of chocolate mints (I brought mine from Aldi)

Slice the cake horizontally into three rounds.
For the frosting, place the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric handheld whisk for 2-3 minutes until pale and creamy. Beat in two thirds of the cream then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the rest of the cream and continue beating for 1-2 minutes until the butter cream is light and fluffy. Stir in the peppermint extract and enough food colouring to give a pale green colour.
Sandwich the rounds together with half the butter cream frosting. Spread the remaining butter cream over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with the chocolate shavings (I used chocolate mint balls).

My wonderful new cake decorating book
The Easy Cake Decorating book is a fantastic cake decorating book for beginners a la moi. I was so impressed with my grasshopper cake I'll be making a grasshopper pie next week
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