Sunday 8 August 2010

Black and White Mini Cakes

Sometime in the distant past, mum bought a mini muffin tin. We don't use it very much. I decided this was a shame, and so these mini cakes were developed. They're chocolate cake topped with dark chocolate ganache and white chocolate shavings. 

I had help making these. Isabella - you may well have seen her comments on my posts - is quite possibly this blog's biggest fan.  I invited her over to have a bit of a baking session and this is the result. She's a very useful assistant!  

We whipped up a cake dough and set about dividing it between the cases. Our kitchen surfaces are very tall so we moved to the kitchen table to make things easier.  Some cases got a bit more than others but they all look lovely. 

(Also, how gorgeous is Isabella's dress? So cheerful and bright.)

While they were in the oven, we set about making a simple ganache. We broke up the dark chocolate, getting very messy fingers in the process. We measured out the cream and heated it up, chatting about Dr Who and Jamie Oliver.  I showed Isabella how fun it is to watch cakes rise through the oven door. 

Once we had set the ganache aside to cool, we started making the chocolate shavings. We had a lot of giggles trying to make them work, but in the end we ended up with a big pile and no major mishaps. I love the way you can see through the bar once you've scraped lots of it away. 

After taking the cakes out of the oven and letting them cool a bit, we put them all on a big stand and started spooning (dripping) ganache over them. Then we sprinkled handfuls of the chocolate shavings over the top - I love the rustic look of them piled on top. 

We ate some while they were still slightly warm, with the ganache spilling off the top. Pretty messy but very tasty. 

I'm not usually a fan of black and white food photos, but here it just seemed to work.  I love the fact that these photos ended up with a colour palette of browns and white with splashes of yellow, blue and pink nails. 

I had such fun making these and they taste wonderful too. 

Black and White Mini Cakes
(adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe for basic fairy cakes in How to be a Domestic Goddess)

For the cakes:
125g butter
50g caster sugar
70g light brown sugar
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
20g cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time until incorporated. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa over the top and beat in until combined. Divide between cases using a tablespoon. Place in the oven and make for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

For the ganache:
60g dark chocolate
50ml double cream

Chop the chocolate up into small pieces and put it in a small bowl. Heat the cream up till nearly boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes then beat until smooth. Leave to cool before topping the cakes. 

To assemble:
100g bar of white chocolate (you won't use it all)

While the ganache and cakes cool, make white chocolate shavings by scraping a small sharp knife down the bar of chocolate, with the blade tilted towards you and pressing on the end as you drag it.  Make sure the chocolate is secure and won't move and be careful. Spoon some ganache onto each cake and then top with some of the white chocolate shavings. 

(Makes 24)


  1. "Baking with Isabella" should become a new theme on your blog. I love it. My kids help a lot as well. They are so proud of their finished baked goods.
    Isabella, great job! The mini cupcakes look wonderful. I know that my kids would have loved tasting one. I also like your yellow dress.

  2. Those are beautiful pictures of a what looks to have been a wonderful day of baking. Isn't it fun to help teach people in the kitchen?

  3. mini muffin trays are a staple in my house. We use them more then regular sized pans.

    No one feels guilty after a mini cupcake....

  4. Gorgeous photos and gorgeous mini-cakes. All round fun :)

  5. Those are beautiful!! and that is so cute that isabella helped you!!

  6. I love little mini cupcakes...but I use the cupcake liners and put them straight onto a baking sheets. Yours are so adorable, so delicious-looking too.

  7. And it looks like a great time was had by all ;0)
    Fantastic looking cakes, very tasty! But then who could say no to dark and white chocolate all in the one mouthful!

  8. they look fantastic !!!!!

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