Food & Drink

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Jewel-Box Cake

Published 15/09/2012|05:00

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Jewel-Box Cake

Looking as special as its name suggests, this is a square white-chocolate sponge cake, covered with small raspberries and decorated with white chocolate ribbons.

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YOU WILL NEED

For the sponge

150g good-quality white chocolate, broken up

250g unsalted butter, softened

250g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten

250g self-raising flour

Good pinch of salt To finish About 4 tbsps seedless raspberry jam

500-600g small raspberries

1 x 20.5cm square deep cake tin, greased and lined

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Melt the chocolate for the sponge and leave to cool until needed.

Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla and beat until the mixture is very light in colour and fluffy in texture, scraping down the bowl from time to time.

Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last portion of egg. Sift the rest of the flour and the salt into the bowl and fold in using a large metal spoon.

Add the cooled white chocolate and fold in until all the ingredients are completely amalgamated.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Make a small hollow in the centre so the cake will rise evenly.

Bake for about one hour until golden brown and just firm to the touch, and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to cool for about 15 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack. Once cold, the cake can be wrapped well and stored in an airtight container for a day before finishing.

When ready, make the chocolate ribbons and bow (see instructions below.

Showstopping Technique

YOU WILL NEED

150g white chocolate, broken up

3 tbsps liquid glucose

Heatproof bowl and pan

Rolling pin

Ruler

Large sharp knife

Sharp kitchen scissors

Method

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and gently stir in the liquid glucose. Leave to thicken at room temperature.

Once the mixture is firm and almost set, mould it into a ball with your hands. Some brands of chocolate need to be chilled to firm up.

Work and knead the mixture in your hands so it softens and becomes pliable and glossy, like modelling clay or Play-Doh. As soon as it feels smooth, shape it into a sausage.

Set the sausage between two long pieces of baking paper and roll out into a long, flat sheet, then peel off the top piece of paper.

To make the crossed ribbons, cut out two strips about 30 x 2.5cm, using a ruler and a long, sharp knife to get a straight, sharp edge. If the ribbons feel very soft, firm up in the fridge for a few minutes.

Gently warm the raspberry jam until melted. Brush over the top and sides of the cake, then gently press the ribbons on to the cake -- across the top and down the sides -- to resemble a parcel.

Then, starting with the top of the cake, press the raspberries (pointed-end up) on to the sponge in the squares between the ribbons, so the cake is covered, top and sides.

To make the bow

From the white chocolate dough, cut out one strip about 10 x 2.5cm, two strips 11 x 2.5cm and two strips about 14 x 2.5cm, cutting through the paper to leave the strips attached (see picture left).

Snip triangles out of one end of the 11cm strips using scissors, then rest the strips over a small paintbrush or similar implement to create a curve; these will be the bow ends.

With the paper side out, bend each 14cm strip into a bow loop and press the ends together. Then peel off the paper and position the ends of the loops so they are slightly overlapping; press gently together.

Peel the paper from the 10cm strip, then wrap it around the centre of the loops in a ring to hide the join; press the ends of the bow ring to seal. Put all the shaped pieces in the fridge so they can firm up a bit.

To finish the cake

Position the bow on top of the crossed ribbons on the cake, fixing in place with a dab of melted chocolate or jam. Reshape the loops and bow carefully until you are happy with them.

Slot the bow ends under the loops and arrange over the cake. Serve the cake the same day.

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