Monday, 26 September 2011

Blackberry wedding cake

Blackberry wedding cake

I made this wedding cake for some friends who got married at Dulwich Picture Gallery over the weekend. While we sat in the ceremony room, forest noises of wind, creaking trees and woodland creatures played, along with the Teddy Bears' Picnic song. This was thematic of the whole day and the cake was no exception. It was an intimate wedding and Alys and Will, the bride and groom, wanted to serve their cake as pudding. They chose a fruits of the forest torte with fruits of the forest chocolate ganache, so that their chosen design was mirrored in the flavour. The cake was gluten free as a number of their guests were wheat intolerant and Alys and Will were keen for everyone to be served the same.

Close up of the bramble thorn and blossom

I made the blackberries and foliage with white chocolate plastique - a mixture of melted white chocolate and glucose syrup, that you can model into shapes. Once I had made the thorns, leaves and fruit, I painted them with melted cocoa butter mixed with edible powder dye. This made it possible to create nuances of colour and levels of berry ripeness. The blackberry blossoms were made from floristry paste, again with painted detail and a royal icing centre and then used royal icing to stick all the decorations to the cake.

Side view of blackberries

With the exception of ribbons, structural rods and cake boards, I always try to make my cakes 100% edible. I avoid the use of wires or plastic stamens in my sugar and chocolate flowers because, in all honesty, I can't really see the point of creating decorations out of edible materials that are rendered inedible by sticking wires through them. I prefer this modern and fresh approach to cake artistry and, although I can understand the sentiment of keeping sugar flowers from your wedding day for posterity, this tradition feels less and less in keeping with the demands of today's brides.

Close up of chocolate blackberries

Fruits of the forest torte

This cake contains white chocolate, but you can't really taste the chocolate. It is used to stabilise the cake, which is necessary because the cake batter is so wet due to the amount of fruit purée used. You can use double the amount of chocolate if you want to taste the white chocolate through the tanginess of the forst fruits. This is definitely a cake which needs a cake fork - deliciously moist and fruity.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and line a deep 6" round tin

3 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
100ml raspberry purée
100ml blackcurrant purée
50ml blackberry purée
125g/ 5oz caster sugar
100g/ 4oz ground almonds
100g/ 4oz white chocolate, melted

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and mousse-y. Whisk through the ground almonds, then the chocolate and the fruit purée.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form and fold into the fruity mixture, being careful not to beat out any of the air. Once combined, pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in its tin on a wire rack before turning out.

Fruits of the forest chocolate ganache

100g/ 4oz dark chocolate
100g/ 4oz unsalted butter
125 ml of fruit purée (a mixture of blackcurrant, raspberry and blackberry)
100ml double cream
1 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted, stir in the fruit purée. Pop the cream and sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring the cream to the boil and pour the cream into the chocolate mixture. Leave to cool and once cold, refrigerate until the ganache has set. Once set, slice the cake horizontally and sandwich the cake with half the ganache and use the remaining ganache to smooth over the outside of the cake. 


  1. Replies
    1. I have only just worked out that replying shouldn't involve starting a new comment. I'm an idiot and a luddite, but I always reply (see below). I've just been doing it wrong :(

  2. Such a brilliant cake - delicious, beautiful and as though Vic hadn't just talked to me about the image I had in my imagination, but had actually taken a photograph of my dream cake, by some kind of magic. It was exactly what I wanted. Our foresty cake was one of the things that made our wedding day so delightful and memorable - not that getting married is all about cake. Apparently.

    1. I have only just worked out that replying shouldn't involve starting a new comment. I'm an idiot and a luddite, but I always reply (see below). I've just been doing it wrong :(

  3. What do you mean, getting married isn't all about cake? Thanks so much for your lovely comments, so pleased you liked it and it really was a genuine pleasure to make. And now you have the recipe should you ever want to eat it again... x