Chocolate, hazelnut, raspberry wedding cake
Posted: 16 March 2010 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am making a cake for my son’s wedding on April 17, which should have about 90 guests. He and his bride have requested a flavor combination of chocolate, hazelnut, and raspberry, so I’ve been experimenting and have sort of settled on the chocolate passion cake from RHC with a milk chocolate/hazelnut filling from Alice Medrich (in Bon Appetit years ago) and the white chocolate buttercream from RHC. I would like to get a strong raspberry hit, so I ltried the raspberry sauce that is in RHC, but it was too thin. What would be the best way to thicken it without losing the fresh, tart, sweet flavor? Another possibility would be to get more raspberry flavor into the syrup. I’ve been using the milk chocolate syrup from the passion cake to syrup the cakes. Can I add framboise eau de vie to this, or even raspberry puree? Also, can I add eau de vie to the buttercream?

Any other ideas?

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Posted: 22 March 2010 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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As a fairly experienced wedding cake maker, I personally would not combine the hazelnut note with the raspberry in one layer - but use one flavour in one layer and the other in the remaining layer (bridal couple’s favorite in the top to save for first anniversary). And just do a decorative drizzle for colour on the plates with Raspberry coulis. I did a wonderful white chocolate buttercream filling accented with raspberry between the layers of a very rich and dark chocolate cake for my son’s wedding cake (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/44733706@N02/  cherry red wedding cake). I used highly concentrated Raspberry Puree used commercially to make Smoothie mixes obtained from my son in law’s company… you may be able to source some as a “sample” from companies that make these products. Or I have also seen recipes to make your own by reducing raspberry puree. This buttercream was the most heavenly one I have ever tasted and was received with rave reviews! Another option is to use Concentrated Fruit Powder - I have obtained this from Maid of Scandinavia - a source often cited by Rose. Unfortunately they are no longer in operation - but I recall seeing another post here mentioning it. To thicken the raspberry puree for a sauce without losing the fresh flavour, try using arrowroot - perhaps to thicken only a portion of it (extra thick) and then whisking in the remainder afterward. I often use Himbeer Geist (eau de vie - not sweet!)  to moisten cakes, and to heighten raspberry flavour in buttercreams. Frangelico would be great in your hazelnut buttercream! Would you mind sharing which Bon App that filling is in? Good luck and I hope this is helpful to you!

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Posted: 24 March 2010 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Wow! I love the photos of your wedding cakes. Thanks for the link and the suggestions on raspberry products. I?m curious why you would not combine the raspberry, chocolate, and hazelnut flavors. I made a test cake with these flavors and got rave reviews from everyone who tried it. I?m just trying to figure out how to bump up the raspberry a bit. One question: did you use Rose?s white chocolate buttercream recipe in your son?s wedding cake?

The chocolate hazelnut filling I?m using comes from an article by Alice Medrich in Bon Appetit December 1993. If you can?t find it, I can send it to you.

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Posted: 24 March 2010 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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elbee - 16 March 2010 02:53 PM

I would like to get a strong raspberry hit, so I tried the raspberry sauce that is in RHC, but it was too thin.

You mean the sauce on p.190?  How did you use it, as a sauce served along side the cake? 

What would be the best way to thicken it without losing the fresh, tart, sweet flavor?

This is the best way I know to make a fruit puree that tastes like fresh fruit, only more concentrated.  Are you trying to thicken it to make it a stand-alone filling? Gelatin or agar would work for that. 

Another possibility would be to get more raspberry flavor into the syrup. I’ve been using the milk chocolate syrup from the passion cake to syrup the cakes.

Hmmm, you could substitute eau de vie and/or raspberry essence for part of the milk, but be careful not to get it too hot or it will loose flavor.  On the other hand, if the syrup is too cold it won’t penetrate well.  Tricky.  I must admit I’m wondering about the milk + raspberry combo.  Perhaps consider the cream version of this syrup from the baby chocolate grands?  And I’m not sure about substituting puree for part of the dairy, it might not penetrate very well if it’s too thick.  And if you try to heat the milk with the puree, the acidity may curdle the milk. 

Also, can I add eau de vie to the buttercream?

Which buttercream are you making, dreamy creamy, or the custard-based deluxe?  Either way, there’s no liquid to substitute for, so it’s possible the buttercream could break.  You might be OK with a dropper full of raspberry essence (La Cuisine), but that would tint the bc pink.  Perhaps you could consider the white chocolate version of the mousseline buttercream in the Cake Bible?  You can add raspberry eau de vie to that, no problem. 

My personal choice on flavors would be to combine almond with the chocolate and raspberry, rather than hazelnut, but if you’ve made a test cake and the bride and groom love it, go for it.

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Posted: 25 March 2010 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Elbee! The filling I used was based on a recipe for a White Chocolate Buttercream from Bon Appetit’s special Classic Desserts publication of Dec.‘91… it is from a recipe for Marzipan-topped Strawberry Layer Cake. Based on a rich Pastry cream, enhanced with lots of butter and white chocolate, it is substantial enough to do a very thick layer holding strawberries standing up vertically between two layers of sponge cake. At that time (‘05) the only recipes of Rose’s I had tried were some Christmas cookies… For the wedding cake I added a bit of gelatin to firm it up and compensate for the extra liquid of the raspberry concentrate (which was extremely concentrated - I still have some - hoarding it for one more special use!), especially becasue Sept. in Vancouver can still be pretty hot and the hall was not air-conditioned. Because Hazelnut and Raspberry are both pretty special and bold flavours and not all people like them both, I thought it better to let each one shine alone in separate layers (well ok - almond in the petit fours!). Mixing almond & chocolate cakes, white chocolate, and raspberry already seemed like enough flavours together. Of course everyone wanted some of each anyways! The raspberry coulis to accent your cake sounds very lovely though. As long as you have someone helping you dish it up. Searching for the Hazelnut Buttercream recipe you mentioned from BA ‘93 - is it from the Chocolate Gift Box cake? I just realized - I have done that combo as the Ganache & Glaze for that is Chocolate Framboise (using eau-de-vie), and the cake a Hazelnut sponge. It was divine I must say! The filling for the wedding cake was very definitely strongly fruity & tart raspberry though, much more dominant than eau de vie alone. If you want to see if you can source the fruit concentrates you can try at http://www.kerrconcentrates.com/index.html or co,mpanies similar. I would love to have the recipe you mentioned if you can send it. Thanks and keep us posted on the progress! Good luck!

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Posted: 20 April 2010 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Reporting back after the wedding:
I made the cake as described earlier, using the chocolate passion cake recipe from RHC, the chocolate hazelnut filling from Alice Medrich (see below), and the white chocolate buttercream from RHC. For the raspberry component, I defrosted two bags of raspberries with no sugar or syrup, drained them, and then just scattered them on top of the chocolate/hazelnut filling, smashed them down a bit, and then placed the second layer on top. The cake was a huge hit… many people said it was the best they’d every had (of course, they are friends of mine so you can take it with a grain of salt if you wish, but it was pretty darn good!)

I have attached a picture of the cake, which I decorated with crystallized flowers purchased from http://www.crystallizedflowerco.com/crystallized_flowers.html

Here’s the recipe for the filling:

Chocolate Hazelnut Filling
Alice Medrich, Bon Appetit December 1993

(this makes enough to fill and frost a 9? cake, or fill a 12? cake)

? cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
8 oz. imported milk chocolate, finely chopped
? cup hazelnuts, toasted and husked
2 tsp. powdered sugar

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate and let stand 1 minute. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Set aside

In small food processor, grind hazelnuts until paste forms, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides. Stir paste into chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until cool but still spreadable, about 2 hours.
Here is the recipe for the chocolate hazelnut filling:

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Posted: 20 April 2010 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It’s lovely!!! You must be so pleased. The overall effect with the flowers and other decoration is charming, and the taste sounds so good. Well done!

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Posted: 20 April 2010 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Oh my goodness, it sounds divine and looks….HEAVENLY!  tongue laugh

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Posted: 20 April 2010 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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That looks absolutely delicious!! Congratulations on a success..

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So many recipes - so little time.

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Posted: 21 April 2010 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Gorgeous and elegant cake, congratulations!

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Posted: 21 April 2010 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Beautiful cake. I love the colours.

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Posted: 21 April 2010 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Very beautiful cake! Love the flowers!

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Posted: 22 April 2010 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Beautiful cake.  Sounds yummy!

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Posted: 23 April 2010 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thank you so much Elbee - for posting the recipe for that Hazelnut filling. It looks divine! My daughter’s favorite is Chocolate Hazelnut - so I will make if for her! Glad to hear that your cake was a huge success- it sure looked wonderful! Sometimes the simplest treatment truly works the best hey? (In reg to the raspberry hit). I will give that a try myself sometime, when I know the cake will be consumed at one time. The crystalline flowers you used are just gorgeous - that company’s website is definitely going into my Favorites for future reference! Thanks again and best of luck in all your future endeavours! We’ll be looking forward to hearing what you are concocting next….

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Posted: 23 April 2010 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Really gorgeous, so beautiful!

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