Oscars-themed drip cake: “death by Chocolat”

My first real “drip cake”, this was made for recent Clandestine Cake Club meeting, with the theme being a cake with a take on Oscar-winning films…….

Clandestine Cake Club

If you like cake – making, eating and talking about cake – you must join   CCC; most towns in the UK and many areas of the world have a CCC group. It is free to join and is a terrific way to meet new people.

And not only do you get to see and taste amazing cakes, you get to take cake home at the end of the evening!

You can find more on the Clandestine Cake Club website. And if you are coming to the Squires Kitchen Exhibition shortly, do pop along to the CCC area.

This drip cake

The “drip” is not perfect as I let the dark chocolate ganache set a little too much, so I didn’t get a totally smooth, seamless drip, but quite frankly for a first attempt I will not lose any sleep over it; besides, eating it is the priority!

I went for 3 layers of chocolate Victoria sponge (a 7″ cake: the link for this cake, along with other flavour variations, is here).

The cake was sandwiched together and coated with a milk chocolate and salted caramel buttercream.

Chocolate and sea-salted caramel popcorn

Given the film theme I decided to have dark chocolate-coated caramel popcorn with a little sea salt sprinkled over to decorate the cake, and a gold chocolate Oscar “statuette”. I left some of the popcorn half coated to allow the popcorn to peek through.

The easiest way to make the chocolate popcorn is by mixing a handful of caramel popcorn into melted dark chocolate, before placing them on a baking sheet, sprinkling over a little sea salt and leaving them to set.

They will stick to the ganache on the cake or you can use melted chocolate to stack some of them up.

The drip effect

The drip I used in this cake is a dark chocolate ganache (100g dark chocolate mixed with 120ml hot double cream). This is left until it has started to set so that it doesn’t run all the way down the cake and pool at the base.

However, you can spoon over the ganache while it is fairly runny and let it run right down if you put the cake on a stand or wire rack first, as I did with a quick demo caramel drip cake (as in the picture below):

Drip tips!

(1) It is easiest having the cake on its board and on a rotatable cake stand. Once you have coated the cake in the buttercream, chill fully for at least a couple of hours: that way, when the ganache is spooned over it will set quickly to give a defined drip effect.

(2) Once you have made the ganache, leave it at room temperature to cool and slightly set before using it: you want it at the consistency that it gently drips off a spoon rather than pours too quickly. If it is too thick and it needs a little force to get it off the spoon, mix with a little more hot cream, cool and try again.

(3) Take a teaspoon of the slightly set ganache and starting on top, just away from the edge, tilt the spoon towards the edge so the ganache drops off and just cascades over the edge. You can very gently tap the cake board to help it run down a little. You can also pipe a small amount around the top edge at intervals and let it drip down.

(4) Once you have gone all around, spoon the rest of the ganache on top of the cake, covering the surface, and run a palette knife over either to smooth it completely or else make a texture.

(5) If you feel you have messed it up (my first attempt looked something of a state!), chill the cake until the ganache has fully set and then with a small knife gently lift the ganache away from the sides (and top if you want). You can re-use this ganache, even if some of the buttercream has come away with it: just add a little more hot cream to the ganache to get it a little runnier, cool it and repeat.

A nod to the Oscars

The Oscars statuettes (I made a few in case of breakages!) are just tempered chocolate spread onto acetate that has been cut to a statuette shape, left to set, peeled off and brushed with edible gold lustre.

As the cake had to be transported I look the statuette off the top and stuck it to the side, as below.

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