Fondant Cakes

Giant Lindt Chocolate Cake Goldbunny

We’ve all had a Lindt Goldbunny before and we all know that they’re delish, but unfortunately he’s not made out of chocolate cake. So I baked myself one.

Recipe:

Chocolate Sponge:

  • 375g Plain Flour
  • 150g Cocoa Powder
  • 75g Cornflour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 300ml Buttermilk
  • 300ml Oil
  • 6 medium Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Dark Chocolate Chips

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1kg Dark Chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 500ml Double Cream

Decorations:

  • 1kg Chocolate Fondant
  • ca 100g Red Fondant
  • ca 25g Yellow Fondant
  • CMC Powder
  • Metallic Gold Paint (or Gold lustre dust)
  • Very dark brown powder food colouring or brown and black powder food colouring
  • Red powdered food colouring
  • Alcohol to hydrate the powder colours

Method:

The bow and the bell that the bunny have around the neck will have to be prepared a day or two in advance so they can dry before we glue them on.

Take half of the red fondant and add about 1/4 tsp of CMC powder. This will turn the fondant into modelling paste, which means that we can roll it out thinner and it will also dry a bit quicker. Knead the CMC powder into the fondant until it’s well incorporated. Roll the modelling paste out to a long thin strip and then cut it down to about 15cm x 2cm. I like rolling out fondant on potato starch because it’s easy to dust off with a big fluffy brush (good to keep one close by). With your thumbs and forefingers pinch the modelling paste strip in the middle (the pinch should be about a cm wide), then take both ends of the long strip and gently fold them over to the pinched bit and press it together so it doesn’t move anymore. This will create a bow. Place a cut down straw in each of the openings so it can dry without the openings collapsing. Then cut another strip of modelling paste down to 1cm x2cm. Wet the pinched bit of the bow with a little bit of water or brush edible glue on and then place the small strip of modelling paste over it, again pressing down gently so it sticks.

Cut another 10cmx2xm strip out of the modelling paste, then cut the ends off diagonally (like you would with a ribbon), then cut in half so that we have two 5cm x 2cm pieces. Gently place them under each side of the bow and when you’re happy with the position glue the bow onto the ribbon ends. Finally place two pieces of cut down straw under the ribbon to it gets a bit of life and doesn’t dry completely flat.

To create the bell knead 1/4 tsp CMC powder into the yellow fondant. Take a thumb size amount of fondant away and roll the rest into a ball about the size of a cherry. Take a decorating tool with a ball shaped end and by pressing it into the ball create two holes just next to each other, then using the thinner part on the tool create a connection between the two holes so you end up with a dumbbell shape in the ball . Try and tidy it up a little bit using your hands and the decorating tool. You can also roll it between your hands gently again to make it nice and round again. Put the rest of the fondant into a fondant extruder with a small round plate and extrude a strip just long enough to go around the diameter of the bell. Glue it on with a bit of water or edible glue so that the dumbbell shape is one one side of the strip and the other side is smooth. Sit it down on the smooth side to dry.

Put a reusable baking mat on a perforated baking tray (mine is about 30x40cm large) and place a baking frame on the tray. Since I’ll be placing the cake on a 24cm cake board I’ve made it 24cm wide and 40cm long. Preheat the oven to 170 degree C (150 Fan).

Whip the eggs and sugar up in a large mixing bowl using a whisk attachment on the stand mixer or hand mixer. They want to be light and fluffy and nearly white in colour. Add the vanilla extract, then slow the mixer down and slowly add buttermilk and oil. Combine flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and sieve them into the wet ingredients. Since we want to lose as little of the air that we have just whipped into the batter it’s important to fold the dry ingredients in gently. I like to mix it for a few seconds in the stand mixer and then take a spatula to fold them in completely. When the batter has nearly come together add the chocolate chips as well and combine until the batter is well combined.

Fill it into the prepared baking frame and pull the batter up the sides of the frame a little bit. This will help the cake rise more evenly. Bake it for about 20-25 minutes. To check if the cake is done you want to gently push a finger into the top of the middle of the cake. If it springs back it’ll be done. I prefer this method to using a skewer when using chocolate chips in a chocolate cake as you might mistake melted chocolate for undone cake and in the end over bake it. Let it cool down completely

To prepare the ganache heat the double cream up in a medium sized saucepan on a medium heat. You want to get it to a simmering point, not any hotter. Finely chop the dark chocolate and place it into a large mixing bowl. When the cream is hot enough pour it over the dark chocolate and make sure that all of the chocolate is covered. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. If you try and combine it too soon it the chocolate might separate and you might not be able to bring it back together.

After about 5 minutes start stirring the cream and the chocolate together. Keep stirring until you have a smooth dark chocolate ganache. If there’s still lumps of chocolate in the ganache put it in the microwave in 10 second intervals and mix in between each one until all the chocolate has melted completely. Cover it with clingfilm and place it in the fridge for an hour or two until it’s set enough to start decorating.

When the cake has cooled down remove the baking frame using a blunt knife (so you don’t break the reusable baking mat) and using a cake lifter remove it from the baking mat.

Cut it into a 10cm wide, a 9cm wide and 2 7cm wide and 25cm long strips. There’ll be a bit of cake left over, don’t throw it out, we’ll use it for the head and ears later.

Spread some ganache onto the middle of the cake board using an offset pallet knife, then place the largest cake strip in the middle of the board. Add a dollop of ganache onto the cake layer and add the second largest one. Repeat the same thing with the next two layers. I’ve printed myself a template to see how high the bunny needs to be and used another bit of leftover cake on the front of the bunny to get the right height for the cake. When you’re happy with the height place the cake in the fridge and let it cool down. It’ll be easier to carve when it’s cold.

After an hour use the template and carve out the general shape using a serrated knife. Then add some of the bits you carved off to shape the ears. Now carve the bunny into shape. Always add plenty of ganache to glue it together and use leftover crumbs and cake bits and ganache to flesh out the sides where the bunny’s legs are. I’ve used a few straws that I poked though the ears into the body and one in the head to give the cake more stability.

When you’re happy with the shape of the bunny put it in the fridge for another 30 mins to 1 hour.

After an hour add the crumb coat. It is a thin layer of ganache that covers the whole cake and binds all loose crumbs. I like using a cranked pallet knife to to that and a flexible cake scraper to smooth it out (great tool for cakes with unusual shapes!). Be careful with the ears!! When the cake is completely covered in the crumb coat put it in the fridge for another hour. This will give the cake stability.

After an hour in the fridge the cake should be nice and cool and a lot easier to handle. Cover it in another thicker layer of ganache. While the crumb coat doesn’t need to be too smooth we want the final layer of ganache to be very smooth so take your time when smoothing it out with your cake scraper. You guessed right: Put it back in the fridge for the ganache to set.

Knead the chocolate fondant until it’s nice and soft and easy to work with. Roll 1/3 of it out with a large rolling pin on some potato starch. It wants to be about 1/4 cm thick and long and wide enough to go around the whole of the bunny’s head and ears. Cut a straight edge on one of the long sides and then roll it up on a small rolling pin. Cover the bunny’s head with some edible glue and unravel the fondant layer around the head, the straight edge should be on the bottom. Smooth it onto the cake using your hands. Take a sharpe knife and cut through the middle of where the two ends of the fondant meet. Take off the overhang on one side, then lift the other side off and take off the overhang under the other side before smoothing the two now perfectly fitting pieces of fondant together with your hands. Repeat the same with the bottom half of the bunny and to cover up any holes if there are any. Smooth the fondant out using a fondant smoother and your hands and try to make the seams as smooth as possible. You can use the flexible cake scraper again as well to smooth the fondant out.

Use a decorating tool with a pointed end and create a seam down the middle of the cake (where the foil would meet on the bunny) and put a few wrinkles in like the foil would wrinkle on the bunny. Use a decorating tool with a rounded flat edge to

You can paint the bunny in different ways, either with an airbrush set, you can get gold spray aerosols, hydrated metallic gold paint or you can hydrate gold lustre dust with a bit of vodka or rum. If you’re choosing the lustre dust mix it with the alcohol until you have a thick paint. Use a cake decorating brush to apply a thin coat of colour, then let it dry for a few hours and then add a second coat. Metallic paints that are already hydrated and spray colour might only need one coat. Let the bunny dry completely before continuing.

Hydrate some red powdered food colouring to a thick paint and carefully paint the bow and use some of the leftover gold to paint the bell

Roll out a long, thin piece of red fondant that is long enough to fit around the neck of the bunny, cut it to a 2cm width and roll it onto a small rolling pin. Apply edible glue around the bunny’s neck and carefully unravel the ribbon around the neck. Cut through the ribbon where it overlaps and remove the overhanging fondant on both sides. Paint the ribbon with the red hydrated paint.

When the bow, bell and ribbon are dry put some edible glue onto the backside of the bow and carefully attach it to the ribbon on the side of the bunny’s neck. Stick a toothpick into the ribbon at the front of the bunny’s neck and attach the bell to it (you won’t need any glue for that).

Hydrate some dark brown powdered food colouring (or mix it from lighter brown and black) and paint on the bunny’s nose, whiskers, eyebrows, claws and the inside of the bunny’s ears. If you make a mistake you can cover it up with more gold paint.

Roll out grass green fondant to 1/4cm thickness and paint some edible glue onto the cake board. Carefully take a strip long enough to cover the cake board and wide enough to cover the widest space between the bunny and the edge of the cake board. Carefully pull it into place on one side of the cake board and then repeat with the other side. Let it dry for a minute and then carefully cut the excess off around the cake board.

Crumple up a bit of kitchen foil and lightly push it into the green fondant to give the “grass” some structure. Decorate the board with chocolate eggs!

Well done if you’re still reading. You’re done now!


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