The last few weeks, I’ve been in absolute awe of all the beautiful, geometrically tiled cakes springing up all over Instagram. I usually don’t tend to make large multi-layered cakes as I find them very time consuming and I always struggle to eat it all after. But, the weather has been dismal lately, and I have found myself incredibly bored and reluctant to leave my nice warm house to venture into cold, icy Paris. Alas, it was the perfect opportunity to create my own version of a geometrically tiled cake. I must say, I’m more than happy with the results and it was surprisingly easy to make – although, as predicted, quite time consuming.
I’ve taken some step-by-step photos demonstrating the decoration process. Basically, it involves cutting out hundreds of precisely measured triangle and gluing them to the cake – I used a basic, edible fondant glue. You can buy it online or make your own. I think it’s pretty simple to make – this site provides a good recipe. For the cake itself, I opted for a rich chocolate cake and layers of mandarin jelly and honeycomb cream. I sprinkled chunks of honeycomb between each layer to add texture, however, I wouldn’t recommend this as they magically disintegrated after a few minutes. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
The sugar syrup (this keeps the cake beautiful and moist)
- 250g of water
- 250g of sugar
Place the sugar and water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Set aside and allow to cool.
- 4tbsp of golden syrup
- 200g of caster sugar
- 3 tsp of bicarbonate soda
Line a deep baking tray and set aside. In a large pan, heat the golden syrup and sugar to 60°C. As soon as it reaches 60°C quickly add the bicarbonate soda and whisk for approximately ten seconds. It should become very foamy and at least double in volume. Pour into the prepared baking tray and allow to set for at least 30 minutes. Once dry and crispy, blend until you have rough powder.
The Chocolate Cake
- 50g dark chocolate, melted and allowed to cool slightly
- 250g butter, at room temperature
- 250g brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 100g cocoa powder
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 250ml milk
- A pinch of vanilla seeds or extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two 16 – 18 cm cake tins or patisserie circles and place them on a lined baking tray.
Cream the butter, sugar and salt by beating it until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is well incorporated before adding the next. Finally, add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, the flour and the baking powder. Fold in half the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, followed by the melted chocolate. Next, add half the milk, the rest of the dry ingredients and then the final portion of milk.
Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool enough to remove it from the tin, then place upside down to cool completely before cutting each cake into two equal layers. If your cake has a risen mound on top, slice it off so that the layer is flat. Use a soup spoon to drizzle each of the four layers with the cooled sugar syrup.
The Mandarin Jelly
- 190g of caster sugar
- 190g of water
- 19g of gelatine powder soaked in 115g of cold water
- 500g of mandarin puree (make this by blending mandarins)
Make a sugar syrup by bringing the caster sugar and water to a boil. Whisk in the gelatine, followed by the mandarin puree.
Take one large sheet of plastic film and place it inside your clean patisserie circle or cake tin. Place the plastic film so that it lines the bottom and side neatly. Pour in 1/3 of the jelly and place in the freezer. As soon as the jelly becomes a little frozen, repeat the process by placing more plastic film directly on top of the jelly and pouring in another 1/3. Repeat this process one more time.
For the Honeycomb Cream – recipe created by Maggie Beer
- 150g of honeycomb crumbs (the mixture you made above)
- 500g of cream
- 12g of gold strength gelatine leaves
- 100g of egg yolk (approximately 6 eggs)
- 50g of caster sugar
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
In a small bowl, gently whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. In a medium saucepan bring the cream to the boil. As soon as the cream starts to bubble, remove it from the heat and pour half into the egg yolk mixture. Quickly give it a good whisk, then pour it back into the saucepan. Use a thermometer and heat to 82°C while continuously whisking.
Remove from the heat and add the gelatin (squeeze out the water first). Finally add the honeycomb crumbs and stir until melted.
Your mandarin jelly should now be set so remove the cake tin or patisserie circle but leave the circles of jelly in the freezer. You want to repeat the steps for freezing jelly but this time for the honeycomb cream ie- you want want 3 even frozen layers. Allow to set in the freezer for roughly an hour.
The Swiss Meringue Butter cream –recipe from Sweetapolita
- 100g of egg white
- 166g of sugar
- 225g of unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 1tsp of vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Heat egg whites and sugar in a bain-marie while whisking constantly until it reaches 60°C. Remove from the heat and use an electric beater to whip it until it’s an ambient temperature. Put your mixer on a lower speed and gradually add the butter. The mixture will begin to look curdled. This is normal, just keep mixing and eventually it will become smooth. Once this consistency is obtained add the vanilla and salt.
Time to Assemble
Start with a layer of chocolate cake and top it with the jelly and honeycomb cream. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the layers. If there is any protruding cake or jelly, use a knife to trim them off.
Apply a crumb coating of buttercream. This is a fine layer of buttercream that sticks down all the crumbs. Place in the fridge to set. Next, add a thicker layer of butter cream. Make sure it’s as smooth as possible. Place in the fridge for later.
TIP: The jelly and honeycomb cream can be difficult to initially cover with the buttercream. If you have the same problem, dust the exterior of these parts with icing sugar and then try to cover them.
- fondant glue
- a clean paintbrush
- baking paper
Start by placing a sheet of baking paper around the cake. You want to cut the paper so it’s the exact length and height of the cake. Remove the paper and set it aside on your workbench. Use a ruler to measure how many squares can fit along the length of the paper- that will be the size of your squares. I cut out a cardboard guide that was 4 squares long and one square wide – this will save you time.
Prepare the fondant by massaging and kneading it until soft. For the marble fondant, I took a ball of white fondant and a ball of black and twisted them together before re-rolling it into a ball and rolling it out. I sprinkled a little flour on the work surface and rolling pin to stop it sticking.
Cut out rectangles, then cut them into squares, then cut the squares into triangles. Place the triangles on your measured sheet of baking paper and when you’re happy with your pattern place a little glue between each one to stick them together. Once the whole sheet is completely covered, paint a liberal amount of glue all over the fondant and wrap it around the cake. Smooth it out with your hand then remove the baking paper. Smooth over any dodgy looking parts and use paper towel to wipe off any excess flour.
For the top, roll out a large sheet of fondant – I marbled mine first. Place it on the top of the cake and use a small knife to cut off the excess so it fits perfectly on top. Use your hand to smooth the edges.