This incredible creation featuring a chocolate house, chocolate trees and filled with cream and cherries will be a hit with the kids.
For caramelised white chocolate cream, pre-heat oven to 120 degrees celsius and place chopped white chocolate into a small oven-proof bowl. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours until the chocolate has turned a light caramel colour.
While the white chocolate is caramelising, begin the white chocolate ganache by placing the chopped white chocolate into a medium size bowl. Bring the cream to a near boil and then pour it over the chopped white chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes and then stir to encourage emulsion. Set aside in the fridge to firm up.
Also while white chocolate is caramelising make the dark chocolate trees by melting two-thirds of the chocolate in a small bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, stir in the remaining chopped chocolate and stir to melt. Once slightly cooled place inside a Glad zip-lock bag, chop the edge and pipe out trees onto non-stick baking paper. Leave to set.
Also while white chocolate is caramelising make the chocolate biscuit batter. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl with electric beaters until well combined and pale. Add the egg yolk and beat to combine. Stir in the flour and cocoa and then bring it all together into a dough. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge. Make the royal icing by mixing the egg white with the icing sugar, adding a small amount at a time until it is thick paste. Spoon into a glad snap lock bag and set-aside for later use.
Also while the white chocolate is caramelising make the choux swan dough by placing the butter, salt and water into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil, making sure the butter is all melted. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the flour all in one go, beating with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Remove from the heat and let the mix cool slightly (say about 5 minutes, depending on patience levels). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Place the majority of the mix into a large piping bag fitted with a large tip and the remaining dough into a Glad snap lock bag. Set them aside.
When the caramelising white chocolate has about 15 minutes to go, grease and line two cake tins (20cm top width, 20cm bottom width, 6cm deep). Next, make the chocolate sponges by placing all 8 of the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in 170g of the icing sugar and beat slowly at first lest you get an exploding cloud of white dust. Once the sugar has been incorporated into the egg whites, turn to high and beat until firm peaks form. Place in a mixing bowl, clean out bowl and then add the 7 of the egg yolks with the remaining icing sugar. Beat until the mixture is super pale, aerated and has a good ribbon-stage quality.
Beat one-third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Then gently fold through the remaining egg white mix. Gently fold in the cocoa and corn flour.
By now, the white chocolate should be done caramelising and it is time to remove it from the oven and turn the temperature up to 190 degrees celsius. Divide the chocolate sponge mixture between the two greased and lined tins and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until springing back when lightly pressed.
While the sponges are cooking continue on with the choux swans. Line a biscuit tray with baking paper and squeeze four small pieces of choux dough onto the tray corners to help hold down the baking paper as you pipe. Using the large piping bag, pipe out 12 small swan bodies. On a small piece of baking paper pipe out super miniature swans by cutting a small hole in the corner of the snap lock bag filled with choux dough. On another cookie tray lined with baking paper, pipe out the full-size adult swan necks by increasing the size of the snap lock bag and piping elongated ‘S’ shapes.
When the sponges are removed from the oven increase the temperature to 200 degrees celsius. Place the swan bodies in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. At this time open the door and quickly add the swan neck tray. Cook for another 10 or so minutes, watching that the necks don’t over-cook. Remove the necks and the bodies from the oven and remove the necks from their tray. Place the miniature swans onto the cookie tray and put into the oven. While the miniature swans are cooking, slice open the top of the swan bodies and then place the swan bodies back into the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees celsius, wedge the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let them dry out. The miniature swans should have only needed the few minutes to cook.
While the swans are drying out remove the biscuit dough from the fridge and roll out between two sheets of baking paper to 4 mm thick. Once the swans have dried out remove them from the oven and close the oven door, getting the temperature back to 160 degrees celsius. Place the rolled out dough onto a biscuit tray and cook for about 12 minutes. Remove the cooked biscuit slab from the oven and, working quickly, cut out small house shapes using the templates.
While the cookies are cooling return your attention to the caramelised white chocolate cream. Heat up 150ml of the cream in a small saucepan until nearly boiling and then add to the caramelised white chocolate. Using a stick blender, blend until fully emulsified and allow to cool. Whip the remaining cream to medium peaks and fold through the chocolate mix. Return to the fridge to firm up.
Assemble the cookie house using the previously made royal icing.
Trim the chocolate sponges to even size and then split each on in half so you end up with 4 even sized rounds. Brush the cake slices with a little kirsch. Whip the cream for the filling to a medium-firm peak and then layer the cakes with chopped Morello cherries and whipped cream.
Whip the white chocolate ganache to lighten it and then spread it over the cake top and sides. Keep the bowl handy as you will need a small amount of ganache later. Cut a small piece of baking paper into an oval shape and cover once part of the top. To decorate the cake, grate the milk chocolate over the cake and then remove the small round of paper to reveal a lake. Place the dark chocolate tress onto the sides of the cake.
Take the choux swans and fill the cavity with the caramelised white chocolate cream. Cut the removed swan tops into two and then stick them into the cream to form swan wings. Place a swan neck on each one and then place on the serving plate around the cakes circumference. Place the set biscuit house somewhere on the top of the cake and then make the miniature swans up by sticking them together with a small amount of reserved white chocolate ganache. Dot the miniature swans on the lake.
Nutritional analysis per serving (46 servings)
Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.
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