Chocolate and Cherry Semi-Naked Cake

Although I hate to tell you this, I have to admit that I lied slightly in my post for Mince Pie Swirls: I may have had all my blog posts planned, but not all of them were Christmas themed as I promised. However, I’m sure you’ll forgive me and be able to take this as some sort of respite from the festive season, especially if you have the same Grinch-like tendencies as I do.

My best friend Lauren asked me to make a cake for her Mum’s birthday (which, fingers crossed, is a sign she liked the Las Vegas Themed Cake I made for hers a couple of months back) and I have to admit that I was really grateful she did. I’ve been incredibly close with her for years and know all her family really well, so it’s safe to say I quite enjoyed making this one. It also gave me the perfect excuse to attempt making a naked, or what turned out to be a semi-naked, cake. Again it is something I have wanted to try for ages as I love the simplicity of the designs, so even though I am sceptical of Alison’s slight dislike for icing she gave me the perfect occasion!

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For once I am not going to ramble on too much about the cake purely because it was pretty simple! Although there was one touch and go moment where the icing seemed to be tearing the sides of the cake as opposed to coating it, I got there in one piece (pun not intended). The cake is simply a chocolate filled with vanilla buttercream and cherry jam, so I won’t include a recipe either purely because you can use the ones you are comfortable with and achieve a similar thing. I will, however, give you a couple of tips. First of all you should make sure your cake is completely cool before doing anything with it and you should try and be as precise as you can with measuring your layers as this is important for stability and appearance. However you shouldn’t be scared to use too much icing on the sides. Although you want to be able to see the crumb of your cake, you still need a smooth finish so you may need more than you think. Other than that, you’re basically just crumb coating it (aka spreading some icing on and scraping most of it back off to seal the crumbs in).

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For decoration I used a mixture of fresh cherries, raspberries and blackberries and added on some gypsophila (which I used on Charlie’s Leaving Cake) and lysantheum flowers. You can build them up easily around the edge by alternating between the different fruits and placing the flowers in the gaps. And that’s pretty much all there is to it! I wholly encourage you to experiment more with the flavours than I did, and if you want to bring back that Christmassy vibe then you could always switch the decorations for some holly etc. After all even I admit it is officially Christmas now I’ve seen Love Actually. Either way I hope you enjoy!

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