In the wise words of the cookie monster, ‘C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me’. And, unfortunately for Hayley, it’s going to have to be good enough for her too. My decision to make Hayley a cookie cake for her 23rd birthday was, however, not solely sparked by my desire to use what is the most overused quote in blog posts about cookies, but because I have been meaning to try it for ages. And if you have ever had a birthday cake from Millie’s Cookies, you will understand why. Let’s put it this way: if it’s anywhere near as good as the original Hayley is going to have to make a dash with it before I stop plucking my eyebrows, start taking some testosterone supplements for a more gruff sounding voice and dye myself blue as an excuse for petty cake theft.
For her sake, I was quite glad it didn’t go as smoothly as I’d planned. As you may know from posts for my blueberry kir royale cupcakes or my cookies and cream Las Vegas cake, I frequently take it upon myself to be the supplier of cake at the majority of birthday-related occasions. Having known Hayley since I started school, I similarly decided to use her birthday as an excuse for, you guessed it, yet more baking! Even though she is more renowned for gracing the local rock bars on nights out, I decided to give her one of the most girly cakes known to man. In fact, the reason I went for a white chocolate and raspberry as a flavour combo is largely because I got carried away with decorating the edge with pretty two-toned roses. But even if Hayley doesn’t like it, I’m sure she will pretend she did anyway!
But more about why it didn’t quite go as well as I’d hoped. Whenever I make cookies I use a recipe from BBC Good Food as a kind of base to add ingredients to (as demonstrated, for example, in my walnut and maple fudge cookies). This has been met with varying degrees of success in the past; cookie recipes can be quite temperamental and there are a lot of factors that can alter taste, texture etc. If you haven’t seen any cookie charts, I would recommend checking one out as an example. Therefore, I was a little bit concerned with how this would turn out. Having come across a few recipes that used raspberry jam instead of fresh raspberries, I therefore decided to give this a go and, to be honest, I’m not quite sure why I did. After mild cookie rage, a.k.a a binned attempt due to broken scales, I finally got round to adding the jam. However I was so scared of altering the texture that I didn’t really add enough to give a strong sense of the flavour. Although the dough looked fairly pink, you couldn’t tell this once it had cooked. I also added some to the pink buttercream to enhance the flavour that way, but I still had to use food colouring to give the darker shade I wanted to I would still recommend trying fresh. However, I will still include my recipe, just in case you don’t have any raspberries. It will still work out as a great substitute, especially if you are willing to risk adding more.
However, flavouring isn’t the only issue I had. I decided to simply bake the whole cookie dough in a cake tin at the same temperature I normally would. This ended up taking about half an hour (which I expected) but the cookie rose quite a lot (which I didn’t expect). As a result, when I took it out the oven, only the middle sank so I had a raised edge around the whole cake. Not ideal when you are wanting to pipe roses. I also think cooking it in a tin altered the dispersion of heat, meaning the edge that I cut off was very crispy. Although this isn’t the case in the centre of the cake, you still might want to think about baking it free form on a tray. It won’t be as neat, but it will probably be more tasty. However, I went on my merry way, cutting off the edge (and nearly my fingers) to make room for the roses and finishing it off with a slightly misaligned message in the centre and a few edible pearls for decoration.
On the whole I have to say it isn’t my proudest bake. The raspberry flavour could have done with being stronger as it was largely lost in the sweetness of the cookie and the icing and it was a little more rustic looking than I had planned. However, a cookie is a cookie, and it still tasted pretty delicious. The only thing I would definitely recommend is making it a little thinner. Although a deep dish cookie is a novelty, a thinner cake would probably be a little less heavy. Either way I hope you enjoy!
White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookie Cake (serves approx. 12)
- 125g butter, at room temperature
- 100g light brown soft sugar
- 125g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 225g self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 200g white chocolate
- 1-2 tbsp raspberry jam
- 125g unsalted butter
- Icing sugar
- 100g white chocolate
- 1 tsp raspberry jam
- Pink food colouring (optional)
- Edible pearls (optional)
- Cream the butter and sugars until fully incorporated and then beat in the egg with the almond and vanilla essences.
- Mix the flour and the salt in a separate bowl and add to the mixture. Once fully combined add in the chocolate chunks and the raspberry jam. Start by adding 1 tbsp of the jam and keep adding until you’re happy with the flavour. However, be careful not to make the dough too sticky.
- Once completely mixed, put the dough in a lined, spring form cake tin. Push it down so it forms an even layer across the bottom of the whole pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160C Fan/ 360F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Be very careful not to break the cookie at this stage; you can leave in the tin until completely cool if you prefer.
- While waiting for the cookie to cool make the buttercream. Do this by first melting the white chocolate over a bain marie. Once it has melted completely, leave to cool slightly.
- Place the butter in a mixer with a whisk attachment and begin to whisk to try and soften it. Add a fairly generous amount of icing sugar (start with approx. 150g for example) and a splash of milk to get it going. Keep adding sugar until it becomes sweeter and stiffer.
- Add half of the chocolate and beat that into the icing. Check the flavour and the consistency and add any more sugar or chocolate until you think it’s right. It should be stiff enough to hold it’s shape, but not so stiff that you can’t spread it or push it easily through a piping bag.
- Once you are happy with your icing, put slightly less than half of it in a separate bowl. Add the jam and the food colouring to this icing, again adding the amount you want to achieve the right flavour and colour.
- To make the roses, put a close star nozzle in your piping bag and fill with the icings, placing some of the white on one side of the piping bag and the pink in the other. Pipe little swirls round the edge, starting from the inside and working your way out (I may have ended up doing this the other way round on my cake, but that is the best way to get a rose shape). Try to keep them the same size. If you like, you can then fill any gaps on the outer edge with a spot of the same icing. Use the rest of the white icing to pipe your message in the middle. Finish by scattering over a few pearls.