Monday, 5 May 2008

Peace Cake



A friend of mine celebrated her 30th Birthday recently and she asked if I could bake the cake for her. She wanted the cake decorated with a Peace Symbol and she also mentioned that her favourite flavours are chocolate and orange.

I contemplated making an orange cake covered in chocolate icing – something along the lines of the Bostini Cream Pie – minus the cream of course. The one issue I had however, was time. The birthday party was being held midweek and that meant I would have to make the cake on a weekday – after work!

With that in mind, I decided to stick to something that I was sure would work. Well, I wasn't really SURE it would work but I reckoned I couldn't go too wrong by modifying my usual chocolate cake.   For the orange flavour, I added in some orange marmalade, a little Cointreau and some orange essence. For the icing, I melted some belgian chocolate and whisked that together with icing sugar, cocoa and butter. A little cointreau was added into the icing as well as a dash of orange essence.

For the peace symbol, I pressed a round bowl to leave an imprint of a circle on the chocolate icing. I then piped stars to form the circle and the two lines. For those that may be interested, the Peace Symbol was actually designed in 1958 and adopted as the badge for the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament. It eventually became the international symbol for the anti war movement in the 1960’s. The meaning of the symbol is Nuclear Disarmament as the symbol represents the semaphoric signals for the letter D (the straight line) and the letter N (the inverted ‘V’ shape at the bottom)

I guess I'll need to explain Semaphoric too now...! Semaphoric is the visual system for sending information by means of two flags that are held - one in each hand. It uses an alphabetic code based on the position of the signaler's arms. So for the D, the signaller would hold one flag up and one down, forming a vertical line. While for the N, the signaller would hold the flags downwards, making roughly a 45 degree angle.

I made an extra bit of cake in a small loaf pan too - just so that we could taste it. I liked the subtle orange flavour that nicely complemented the dark chocolate. The Lovely Wife like the orangey chocolate flavours too.

I had wanted to go a little overboard and further decorate the cake with sugar paste flowers but after piping on the peace sign and the birthday greeting, there wasn't much space left - and I thought it may have looked to crowded and busy. It didnt matter though as I didnt have the time to make my planned sugar paste flowers!



My friend loved the design anyway and it seems the cake went down really well at the party. So it looks like I've 'discovered' a great variation for my chocolate cake!

12 comments:

starlight said...

this cake was absolutely amazing!! way better than i had envisioned and my guests were clamouring for seconds. once again, your genius reveals itself and i thank you from the bottom of my heart!

jj said...

I make a killer orange cake with orange frosting, but never thought of trying chocolate frosting. Interesting idea I may just give a shot next time. Thanks!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Looks great Dharm. The flavor combinations are my favorite!

Anonymous said...

Hello Dharm,
Came across your blog by accident,and my what a lovely accident it is to be sure.The phrase"less is more couldn't be truer in this instance.One can never go wrong when chocolate is in play.
One query though,the writing is beautiful.Did you use a stencil or freehand?
Andrea.

Dharm said...

Starlight (Steph)
Thanks for the kind words. It was my pleasure and I"m glad you liked it!

jj. Judy
Choc-orange is indeed a fantastic combination.

Andrea,
It's always a pleasure to have new visitors! I cant write properly with a pen much less with a piping bag! I use the Wilton 'press-on' stencils for the alphabets. I've lost one 'Y' though... darn it!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Nice job Dharm! Great job! I am way impressed! Can you bake my next birthday cake, please? ;)

Bellini Valli said...

Excellent cake Dharm...you are the master baker!! By the way I have passed on an award to you as well if you would care to come over and receive it:D

toontz said...

I love chocolate and orange together! Great job!

Anonymous said...

I share your sentiment for my writing can beat a doctor's scrawl any day.
I am a novice baker myself and would like to ask if it would be possible for you to show us amateurs out there a step-by-step method on stencil usage for writing.A picture of said stencil would be helpful as well.
I am sure there are a lot of us out there who can fake a decently passable cake decor but are stumped when it comes to writing.Thanks in advance.By the way I am a former employee of Mas myself.
Also where do you purchase wilton products in Klang Valley?
Andrea.

Dharm said...

Andrea,
I did two articles on cake decorating over at the daily tiffin. If you filter the labels on my blog for Daily Tiffin, you will find the articles. Also, I just might take you up on the request to explain step-by-step stenciling - really quite easy with the proper tools - I AM an amateur myself. If you'd like to leave your email, I can get in touch with you directly and answer your questions immediately...

Anonymous said...

Dharm,
I have read both your articles on the Daily Tiffin.
No way are you an amateur.Your bakes and decor look too pro.You should seriously look into going into the food business.
Thanks for the offer.My add is seabreeze2572@yahoo.com
Your blog rocks!!
Andrea.
P.S. Have you a good buttercake recipe?

ka..t said...

Hi Dharm. New to your blog (found you via Food Blog Search when I was looking for an eggless tiramisu) and I must say it is very refreshing to read about cooking and baking from a dad.

I just tried your chocolate cake recipe and I am most pleased to find that this cake is exactly what I have been searching for - light and tender. Most of the other chocolate cakes I have found are the moist and fudgy, which can get a bit jelak after a few bites. Thanks so much for sharing!

I have always been fond of cakes baked by Indian mums of the older generation (sorry, don't know how else to categorise them!! It's always an Indian friend's mum who makes the most incredible cakes!) , esp sugee and fruit cakes. But have never been fortunate enough to get the recipe because most of the time it is a family secret!! I will be trying your version soon! :)

Yours gratefully, Kat

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