Monday, 5 May 2008
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!