Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Orange & White Chocolate Mouse Cake

No, you haven't misread the title, this really is a White Chocolate Mouse cake. I've always loved the kitsch look of chocolate mice, and the idea of using them to decorate my friend Jules's birthday cake made me smile. The home made mice sank into the scrumptious white chocolate icing to make it taste especially, naughtily, rich. This is a very sweet cake, so to add a sharper note and to balance the chocolate I layered the orange cakes with a good marmalade.

Appropriately enough, the whisking for this bake was interrupted by Nico our kitten bringing in a live mouse, which I then chased around the house to save from her clutches. The half beaten eggs were not happy about their neglect, and declined to help the cake rise, but you'll be pleased to know that the mouse survived to live another day. Unlike the chocolate ones which were gobbled up by us in no time!

Serves 8-10

White chocolate mice and cake base recipes my own. White chocolate icing recipe taken from the one by Barney Desmazery for his Orange & White Chocolate Sponge Cake recipe given at see the recipe here.

for the 3 white chocolate mice:
100g white chocolate, broken into pieces

1. Make the chocolate mice in advance. Gently melt 80g of the chocolate over a bain mairie, a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Stir the chocolate, and when melted, add the extra 20g, taking it off the heat but continuing to stir until melted.

2. When all the white chocolate has melted smoothly, carefully spoon it into the silicone white mice moulds (I got mine from Lakeland). Place the filled moulds on a plate in the fridge for half an hour, before unmoulding. Don't touch them too much when unmoulding as the heat of your hands may soften them. When unmoulded, place the mice back in the fridge until ready to use.

for the cake bases:
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g caster sugar
225g flour
4 medium eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons half fat creme fraiche, room temperature
zest and juice of 1 large orange

3. Turn the oven to 170 (150C fan ovens) and grease and line two 18cm baking tins.

4. Cream the butter and sugar together with the orange zest.

5. Add the eggs, with a spoonful of flour, and beat well after each addition.

6. Sift in the flour, and stir until well combined, before gently folding in the creme fraiche, and orange juice.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared tins, and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. You'll know the cakes are done when the tops bounce back under your finger and a skewer comes out clean.

8. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 15 minutes before placing on a wire rack or plate to cool fully.

for the filling and white chocolate icing:
300g/340g good marmalade
200g white chocolate, broken into small pieces
200ml half fat creme fraiche
the prepared white chocolate mice to decorate, optional
Queen dark chocolate fudge writing pen to decorate, optional

9. To make the white chocolate icing, gently melt the chocolate pieces as before over another bain mairie. Stir the chocolate and take off the heat as soon as it has melted, putting it one side to cool.

10. Whisk the creme fraiche until it thickens. Then pour in the cooled white chocolate, stirring until smooth.

11. When the cakes have cooled, place one topside down on a plate and spoon a thick layer of marmalade over the top. Next spoon over half the chocolate icing, before sandwiching with the second cake.

12. Take the white chocolate mice out of the fridge ready for use, and spread the rest of the icing over the top cake, before adding the mice and any other decoration such as the dark chocolate eyes and tails to the mice if you like. Place the cake in the fridge for an hour to let the icing set.

13. Take the cake out of the fridge a few minutes before serving. Trust me, with this one you won't need cream!

This cake was idly baked while listening to I'm A Good Woman: Funk Classics From Sassy Soul Sisters such as Gladys Knight, Laura Lee and Patti Jo

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