Jewel Box Cake

I bet you are thinking this cake must be impossible to make and that you’ll never make it to achieve a similar result. Wrong! Despite looking amazing (hence me trying it out), this cake is dead easy to make. All it is is a chocolate sponge cake decorated with raspberries. The only part which requires a bit of time (and technique) is the white chocolate ribbon. This cake was one of the showstoppers in The Great British Bake Off, a series I love. Also, as it is covered with fresh fruit, you might want to make it disappear it very soon!

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Ingredients (for the cake)

  • 150g white chocolate, chopped
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • raspberry jam
  • 500-600g fresh raspberries

Method (for the cake)

  1. Melt the chocolate for the sponge and leave to cool until needed.
  2. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla and beat until the mixture is very light in colour and fluffy in texture, scraping down the bowl from time to time.
  3. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last portion of egg. Sift the rest of the flour and the salt into the bowl and fold in using a large metal spoon.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Add the cooled white chocolate and fold in until all the ingredients are completely amalgamated.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Make a small hollow in the centre so the cake will rise evenly.
  7. Bake for about one hour until golden and just firm to the touch, and a stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. When ready, make the chocolate ribbons and bow.

Ingredients (for the ribbon and bow)

  • 150g white chocolate, broken up
  • 3 tbsps liquid glucose

Method (for the ribbon and bow)

  1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and gently stir in the liquid glucose. Leave to thicken at room temperature.
  2. Once the mixture is firm and almost set, mould it into a ball with your hands. Some brands of chocolate need to be chilled to firm up.
  3. Work and knead the mixture in your hands so it softens and becomes pliable and glossy, like modelling clay or Play-Doh. As soon as it feels smooth, shape it into a sausage.
  4. Set the sausage between two long pieces of baking paper and roll out into a long, flat sheet, then peel off the top piece of paper.
  5. To make the crossed ribbons, cut out two strips about 30 x 2.5cm using a long, sharp knife to get a straight, sharp edge. If the ribbons feel very soft, firm up in the fridge for a few minutes.
  6. Gently warm the raspberry jam until melted. Brush over the top and sides of the cake, then gently press the ribbons on to the cake — across the top and down the sides — to resemble a parcel.
  7. Then, starting with the top of the cake, press the raspberries (pointed-end up) on to the sponge in the squares between the ribbons, so the cake is covered, top and sides.
  8. From the white chocolate dough, cut out one strip about 10 x 2.5cm, two strips 11 x 2.5cm and two strips about 14 x 2.5cm.
  9. Snip triangles out of one end of the 11cm strips using scissors, then rest the strips over a small paintbrush or similar implement to create a curve; these will be the bow ends.
  10. Bend each 14cm strip into a bow loop and press the ends together. Then position the ends of the loops so they are slightly overlapping; press gently together.
  11. Peel the paper from the 10cm strip, then wrap it around the centre of the loops in a ring to hide the join; press the ends of the bow ring to seal. Put all the shaped pieces in the fridge so they can firm up a bit.
  12. Position the bow on top of the crossed ribbons on the cake, fixing in place with a dab of melted chocolate or jam. Reshape the loops and bow carefully until you are happy with them.

Tips

  • Use plenty of jam to cover the cake as it will need to hold the raspberries in shape or they’ll start to fall out.
  • I used a 23cm square tin to bake the cake in. Grease and line the tin leaving some of the baking paper on the sides so as to make it easier to get the cake out of the tin. Alternatively, you can use any of the foil tins you find in supermarkets.
  • If you want, you can substitute the raspberries with blackberries, blueberries or, even, small raspberries. Obviously, make sure to amend the jam accordingly.
  • p.s. have a look at my partner decorating the cake. If he can do it, so can you 🙂

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