This is the cake that looked so good on its book cover that I had to try it as part of my Bucket List Bakes. Turns out that it is more work than it looks—which is deceivingly simple, sweet and innocent.
The Miette Double Chocolate Cake recipe alongside its Raspberry Buttercream icing is not for the faint-hearted. I would label it ‘For Advanced Bakers’ given the number of steps and careful orchestration required to make this a pain-free success. I swear some of my hairs turned white after. The unanimous hurrahs following the big reveal and a communal taste test (assuming you followed the recipe to a T) would erase your apprehension for the uphill baking challenge. No guts, no glory. Welcome to the rare army of shamelessly determined and courageous bakers who soldier on and have the gall to keep trying despite catastrophic failures especially during first attempts at anything unfamiliar.
Make sure you read the recipe well ahead before you embark and hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your forehead, with the mobile and landline disconnected. My poor four-year-old was good enough to sit tight being babysat by the cyber nanny; a Fireman Sam DVD for the whole duration curiously glancing every now and then at his crazed-looking flour and icing-covered mum doing her thing. I think he somehow had the wisdom to get well out of my hair and he just knew his mum was on some type of major quest, like the first time I tried baking macarons using the French method.
Conclusion? Not a poor effort considering it’s a first attempt and it’s a tough recipe and the fact that I was maverick enough to have dared to adapt the recipe to one for an eight-inch three-layered double chocolate cake recipe based on…haphazard experience? I’ve also chosen to go rogue further and piped swirls rather than mow the surface of the buttercream with a palette knife. I also personalised my pink rose made of sugar paste to my signature rose design rather than the more rounded-looking rose on the Miette cover. I added a bit more rose pink colour to my icing just because. What do you think of it? Did I ace it?
I’m definitely doing this again. Maybe with less raspberry juice than in the recipe so that it is less runny. It tastes marvellous, I’ll give it that!
Miette Tomboy Cake & Raspberry Buttercream
The recipe I’ve baked and decorated here (from the Miette book) is the cake featured on its cover design, aptly named the Tomboy Cake. It’s a heavenly dark chocolate ‘double chocolate cake’ recipe originally created by Miette in three six-inch layers which I’ve modified as a three-tiered eight-inch cake using the raspberry buttercream icing with sugar paste rose. I’m sharing the Raspberry and Vanilla Buttercream recipe.
1 cup Vanilla Buttercream=3 TB raspberry juice
Mix till well combined and smooth.
Simmer on medium heat in a saucepan:
2 C fresh raspberries
2 TB water
1 TB castor sugar
Keep watch and stir gently for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove and strain liquefied raspberries int a sieve. Cool to room temperature
then refrigerate before use.
Basic Vanilla Buttercream
2 C Sugar
1/3 C water
5 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
3 C unsalted butter, room temperature
2 TB vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, cook till it reaches 120 ℃ (5 to 10 min), do not answer the phone or be distracted! Keep a close watch on it.
Combine egg whites and cream of tar tar in a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 120 ℃, immediately pour into a heat proof jug (I use the glass Pyrex jug). Pour a few TB worth of the syrup in a smooth stream into the egg whites close to the edge of the bowl to prevent splashing. Whisk on medium speed for a few seconds. Pour more syrup gradually and keep whisking further. Repeat until all syrup has been used up. Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk until the mixture cools to room temperature at about 21℃ to 24℃ (5 to 10 minutes).