February 24, 2013

My First Barbie Cake: All About Chocolate

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Chocolate Barbie

Natural Cooking Club celebrates togetherness as of society of culinary lovers with extravaganza barbie doll competition, held in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. Since I have become a member for 8 years now (and will always be), I have an urge to participate on my own way from my New Zealand kitchen.

And, so I decided to make my own barbie doll cake. My first one, honestly.

I have got no clue how to bake, let alone, decorate a barbie doll. Thoughts come cross my mind, of how I am going to do it, in spite of such an inexperience baker in handling such delicate work.

Oh, well. I have a promise and I hate to break it. So I go on. Here's what I do. I am sending this to Michelle of Greedybread for Sweet New Zealand event, initiated by Alessandra Zecchini.

Dark Chocolate Leather
I tripled this recipe, making sure I got sufficient dough to cover the whole dress, and a little more for half body. I used Whittakers' 72% dark chocolate for the dark modelling paste, and Valrhona Ivoire Coverture for the white modelling paste.

Source: Wedding Cakes from Start to Finish, by Elaine MacGregor
155g liquid glucose
185g melted chocolate

Pour in the warmed liquid glucose into a bowl of melted chocolate. Stir until thickens, and it will move away from the sides of the bowl. Tip it out onto a well greased work bench. Knead thoroughly until it's smooth and leathery. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Chocolate Barbie2

I made chocolate roses firsthand before moving on to make gluten-free chocolate cake. I do have photos of molding the roses on my account on Twitter or Facebook if you care to look. I don't post it to Flickr, though. But it's easy enough to make roses, so I don't think you need a tutorial for that.

Chocolate Barbie3

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
I takes two cakes to fill in this tin of barbie cake from Wilton. It is called WonderMold Pan. I bought it from The Cake Shop in Pukekohe. I just greased and floured the cake tin before baking, no baking paper involved (and it handwash easy too).

The mixture fills about ¾ of the tin. It springs fine to the top of the tin and it is perfectly level when it's baked.

185g margarine
1 ¼ cup caster sugar
4 eggs
2 cups gluten-free flour sifted with 50g Varlhona cocoa powder and 1 tsp baking soda
½ cup almond meal
150g melted dark chocolate, cooled
2 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 165C. Beat margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time. Beat in melted and cooled dark chocolate. Add in vanilla essence. Beat a little bit more and turn the mixer off. Fold in the flour mixture, and then almond meal, mix gently well.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until the skewer comes out clean when inserted from the centre of the cake. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes and transfer the cake, the wider side down, and let cool.

Chocolate Barbie4

Cream Cheese Buttercream
250g cream cheese, room temperature
60g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla essence
juice from half lemon

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the icing sugar, vanilla and lemon juice together, until the mixture is soft and fluffy. Use this to sandwich and cover the barbie cake.


I divide the cake into 4 layers and sandwich them with buttercream, then cover the sides of the cake with it. Leave it in the fridge until the buttercream hardened a little bit.

Then the tricky part is coming. To roll this mass of chocolate is one hell of a baker job, especially when your kitchen is heating up with sun poking mixed with the heat of the oven and stove (as I was cooking dinner as well).

It did not go quite as I expected. It could not roll out thinly as I wanted it. Whenever I try to roll it out thinly, it breaks. I decided to just leave it thicker and forget that paper thin layers I had in mind. There is always a plan B in this life, don't you think?

I worked on it in batches. Front part of the dress has to be fitted first. That one is then pressed with sunflower pattern to make a rather unplained dress. And then I work around the cake, a little at a time (while handling chicken satay on the grill!). The overlapping sheets of chocolate leather is then made to make a resemblance of the flow of the gown.

After I feel that things going on smoothly, it is time to decorate the other half of the barbie. I use a little bit of the chocolate leather on the chest and around, and use my scalpel to form a top dress.

Then the barbie top is inserted in the hole. From there, I worked on to glue the roses one at a time while eyeing on the balance. So, there it is.

My first barbie cake. I don't know what to feel. I completely am not satisfied, for I thought I could do better than that, but for a first try, I did okay. Don't you think?

Chocolate Barbie5

The Review
We have this cake for morning tea over at my mother-in-law's place. I was quite pleased to see the cake was still moist and tasted really good. 

Chocolate Cake for Chocolate Barbie

The buttercream went well with the cake. The chocolate leather, though, was not a pick. It tasted rather sweeter to us surprise. But the white chocolate roses taste better. I wonder if the quality of chocolate does make a difference? Who knows. I am already ordered to make this cake again for someone's birthday next, so I have more opportunity to play around with different design. Have you made yours?