How to make a drippy chocolate cake, with perfect drizzles of ganache, purposefully placed candy pieces and shards of chocolate. A cake decorating tutorial by our contributor, Erin Gardner of Erin Bakes.
Aussie cake designers like Katherine Sabbath, Unbirthday Bakery, and Cakes by Cliff (to name a few) have taken the cake design world by storm with their fun new twists on the classic chocolate drip cake. When these cakes first started popping up in my newsfeed, I was immediately obsessed. Lush buttercream, glossy chocolate ganache, a more-is-more attitude, and candy – LOTS of candy! What’s not to love?
I love how easy it is to put your own spin on this kind of cake, but successfully executing a purposefully-deconstructed design can be tricky. Here are a few tips on how to create your own messy masterpiece without making a drippy mess.
1. Start with a delicious cake recipe, a silky-smooth buttercream finish, and a firm-setting chocolate ganache. I used this chocolate peanut butter cake recipe.
2. Make sure your cake is thoroughly chilled before applying your drippy ganache and work with confidence! Use a spoon to first add a few purposeful drips over the top edge of the cake. Next, pour more ganache on the top of the cake, pushing it just to the edge with a small offset spatula. Gently tap your cake stand against the surface of your table to smooth out any lines left behind by the spatula and so that a little bit more of the ganache spills over onto the sides of the cake.
3. Pick your palette. For my cake I chose to stick with colors, textures, and candy related to the flavors and colors already occurring in my cake – chocolate and peanut butter. Some of the items I chose included peanut butter cups of varying sizes, chocolate pirouette cookies, wafer cookies, chocolate coated nuts, shimmery yellow sixlets, star candies and teeny tiny edible gold stars.
4. Add some height! One of the signature elements of this style of cake is a tall element backing the rest of the design. Some use chocolate shards or chocolate “sails” to anchor their deconstructed displays. I created mine by pouring some melted chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper. I dusted on a little edible gold luster dust and swirled it in using the tip of a small knife before scattering on edible gold stars, sprinkles, and sixlets. Once the chocolate was set, I broke it apart into large chunks and used a few pieces on the top and one on the side of the cake.
5. Fill in your design with the rest of your cookies, candy, and other sweets. Start with larger pieces and finish by adding the smaller elements. Try to work with odd numbers and to place things asymmetrically. You can add as much or as little embellishment as your want. In keeping with the spirit of this style, I went for it!