Happy New Year 🥳
I hope everyone is staying safe and well. What has happened to 2020?! The year has been absolutely bananas. 🍌 To encapsulate how crazy this year has been, I thought I’d make a cake shaped exactly how the year has been. 🤣
This is my first time working with modelling chocolate. Well, actually I made a big mistake where I tried to make a lemon-shaped cake; instead of using syrup, I used oil… d’oh. 🤦🏽♀️ This time, I actually used the correct ingredients. 🤞
My first time using fondant was for this pancake stack novelty cake. The leftover fondant from that, combined with the leftover modelling chocolate from making this cake, were used to make this pumpkin-shaped cake.
Modelling chocolate actually freezes quite well. Just make sure it’s thawed at least overnight in the fridge before bringing it up to room temperature, and it’s ready to go!
The first step is to make a favourite banana bread in two 8″ cake moulds. Then wash a banana, stack the cakes, and cut out a wedge of cake roughly in the shape of the banana. Don’t forget to carve the contours into the cake as close as possible to the actual banana. Then roll out the modelling chocolate, cover the banana with it, tuck it underneath as much as possible, and trim off any excess.
The excess modelling chocolate can be used to further shape the banana. It was pretty cold at the time I made this, so I had to have an iron propped up next to the banana on high heat to keep the modelling chocolate pliable. I used a knife and some modelling tools to gradually add more chocolate to the banana and meld it all together. 🔪⛏️🪛
I then painted the banana, which resulted in the banana being quite shiny and the colour coming off when touched. 🎨🖌️ I think it would likely be best to dye the modelling chocolate yellow, but I wanted to use it for another purpose. After I painted the banana, I blotted it with kitchen roll to try and remove some of the shine.
I used a ‘lemon yellow’ colour as the base, which was so hard to make it exactly the colour of the bananas I had. But I think it came out ok in the end.
Now, what to make next? 🤔
• Favourite banana bread 🍌
• Favourite frosting (I didn’t use any)
Ingredients for the modelling chocolate
• 454 g white chocolate
• ⅔ cup golden syrup
Cutting the cake:
The cake was baked in 2x 8″ cake moulds, from which a banana shape was cut out from one cake (the other cake was placed on top to build height). The cake was cut roughly into the shape of a banana.
Making modelling chocolate:
I melted 454 g of white chocolate over a bain-marie (boiled the kettle, filled my medium saucepan ¼ of the way, popped the bowl on top, and put the hob on 2 and continuously stirred the chocolate).
Then took off the heat and added ⅔ cup of golden syrup and started mixing until it began to seize. Then dumped it onto cling film and left to cool.
Shaping the cake:
I took some of the modelling chocolate and kneaded it between my hands (using gloves!) to make it pliable. I then rolled some out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper before wrapping it around one of the banana-shaped cakes. It’s difficult, but try to make sure that there’s no air and it’s pulled as taut as possible.
Over the course of a weekend I shaped the banana by adding additional bits of modelling chocolate and then used various tools to blend them in. At times, I used an iron propped nearby to keep everything as soft as possible (my kitchen was quite cold and it made working with the modelling chocolate almost impossible!).
When happy enough with the shape, I painted it. I chose to paint the banana before dying the modelling chocolate as I wasn’t sure how much chocolate to dye in the first instance, and wanted to feel a little more like an artist. 🎨🖌️
The banana was painted a ‘lemon yellow’ colour, and I found it so hard to match the colour of the real bananas that I had in front of me. I added in a little green and some black and chocolate brown for the dark spots.
The final product was a bit shiny; I should have used some kitchen roll to dab cornflour everywhere to make it more matte, but I was worried about running the colours together.