It was the semi-final this week on the Great British Bake Off, and it was all about patisserie. I decided to have a go at the show-stopper of fondant fancies. Sponge filled with buttercream and covered in fondant, what could go wrong? Well, from watching the bake off and having tried to bake fondant fancies previously, I know covering the mini cakes in liquid fondant icing is very tricky - they always look a bit messy. To solve this issue, I cheated and use a block of fondant icing. I think you get a much prettier end result and it's SO less messy!
I flavoured the sponge with cocoa and brown sugar (to give a caramel-like taste). Then I hid a little caramel sauce in the top of the sponge, and covered it in caramel buttercream. Finally I marbled pink and purple food colouring into fondant icing and covered each cake with the icing.
These ended up huge! If I made them again, I'd make them half the size. They taste yum though, and would do great at bake sales.
Makes 12 huge fondant fancies
For the cake:
- 5 medium eggs
- 165g soft light brown sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 10g cocoa powder
- 40g butter, melted
For the caramel sauce:
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 70ml double cream
- 25g butter
For the buttercream:
- 200g butter, softened
- 400g icing sugar
For the caramel shards:
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 750g fondant icing block
- Pink food colouring
- Red food colouring
- 100g dark chocolate
1. Preheat your oven to 180c (160c fan)/ 355f/gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 30 x 20cm swiss roll tray.
2. Add the eggs and sugar to a medium bowl, and place on a saucepan half-filled with simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
3. Whilst heating, use an electric whisk to beat the eggs and sugar for 3 minutes, until the mixture feels hot to the touch. Take off the heat and whisk for a further 7 minutes, until the mixture has trebled in size, and ribbons of mixture are left on the surface when the whisk is lifted from the mixture.
4. Sieve in the flour and cocoa powder in three goes, gently folding in each time with a metal spoon.
5. Pour the butter around the edges of the bowl, and gently fold in.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until it is springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tray.
7. Make the caramel sauce. Add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan, and heat (without stirring) until a deep caramel colour is achieved - this will take 3-5 minutes.
8. Add the butter and cream and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
9. Make the buttercream. Beat together the butter, icing sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the cooled caramel sauce. If the mixture is too stiff, add more caramel sauce a tablespoon at a time, until spreadable.
10. Divide the cake into two horizontally. Spread a layer of the caramel buttercream on one half of the cake and sandwich with the other half.
11. Cut the cake into twelve squares of equal size. To the top of each cake spoon out some sponge (about a 1cm square's worth). Fill with a teaspoon of caramel sauce.
12.Spread buttercream around the sides and top of the cake, as evenly as possible. Place the cakes in the fridge for 10 minutes, to firm slightly.
13. Prepare your fondant. Divide the fondant into two, and colour one purple, the other pink (or whatever colour you'd like). Roll the fondant out on a silicon mat lightly dusted with icing sugar, until it is a few mm thick.
14. Cut squares of fondant so that it will cover the top and sides of the cake (depending on the thickness of your sponge, this will be around 12cm).
15. Place the fondant squares on the cakes, and gently smooth over.
16. Prepare your caramel shards by heating the sugar with the water in a medium saucepan. Heat for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is caramel coloured. Pour onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper, and leave to cool.
17. Prepare your chocolate by melting in a microwave on high power, for 30 second bursts. After each burst, stir the chocolate well. Once melted, pour onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to set.
18. Finish your fondants by breaking the caramel and chocolate into shards, and topping each fondant fancy with both shards.