Saturday 7 February 2015

Romantic Swans Valentine Cake {Video Tutorial}

With Valentines Day next Saturday, I thought it would be fun to create a tutorial for a LOVE themed cake. I have had a number of requests to do some tutorials on working with modelling chocolate, so I chose to create a Swan Topper made of white modelling chocolate for the cake.

And since I was making the cake for my darling hubby, I went with a vanilla sponge cake with strawberries and cream filling (he doesn't like chocolate and is practically allergic to buttercream icing). And strawberries are meant to be an aphrodisiac...

I thought long and hard about my design before I finally decided I'd try making PINK ganache, leaving it exposed on the top of the cake, then creating a white lacy fondant collar around the cake, covered in hearts.

Somewhere along my thought process I suddenly decided that it was high time I produced a VIDEO tutorial of the whole process! So, here it is, my very first Video Tutorial: How to Make a Romantic Swans Valentine Cake

Here is the mat I designed for the tutorial. The size of the swans is suitable to top a 7" cake. I printed the image out on blue paper so that it would contrast with the white modelling chocolate, then laminated it so that I could work directly on it. If you prefer, you can cut the pieces out and use them as templates to cut the various wing pieces.

Click here or on the image above, to download a pdf of the Pattern Mat.

I made the Modelling Chocolate as shown in my tutorial, but used white candy melts instead of white chocolate to get a more pure white product. The black and red modelling chocolate I had left over from previous cakes.

To make the Pink Ganache, for a 7" cake:

          •  600g White Chocolate (chopped)
          •  200g Cream (any cream that can be whipped)
          •  Pink food colouring
          •  White food colouring (helps neutralise the yellow colour from the chocolate)

Place chopped chocolate into a large microwave safe bowl.
Heat the cream in a pan until just before boiling. Add pink food colouring to the cream until it is about the colour you want your ganache to be. Pour it over the chocolate. 

Shake the bowl around a bit until the chocolate all settles beneath the surface of the hot cream. Leave it to sit for a few minutes.

Stir the chocolate into the cream. Keep stirring until it is nice and smooth.

If you still have a few lumps of chocolate that won't melt in, pop the whole bowl into the microwave for a few seconds at a time, stirring in between, until all the lumps are gone.

Now, if the colour is looking a bit orange, add some white food colouring and mix in well. This will bring the colour back to a pleasant pink.

Leave the ganache at room temperature to cool for a few hours, stirring it occasionally until it becomes thick enough to hold its shape, but easily spreadable.

I have previously posted a Tutorial for Milk/Plain Chocolate Ganache. The method is the same, but the ratios of Chocolate : Cream differ depending on the kind of chocolate you are using. I use the following ratios:
White Chocolate     3 : 1    Cream
Milk/Plain Chocolate    2 1/2 : 1    Cream
Dark Chocolate    2 : 1    Cream
I never make 100% Milk Chocolate Ganache because it's flavour just lacks depth.

The recipe I used for the Vanilla Sponge can be found in this post. I used HALF the recipe and split it between two 7" pans.

This is my Valentine enjoying his cake. I surprised him with it when he came home from work and he had a moment of panic, thinking he had forgotten about Valentines day! Too funny.

Happy Baking!


  1. Oh Wow, you make it look so easy! What is the difference between modelling chocolate and fondant?

    1. Thank you so much!
      Modelling chocolate is actually made of chocolate, while fondant is sugar based. I prefer modelling chocolate for making figurines and sculpting, because it holds its shape almost instantly, allowing you to create a figurine really quickly (no waiting around for a piece to set before you can add to it). You can also join pieces seamlessly with modelling chocolate as well as change it after it has already set - all you have to do it warm it up again.

  2. Well done on your video! I've been wanting to try out modeling choc, thank you for the tutorial

    1. Thank you Kath. Give it a go, it is great, you won't be sorry x

  3. Thanks Elaine to share your knowledge with us. Definitely the video tutorial makes it easier.

    1. Thank you Magaly, I'm glad I could help :)

  4. Fantastic. Still looks tricky for me but will hopefully give it a try soon

    1. Thank you! Don't worry, it was tricky for me not that long ago too! You just have to give it a try, and then try again and keep doing it until you get it right. Good luck xx