Spring time and warmer weather inspires me to bake and host parties! Today, I am happy to introduce you to my friend Grace Pillers, a talented artist and former chef, who will be doing some guest posts here at Living Locurto.
Please give Grace a warm welcome as she is brand new to the blogging world. I love getting my friends involved in blogging and hope to see her around here a lot more!
Enjoy Grace’s step-by-step photos for this beautiful spring chocolate cake… Yum!
Hello, I’m Grace and am excited to write my first blog post for Amy today! As a painter and former restaurant chef, I am drawn to unique recipes that allow me to express my creative side in the kitchen.
I ran across this recipe that is perfect for a Spring party. For me, the fun of this cake is that it requires everything to be homemade and freshly baked. However, it could be easily revised for a beginner baker using a boxed cake mix, store-bought frosting and egg-shaped candies. I hope you enjoy this Robin’s Egg Nest Chocolate Cake!
While the cakes bake (see instructions below), you can make the ganache frosting.
Make the frosting by melting 8 ounces of chocolate and 1/2 cup of cream together. After the mixture cools, use a hand mixer to whip until light and fluffy. Make sure the ganache is warm enough or it will not whip properly. To warm it up, just keep whipping until it becomes light.
After the cakes cool, spread one of the cakes with the whipped frosting and place the other cake layer on top.
Spread the melted chocolate mixture all over the top and sides of the cake layers. The corn syrup is what makes it look so glossy.
While the frosted cake is chilling in the fridge, you can make your “robin’s nest” by chopping a bar of milk chocolate into long shards.
The robin’s eggs are homemade chocolate truffles dipped in white chocolate that is tinted with blue and swirled with brown food coloring.
The recipe makes more than three eggs. Keep the extra eggs so you can put one on each slice when you serve the cake.
Pile the milk chocolate shards on top of the cake to make your nest. Be sure to leave the center of the nest empty so the robin’s eggs sit lower.
Decorate the bottom edge with small green branches or leaves. I used some trimmings from my meyer lemon tree that worked perfectly. Enjoy!
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- ¾ cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 pound bar of milk chocolate
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 10 ounces white chocolate
- Light Blue and brown gel-paste food coloring
- Melt 8 ounces of chocolate and ½ cup cream. Stir until smooth and refrigerate to cool. Whisk with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth.
- Put chocolate and cream into a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from heat. Stir in butter.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours until very cold.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop balls of ganache, transferring them to baking sheets lined with parchment paper as you work. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
- Using your hands, roll each ball into an egg shape. Place in freezer until very firm. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Melt the white chocolate and add food coloring until you get a robin's egg shade of blue.
- Dip each egg in the blue chocolate. Place eggs onto a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Refrigerate until set. Truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
Grace Pillers is a creative professional who lives and works in Dallas, Texas. She received a Bachelor’s in Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara and attended the culinary program at the Art Institute of Dallas. Grace currently spends her free time painting and experimenting with recipes at home. You can view her artwork at www.gracepillers.com.