Monday, 10 September 2012

Rule #1 Of Blogging – Don’t Eat The Cake Before Photographing It!

Curly Whirly Chocolate Cake – Konditor and Cook


A long long time ago whilst I was studying at university I used to work for a chi-chi-ra-ra coffee shop in south London, called Blue Mountain Café. It was a lovely, rustic, cool looking place that by day was a haven for yummy mummies with hydraulic buggies, arty freelancers and c-list celebs from The Bill and Corrie. Whilst the food there was completely fine (lots of posh fry-ups) what they were best known for was being a coffee and cake meet up spot. Blue Mountain didn’t make their own cakes however; a few were bought from local bakers, with the majority being supplied by a fantastic bakery based in central London called ‘Konditor and Cook’  (http://www.konditorandcook.com/).

In all honestly it is of no coincidence that during this time, I was probably at my most ‘curvaceous’, the perks of working in a café serving delicious cakes you might say. I ate a lot of K&C cakes and you can trust me when I tell you that I know how most of their cakes should look and taste! Even after leaving Blue Mountain I bought many cakes from them for special occasions as they taste fantastic (soo many to try) and look amazing with lovely writing, decoration, glitter – whatever you want on your cake they can do, and at pretty short notice too.


With this in mind I was recently asked to make a birthday cake for a friend – it didn't have to be anything overtly decorated or flashy, just a delicious cake that we could put some candles in and use to sing happy birthday to the birthday boy. Immediately I thought of the easy option of buying a lovely ready-made cake as I still get nervous when making cakes for others, I’m definitely still in the stage where everything is a bit trial and error. I’m working towards ‘my little black dress’ of cakes, the ones that you can go to time and time again knowing they will always work but I haven’t had as much practice with larger celebration cakes and I was anxious to make something edible and presentable.


I remembered how pretty the cakes at Konditor and Cook are and so did a Google search to see if I could perhaps use an image of one of their birthday cakes as inspiration for this bake. Luckily for me I came up with so much more – an actual recipe for their famous chocolate ‘Curly Whirly’ cake with cream cheese and vanilla bean icing, which is perfect for a birthday - flashy enough for a party yet easy enough to whip up in a few hours. The risk that you always take with new recipes is that you have no idea if they’ll work, I find that this is especially the case with internet recipes. However, I had high hopes for this recipe as a) I knew only too well how it should taste and b) the recipe was posted in a blog for The Guardian by the owner of Konditor and Cook, so I crossed my fingers and went for it!


The recipe was perfect and tastes exactly the same as the product that you can buy in their stores, the only problem that I had was this: I made the cake in a hurry, it was presented to the birthday boy and was whisked off by an all too efficient waiter who chopped the cake into a million pieces before I could take a single picture. Major cake blogging fail! So you’ll just have to trust me on how pretty it really was, I *promise* the recipe works and that it didn't resemble a pancake.


Rather than repost the entire recipe I’ll let you check it out for yourselves here, with pictures of how the cake should look: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2007/nov/26/features11.g21


Here are my top tips:

  • The cake is a dense, fudgy and rich chocolate cake, it isn’t light and fluffy like a sponge. It will be a bit squidgy and moist.
  • Do use 17 cm sandwich tins, I know that this is a bit smaller than normal but the cakes don’t rise a huge amount and so you really do need a tin with a smaller circumference to add more height. I used 19 cm tins and this meant that the final product was a bit flatter than I would have liked.
  • Foil lined tins sound strange but do go with it, and *do* leave them to cool completely in their tins. The cakes are quite fragile and they really will crack if you take them out sooner.
  • When the cakes are cool, spread one layer of icing on and then pop the cake in the fridge to set. Once cooled spread on another layer of icing and decorate as you wish!
For more Konditor & Cook inspiration, check out their Flickr photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/konditor/

14 comments:

Emine said...

I love Konditor and cook so much!!!
Where in south London was the cafe you worked in?
I'm totally inspired to bake the cake on the guardian now!

Louise Dolding said...

Hi Emine! Me too, I love their cakes..it always seems that people don't haven't really heard of them though, and they're so fantastic!!
You should definitely try it out, it was really lovely! I also have their chocolate biscuit cake recipe too if you'd like that?
I used to work in East Dulwich, I lived there for almost ten years until this summer when I moved to NW London! Xx

Curts Delectables said...

I love cakes too! I am your newest follower!

Louise Dolding said...

Hi Curt! Cakes are the best! Thanks so much for following - New followers inspire me to keep blogging! I'm following you back right now :)

Laura loves cakes said...

Love the sock monster!! This cake sounds really delicious...clicked through on the link and it looks great too so I've bookmarked it to make sometime...maybe decorated with acutal curly wurlies!! :-)

Miss Cakeaholic said...

Wow Laura, I clicked on the link and it looks delicious! I know it sounds weird, but I need to be in the mood for chocolate cake! I've bookmarked it. Xx

Louise Dolding said...

@ Lauralovescakes - it really is delicious, I love everything Konditor & Cook! Your idea with the curly wurlies sounds amazing, I haven't had one in years but they were definitely one of my faves growing up, I used to go to a special Cadbury shop in Bath and buy these giant ones which were about a foot long hahaha!xxx

Louise Dolding said...

@ Miss Cakeaholic, I know exactly what you mean, this cake is not an everyday one - far too naughty for that!xXx

The Caked Crusader said...

I used to work right near K&C - just looking in the window cheered me up!

Louise Dolding said...

I know exactly what you mean, I just love the way that they decorate their cakes too - it's a really unique style that they have. I am such a magpie and love anything colourful or glittery!X

Asmaa said...

Louise I notice you started following my blog sometime ago, if you would like to continue reading (my blog is now invite only) please email me athomewithasmaa@gmail.com from your blogger/gmail/whatever email address you use to access blogger and then I can add you to my reading list.

Asmaa from at home with asmaa previously known as bake it!

Louise Dolding said...

Hi Asmaa! Good to hear from you & thanks for letting me know that, I will definitely send you all of my details :) x

Asmaa said...

Hi Louise, your welcome. I look forward to getting your email. X <3

magie said...

Sounds delish..I could defiantly go for a slice of that or two :)
Magie x

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