Monday, 1 October 2012

How to make a chocolate shell for your giant cupcake



A popular cake at the moment is the giant cupcake. Several companies make the pans for this cake, I have seen Wilton, Ecko, Bakers Secret, Fox Run and a silicone moulds available in shops. I have been walking past this tin in the shops for some months now and finally gave in a bought a Wilton giant cupcake tin in early September. Eager to try out my new purchase I volunteered to make my sister-in-laws birthday cake (she turned 21 again this year, lucky girl!).

A favourite cake combination of mine is chocolate and peppermint. So what better way to suprise people then to cut through a white chocolate shell to find chocolate cake and then to take a bite and discover that your pink roses are peppermint flavoured. Delicious.

Enjoy xxx

 Giant Cupcake with Chocolate Shell Tutorial

To start off with I'll give you a quick rundown of baking the actual cake before we start with the chocolate shell.

The above photo is the first giant cupcake cake I've made, so its not a difficult thing to do. Don't be scared off by shaped cake tins they are just as easy to use as a regular square or round tin. Most shaped tins have a non stick coating so you don't even need fancy cake releases. I started off with my Wilton pan.

 I brushed margarine on  the tin, ensuring that I got in all the groves and then I sifted flour over the tin (making a bit of a mess) to cover all the groves and then tapped out the excess flour over the sink.

For my cake batter I used Rosie from Sweetapolita's recipe for Winter Delight Peppermint Cake, the recipe is said to make up an 8 inch 3 layer dome cake. I made up the batter as per the recipe and filled my cake tin up until an inch from the top and still made 4 regular cupcakes with the left over cake batter. Cooking time will vary, I set the oven to 160 degrees fan forced and baked on the middle rack. Initially I set the oven timer for 40 minutes and then kept an eye on the cake from then. In my oven I left the cake in for approximately 55 minutes but this will depend on the type of cake you choose to cook and your oven. Try to avoid opening the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking. The  cakes are done when a toothpick or skewer comes out almost clean, do try not to over-bake.


When the cake is cooked remove it from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack. As you can see from the above picture after the cake was cooled I trimmed some of the excess off the top of the cake as it had risen quite a lot during baking.

The next step is to start on the chocolate shell!

I don want to tell you how to 'suck eggs' but do ensure that the tin is clean and 100% dry before you start the shell.

Ok, take approximately 400g of chocolate buttons or coarsely chop chocolate in to pieces. And place in a microwave proof bowl ready to melt the chocolate.

Here are  some tips for melting chocolate:
  • Never allow any water to come in contact with the melting chocolate. Just a drop or two of water can make the chocolate seize up, or become hard and lumpy. Even the steam from the bottom of a double boiler can cause this problem, (that's why I like the microwave). Make sure to keep the chocolate dry as it melts. If it does seize, you can blend in a teaspoon of vegetable oil (NOT butter or margarine) and the chocolate should smooth out. 
  • Never use a wooden spoon to stir chocolate when  trying to melt it. The wood holds moisture in it which can cause your chocolate to seize up. Always use a metal spoon to stir chocolate.
  • Chocolate should only be melted over low heat. The microwave is a good appliance to use because the cooking time is so controlled. If you stand there at the stove and stir constantly, you can melt chocolate in a pan set over very low heat. A double boiler (watch out for condensation) is a good method; make sure the water in the bottom is barely simmering.
  • White chocolate or vanilla milk chips are the most difficult to melt. Too much heat will make this type of chocolate seize.
To melt chocolate in the microwave heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Continue this process until the chocolate is almost melted. Then stir until the chocolate is smooth.

 Keep microwaving.


 And now we are ready. (If you want to colour your chocolate now is the time to do it, make sure your food colour is oil based.) Take a pastry brush and begin to brush the melted chocolate over the pan, pushing out any air bubbles with the pastry brush as you go and smoothing out any lumps. Once you have a good first coat down leave the tin aside and allow to set for 10 minutes.


 Come back to the tin and remelt your chocolate so it is smooth again. Go over the tin now giving it a second coat ensuring that all areas are covered. Now place the tin in the refrigerator and leave until chocolate is completely firm, (I left mine for about half an hour).


To un-mold the  chocolate shell I carefully picked off the excess chocolate around the top of the shell and this released the shell, (it literally 'pops' away from the edges, trust me!).


I then turned the shell out and placed it on the bench and continued to break off any rough edges from the top of the shell.


Now is time to quickly go over how I prepared the cake for those that are interested. My cake had been sitting in the fridge chilling for the last hour. I find that chilling the cake makes it easier to trim. Previously the base of the cake was fluted like the shell. Now to fit the cake in the shell I needed to trim it, so off came the sides of the cake. Do ensure that the cake fits in the chocolate shell and you will also need to trim some off the top of the cake so that it is almost level with the chocolate shell, I forgot to do this and had to do it after I had iced the bottom half.


 Next I mixed up my buttercream icing. I remelted my left over chocolate and used a small amount to stick the chocolate shell to my cake board. I then split the base of the cake horizontally and filled the centre with buttercream. Placed the cake back together and roughly coated the bottom half of the cake with buttercream. I then placed the iced cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the icing to firm up.


After removing the cake from the fridge I then gently dropped the cake into the chocolate shell. (I then trimmed the top at this point as I had forgotten to do that earlier. Oh well, more left over iced cake  for me to eat.) I then put a thick layer of buttercream on top of the bottom half of the cake.

I then split the top of the cake in 2 horizontally and filled the centre with buttercream and placed it on top of the bottom half of the cake and continued to coat the top half of the cake.

Now that the cake has been assembled and covered in buttercream it is ready to be frosted and decorated anyway you like. I've only made the one so far but will update the post with different photos as I make some more and experiment a bit.



If you give this chocolate shell a go or if you have photos of giant cupcakes that you have made I would love to see them!



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55 comments:

  1. Its beautiful! Great job, I will be trying this soon :) Thanks!

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  2. hola quisiera hacerte una pregunta, no consigo que se me despege entero el chocolate, tengo el mismo molde, podrias decirme algun truco para que me salga, gracias

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    1. Hi Olivia, make sure that the chocolate is thick enough over the entire pan and then chill until the chocolate if fully set .... in my experience the shell then pops away from the pan with lifted.

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  3. Hi there

    I have the silicone mould and was wondering if the chocolate shell would work on this also??

    Thanks

    Michelle

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    1. It'll be a lot easier to work with the silicone mould when it comes to the cupcake shell. I thought it would be impossible for the metal one! Lol ♡

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    2. I also have the silicone mould and have done many of these,the mould just peels away x

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  4. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I haven't tried it with a silicone mould but as long as the chocolate is fully set you should be able to peel the mould straight off. Let us know how it goes.

    Sarah

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  5. Beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial. Kathy

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  6. Hi Sarah,

    This is a great tutorial as I recently ordered myself a giant cupcake pan from amazon (not sold in stores here in Austria) and was wondering if the chocolate base would pop out easily. Was asking my baking colleagues on facebook and the lovely Liz from Cakes and Bakes by Liz sent me your link :)

    Quick qu about the batter. Does the top not cook quicker than the base? I've read that some people put the base in first for approx 15 mins then after that fill in the top and continue baking. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks again for the great tutorial.
    I can't wait to give it a try.

    xoxo
    Angela

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  7. Yes bottom is supposed to be half cooked before u cook top x

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  8. OMG! I have just tried this chocolate case and it really worked so nicely! I am so happy! Thank you so much. I can't wait to assemble it all now! x

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  9. I just stumbled upon this tutorial. Do you need to treat the pan with anything before coating it with chocolate? Also, do you have a particular brand of melts you prefer. Thanks!

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  10. 'Literally pops away from the edges' ??? We tried this and it was a total fail.... These instructions suck!

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    1. By reading all of the other reviews it would appear you did it wrong. Try again.

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  11. This was soooo helpful. I made the chocolate shell with my 3yr old and it came out perfectly, first time!!
    At first the shell wouldn't budge but I read that you went around the top edge of the chocolate, freeing it from the tin. I ended up using a the sharp tip of a wooden skewer (normally used for bbq kebabs)so that I wouldn't scratch the tin. once done I just placed 4 fingers into the grooves and pulled up and you were right 'pop', out it came.

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  12. To answer 7 may ANON question, I used the metal tin and didn't coat it with anything. I used the NESTLE BUTTON MELTS in white chocolate, 375g, and had enough to coat the tin and extra for a small second coat.
    Also, if you put in the fridge to harden, note that when you add the second coat it will stick to the cold chocolate almost instantly, so perhaps brush it on or harden out of fridge.
    It really is surprisingly easy and looks so spectacular, give it a go.

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  13. love it !!!!!!!

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  14. It was my understanding only pound cake was to be used for this tin because its a more think of a cake? Can I just use a cake box mix?

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  15. yes you can but keep an eye on it as the times will vary and it will probably take more than 1 cake mix

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  17. Love this i am sooo going to try your way! I have a silicone mould... i tried putting all of chocolate in at once and waited for it to set which is how it was done on youtube... and lets just say... it flopped ... It cracked :-( i now have nice easy steps to follow :-)

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  18. You Rock this was so easy followed your instructions though omg this will never come out and just picked away excess away from top of tin and boom all of a sudden you could see it had cone away from sides and just slipped out.
    thanks so so much

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  19. Hi Sarah. I'm so glad to have come across your chocolate shell as I was hoping to do something other than make two big cakes :) As you said (although I doubted it too...) the shell popped out of the pan quite easily. Can't wait to try this again. My cake is here: http://gastromony.com/giant-cupcake-trifle/

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  20. how early would u make a choc case / cupcake before the party as i dont want to be doing it on the day. how should it be stored?

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  21. awesome. I was just looking for directions on how to make a hard shell and came across your tutorial. For a first attempt, your cake looks amazing!

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  22. You should probably mention that you need to spray the tin before doing the chocolate shell as I just ruined my daughter birthday cake and I can \t afford not the time to do it again and now that I google trying to get it out EVERYONE else mentions it. I will not be following you anymore. and you can remove this comment just like I see you have done to others but thats just more peoples cake that dont work because they dont get a heads up

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  23. It's so easy to be mean when you are anonymous, previous poster. This lady took the time to make a tutorial with instructions that worked for her. It also worked for many others. But instead of looking back to see where YOU went wrong, you choose to blame someone else. Maybe next time you will do your daughter's cake ahead of time and not last minute when you don't have time to fix your mistake.

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    Replies
    1. Well said! I agree. That old saying 'a bad worker, always blames his or her tools' is sooo right!

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    2. I totally agree! It's easy to blame someone else for your mistakes but the reality is you should have tested this before waiting until the last minute for your daughter's birthday. Even well-seasoned bakers know things can go wrong and you never know when something might not turn out!

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  24. I agree don't blame others for your mistakes

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  25. What an amazing tutorial!
    I have made a few giant cupcakes, fondant, buttercream, wafers, not chocolate as yet.
    You make it sound easy and simple. Will have to try this very soon! Thanks so much appreciate it :)

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  26. Can I ask please: someone mentioned that the bottom half was suppose to be 1/2 cooked before we start to cook the top 1/2 - if both the halves are on the same tin then do we fill the bottom one first, bake it, then take out after 15min and start filling the top half then bake together again? Hope that make sense... :-P The chocolate shell looks so awesome!!!!!

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  27. Wow! This looks beautiful. Can I ask what tip did you use to pipe the flowers on top and did you bake top and bottom at the same time?

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  28. I wonder if you put the chocolate on the outside of the pan, if that would keep you from having to shave pieces of the cake off

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    1. What a great idea! I'll be trying that next time!

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    2. Then you wont have the patty pan effec coz it will be on the inside of the chocolate mould.

      I tried to make one today with my metal pan and no amount of banging or anything would free the chocolate. I have stumbled across this to see it should literally just come away.....what did I do wrong? Lol

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  29. hi can you recommend any white choc brands that wud be best to use please?

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  30. A couple of questions maybe already asked sorry. I have the rubberey type of cake pan Will that work? Also does this cut easily to serve?

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  31. A couple of questions maybe already asked sorry. I have the rubberey type of cake pan Will that work? Also does this cut easily to serve?

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  32. Iv done thia and my chic dont seem to wont to harden help

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    1. U need to make sure you are using "compound" chocolate not regular eating chocolate and heating it slowly not fast. If u melt chocolate too quickly it screws up the molecules and will not set hard again.

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  33. if i make a shell in advanced how long will it keep for and how should i store it?

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  34. I use these directions only thing I did differently was I sprayed the pan lightly with canola oil and also after I put the chocolate in the giant cupcake pan I flipped it onto a cooking sheet to make sure I got the chocolate even and I did two layers waited for about 45 minutes in the fridge then I popped it out..thanks for your guidance.

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  35. your cake is beautiful....my shell was a total fail. I was so upset. wondering if it didn't work cause I added some shortening to the wilton chocolate. I wish it would have worked for me. So fed up!!! Im such a failure. Gonna give up for a while!!!

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  36. Could I use the final picture for my website that I am creating with my College? it would be helpful If I could
    thanks

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  37. This was my second try at the giant cupcake and I nailed it. The chocolate shell popped right out. And I copied your design for a GF bridal cake. (Just for the bride). Thanks for the step by step, couldn't have done it without you. Much appreciated!

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    1. My chocolate is not coming out!!! Help pls!!

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  38. Hi Sarah
    I tried this but the chocolate is not coming out!!! What can I do? And I don't have a silicone one.

    Thanks

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  39. I couldn't get the chocolate out off the metal tin so tyred 5 times as didn't wanna let it beat me but guess what it did beat me "what did I do wrong " using the melts as stated and waited the 25 mins done second coat waited another 25 mins still couldn't get out " help " thank you x

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  40. What chocolaye did u use for the Base
    And also what temperature do i use does the sponges
    Thank u

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  41. What chocolaye did u use for the Base
    And also what temperature do i use does the sponges
    Thank u

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  42. What chocolaye did u use for the Base
    And also what temperature do i use does the sponges
    Thank u

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  43. Thanks for the tutorial! I can't figure out how you made that ribbon stay up! I tried and tried but it just kept sliding down the side of the chocolate!

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  44. How much icing is required for this cake? Thank you!

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