The galley cake.

Finally, after one week in bed due to a bad influenzal infection I’m back and blogging. And because I promised friends on facebook I would post the recipes for the cakes and pies I’m making, here is the how-to for my nephews’ 7th birthday cake – a roman galley, as everything roman is really exciting at the moment.

The cake dough

First of all you need cake dough that’s quite compact and therefore easy to cut in every shape you like. My mother gave me this great recipe for a nut cake with chocolate flakes.  The following ingredients are sufficient for a round cake pan, 26 cm ( 10.2 inches) in diameter. For the galley I used one and a half times the ingredients and a rectangular cake pan about 27 x 36 cm (10.6 x 14.2 inches).  Just decide before making the cake how big you want it to be and choose the right cake pan for your needs.

250 g (1 cup) butter (room temperature)
10 eggs
300 g (10.5 ounces) icing sugar
2 packages of vanilla sugar
1 package of baking powder
140 g (4.9 ounces) flour
200 g (7 ounces) grounded walnuts
125 g (1/2 cup) chocolate flakes, i.e. Bensdorp

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C when using hot air or 180°C when using top-/bottom-heat.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.
  • Seperate the eggs and whisk the egg whites with one third of the sugar till you get a stiff mass. Set a aside.
  • Combine the butter, the rest of the sugar and the vanilla sugar and mix until you get a creamy texture. Add the egg yolks one after the other and whisk till the mass looks foamy. Add the nuts and chocolate flakes to the egg yolk batter.
  • Add the flour and one half of the beaten egg whites and stir in slowly
  • Add the rest of the egg whites and mix in very slowly with a wooden spon. The dough should stay very airy and fluffy so don’t use too much pressure.
  • Pour it into the bake pan (lined with baking paper) and bake for about 1 hour. Check with a knitting needle or wooden spit if the cake is ready.
  • Let cool in cake pan.

Put the galley together

After the cake is cool it’s time to cut out the galley shape. When making cakes or sweeties I had to learn that keeping it as simple as possible is mostly the best way for getting a good and lovely looking result. I always tend to overdo it and add too much details, but this will mostly lead to one odd looking strange cake. So – here is a short graphic of how I cut the shape of the galley:

For the cream filling I used a classical chocolate recipe:

100 ml cream
75 g  butter
190 g dark chocolate

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Heat the cream and butter with little temperature until butter is melted. Add the chocolate and also let melt. Stir until the mass is smooth and shiny. Let cool and put into the fridge to cool down completely. Whisk up with your mixer until you get a fluffy mass.

After assembling the pieces of the galley using the chocolate cream, I coated the whole cake with apricot jam. You can use any other flavour you like, but I find apricot goes very well with chocolate cake. The jam provides a smooth surface for the chocolate icing that follows next. I used 2 cups of ready-to-use icing that you only have to put into hot water to melt (i.e. Manner).

Before the icing is dry garnish your galley. I used edable paper and cut it into shapes with a scissor, shortbread biscuits, Smarties and some sprinkles.

The sea and beach

Because I had quite some cake left I decided to create some sort of water and beach around the galley. I came across cake-pops some while ago and was keen to try it some time, so this was the perfect occasion. At Bakerella’s website you will find lots and lots of inspiring recipes and ideas for cake pops and I just used her recipe which you can find here. I used white and milk chocolate for the icing of the little balls and coloured the white chocolate with some blue gel food colour. You will get the best result if you just roll the balls in the chocolate with a fork and put them on baking paper for drying. You also might not need as much icing sugar as specified in Bakerella’s recipe – the balls turned out quite sweet and heavy.

Okay – I guess that’s it! I hope this is in any way helpful and not too confusing. Writing down this recipe turned out to be quite a challenge I must say. But I tried my best… :) I would be very happy about some feedback, please feel free to comment on this! :)

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About Mardou
Hi! My name is Manuela Heidenreich but sometimes I'm Mardou around the web. I live in Vienna, work as a multimedia designer and try to be an illustrator in my spare time. This blog is about everything that fascinates me - no more, no less.

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