Monthly Archives

January 2014

Tempering Chocolate – Top Tips

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Top Tips | No Comments

From chocolate brownies to the great big whopping black forest gateaux, Monday is the day to treat yourself to a chocolate fiesta. Yes that’s right, its national chocolate cake day – a proclaimed day of self-indulging and eating as much cake as your stomach can take in a Bruce Bogtrotter like manor.

National chocolate cake day is set to begin on the 27th January and is an annual event causing the nation to go baking mad, including ourselves. But before you grab hold of your baking gloves we’d like to share our expertise on how to get the best out of your chocolate, and that starts with “Tempering”.

Tempering is an important process in chocolate production as it’s the key to controlling the crystals so that only consistently small crystals are produced, thus resulting in much better-quality, melt-in-the-mouth textured chocolate.

Here’s a guide to our top tips on how to get the best out of your chocolate from our very own Swiss pastry Xavier Pelloux:


  • Make sure you have everything ready for what you would like to produce when chocolate is ready e.g. plastic for decoration, moulds etc.
  • Make sure your room is between 18 and 20 degrees with no draft as the room temperature will affect your chocolate tempering
  • Use correct equipment thermometer, marble slab/work top Xavier prefers a step palette knife and a triangle to temper chocolate
  • Melt chocolate slowly, don’t burn or over heat you need to separate all the molecules before starting to temper the chocolate
  • Each chocolate have different temperatures to achieve at each stage of tempering this is one of the most important things to achieve perfect end result
  • When tempered use the chocolate before it sets otherwise you’ll have to start again!
Xavier hard at work tempering chocolate

Xavier hard at work tempering chocolate

Wedding Cake Trends to Watch Out For In 2014

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Wedding Cakes | No Comments

Like most industries there are trends that come in and out of fashion each year, and this is no different in respect to the wedding trade. 2013 saw wedding cakes head back towards classic, multi-tiered cakes with a vintage design. We also saw the rise of the fascinating ruffled and frilled fondant cakes and the increase in demand for the colour of pink.

So what should I be looking out for in 2014 Bee and Xavier I hear you say? Well, this year we’re seeing simpler designs come through but also we feel others will be trending in 2014 too.

Vintage style wedding cakes once again top the list as a trend for 2014. This is still big news in the wedding cake industry with designs from edible lace cakes to birdcage shaped cakes here to stay. Round cakes are also taking centre stage in 2014 with different tiers, different heights and various finishes on each tier.

Also expect to see wedding cakes go all bare as they strip off their icing and reveal all in 2014. That’s right, expect to see ‘naked’ wedding cakes become more popular in 2014 giving your cake a rustic yet authentic look and decorated with fruits and flowers.

The 'naked' wedding cake.

Our very own ‘naked’ wedding cake.

Ombre or graduated tones of one colour is also set to rise in popularity this year. It’s already a big deal in the cake industry and it’s easy to see why. The gradual colour change is able to transform a cake into something really modern, using everything from pastel colours to more bright and bold statements.

Ombre is set to have a big 2014.

Ombre is set to have a big 2014. Here’s our latest designs.

In terms of flavours trending last year we saw essences such as red velvet, chocolate and vanilla grab the top spots. In 2014 we feel there will be a mix up with our new decadent chocolate cake infused with light mint syrup and layered with a mint chocolate butter cream filling. It’s a great shade and lends itself well to many different themes both in the summer and winter seasons.

Trends are a perception and generalisation of how the industry is shifting as a whole. The main thing to understand is that each individual has their personal taste on what classifies as their perfect wedding cake design and flavour/s. It’s important we value this more than anything else and design cake to meet each individuals needs for their big day.

If you would like to arrange a consultation with us please visit our web site and fill in the online inquiry form at the top of every contact us page or visit our social media pages below.

Twitter: @ContemporaryCD


Contemporary Cake Designs’ Best Bakes of 2013

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Special Occasion Cakes, Wedding Cakes | No Comments

We’re just over a week into the New Year, and what a year we’ve got coming up. There are hundreds of wedding cakes to bake, birthday cakes to make and a whole host of Children’s parties to celebrate! It’s going to be another fun filled year for us and we can’t wait for it; but before we get stuck in with all that we thought we’d take a quick look back at our top five best creations of 2013. We hope you enjoy!


1. Our beach hut birthday cake we made for Ian and Lyn back in May.

Created on the 4th May

Created on the 4th May

2. Our citric looking orange flavoured wedding cake we made a few months back in October.

Wedding Cake made on the 18th October 2013.

Wedding Cake made on the 18th October 2013.

3. Another birthday cake beauty here with our Bugatti styled cake.

You wouldn't mind driving one of these would you?

You wouldn’t mind driving one of these would you?


A berry nice cake aye?

A berry nice cake aye?

5. A selection of our desserts we made back in August for Officer

These look so moreish don't they?

These look so moreish don’t they?


Let us know what you think our best bakes of 2013 in the comments section below. Alternatively follow us on Twitter and Facebook in the following links.

A recipe for Success on National Chocolate Cake Day

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Top Tips | No Comments
Contemporary Cake Designs - Chocolate Flames Cake

Contemporary Cake Designs – Chocolate Flames Cake

Everybody loves cake, especially us. After all we’ve been fortunate to make a living out of it. So as you can imagine when Chocolate Cake Day comes round on the 27th January it’s quite the occasion. Chocolate is one of the most luxurious ingredients to work and produces some of the most amazing desserts, in particular the chocolate brownie.

There aren’t too many things superior to treating yourself to an indulging, rich, gooey centred chocolate brownie with a small scoop of ice cream. It’s one of life’s real food comforts and a classic American dessert that has become tremendously popular in recent years with thousands, if not millions baking them each day.

So, if you’re one of those bakers and you’re looking to get your baking gloves then look no further than our Chocolate Brownie Cake recipe that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home; simply follow the instructions below:


  • 175g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, separated
  • 65g plain flour
  • 50g chopped pecan nuts


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter a 20-25cm cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place 175g/6oz of the chocolate, plus the butter and sugar in a heavy-based pan and heat gently until melted, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, add the flour, nuts and the remaining chocolate.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, gently, but thoroughly, fold into the chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 35-40 mins until crusty on top. Leave to cool, then run a knife around the sides and remove from the tin.

Follow these top tips from chocolatier, Xavier, to avoid making any mistakes:

  • Use top quality ingredients, preferably locally sourced.
  • Use 70% cocoa solid chocolate for the recipe (it’s better quality so usually has better results)
  • Chocolate is an amazing ingredient to work with as long as you respect the rules and make sure you temper it correctly. This means you need to heat it and cool it the right way, to the right temperature, so that it keeps a good consistency.
  •  Melt the chocolate gently over a Bain Marie (water) so as not to burn it.

Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, slowly: try not to over bake it, so a moist chewy centre can be achieved