Nestle - 'Bake It Yours' Baking Challenge

Nestle 'Bake it Yours' Baking Challenge

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) were honoured to be selected to be one of the very first in Australia to try the new look, new taste and improved performance of the Nestle Bakers' Choice chocolate range. We were invited to put our baking skills to the test and participate in the Nestle Bakers' Choice 'Bake it Yours' baking challenge.  The new chocolate range and decorating tools provided by Nestle.

Our 'Bake it Yours' Nestle cake
If you're an avid baker, you'd have come across and even used some of Nestle's baking products in your cakes and cookies, and like us, found great delight in their baking range of chocolates. And so, their newest range is sure to excite as it introduces chocolate for your various baking needs, such as choc bits for cookies and cupcakes (these retain shape), choc chunks for melting in brownies and ganaches and choc melts to make chocolate shards and/or decorative elements (this chocolate once melted, hardens fast!). We took great pleasure in testing all the products in this new range and share with you our thoughts on each one. Get your baking pans at the ready.

Our chocolate decorating kit thanks to Nestle!
To use all the products we were supplied with, we decided that a cake would be the best thing to make as there are so many elements to a celebration cake. And so our three-layer chocolate cake was born. If you have ever had experience in making a three-layer, all iced, chocolate cake with decorations, we applaud you! This was a two-day process for us and was by no means an easy feat. We did enjoy taste testing all the Nestle baking products, so that helped to pass the time in chocolate heaven.

Check out our video of the process from the mixing of the flour and cocoa, to baking, icing and decorating. A fun experience we are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Mixing the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
We selected a chocolate buttermilk recipe for our cake in which we could use both the Nestle Chocolate Chunks and Cocoa powder products. We weighed the cake mixture into three round cake tins to ensure even distribution. We also utilised the Nestle white chocolate chips by sprinkling half a cupful into one of the cake tins to use as the middle layer, adding an element of surprise and crunch.
Into the oven they go to watch the cakes impressively rise and waft deliciously throughout the kitchen. After 45 minutes we removed the cakes from the oven and let cool in the tins.

Inserting Nestle white chocolate bits into the cake batter
While the cakes baked, we started on the chocolate decorations that would adorn the cake. We thought that chocolate truffles would look wonderful, and so used melted Nestle's dark chocolate melts with almond butter to create quick truffles. Once cooled, these were then coated in another layer of either melted dark or white chocolate Nestle melts and set aside to cool. Once cooled off, a sprinkle of sea salt, crushed nuts and shredded coconut were put on a select few. We also used the edible pearl coloured dust that Nestle included in our baking kit. It created a lovely iridescent glow on top of the truffle.

Coating salted pretzels in Nestle's melted white chocolate
To follow, we also had some salted pretzels on hand which we decided to coat in dark and white chocolate, and yes, a few were lost to taste testing. If you have not combined salted pretzels and chocolate before, you are missing out my friends. Get onto it! A great combination of salty and sweet. We also made chocolate shards, using dark chocolate melts, with a sprinkle of crushed nuts and sea salt. And, because we wanted to get artsy and really test the chocolate, we used melted milk chocolate melts, which we spooned into piping bags, to create chocolate swirls, spirals and petal designs. These worked great, the chocolate set quickly and after refrigeration retained its shape and firmness and was a pretty addition as a cake topper.

Stacking our cake layers 
Once the cakes had cooled, we began layering the cakes and frosting on top of the cake board provided. The white chocolate buttercream frosting made with butter, icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract and white chocolate Nestle melts created a light, fluffy and delicious frosting. Now comes the fun part! Using the frosting, we diligently and with care iced each layer and built up the cake to a high tower, using the cranked palette knife Nestle provided. We finished off the frosting with a smoothing tool to obtain an even finish to the buttercream.

Frosting our three layer cake
Adding chocolate ganache drips to the cake
To make the chocolate drip effect on the top of the cake, we used the Nestle dark chocolate chunks mixed into simmering cream over the stove to produce a thick and glossy chocolate ganache. A lot of stirring, taste testing and more stirring was involved. Once the mixture had cooled down slightly, we added spoonfuls of the chocolate ganache to the edges of the cake and let gravity take its course. The effect was mesmerising. At first the ganache turned out a little too thick to drip, but a spoonful of cream and more stirring created the consistency we were after. And after that, the process was much easier and the chocolate set as we wanted it to.  To ensure the frosting and ganache was completely cooled and firm, we decided at this point to place the cake in the fridge overnight and tackle the final cake decoration toppings the next day.

Placing our truffles and chocolate shards

Finishing touches
The following day, once the icing and ganache had set, we began creating a chocolate masterpiece upon our cake. Using the truffles, chocolate pretzels, chocolate shards and chocolate swirls we put together a decadent piece of art work, if we do say so ourselves! A few truffles may have been sacrificed for quality control purposes of course. We used the piping bag provided to pipe a decorative edge of buttercream frosting around the bottom of the cake.

Our Chocolate Celebration Cake
The end result, we think, was beautiful, and the different elements held up amazingly well, thanks to the Nestle chocolate melts which we used to stick the decorations together. The chocolate decorations, the white chocolate frosting and the chocolate ganache impressively remained firm throughout our photo shoot. We are quite proud of how our chocolate celebration cake turned out and we hope we did the new and improved Nestle chocolate range justice!  Good luck to all our fellow 'Bake it Yours' challenge contestants!


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