Posted by: Jason Wood | December 30, 2009

Chocolate Fan Cake

I had full intentions of getting this post up before Christmas but well, life intervened and what can you do? Christmas is a time for baking and a way to say a big thanks for people who are important in your life and for me some of the more important people in my life are the staff at the Carleton Lodge (a long-term care facility in Ottawa) who look after my Mom. My Mom has dementia and so will be at the Lodge for a good many years and the people that work there play a big part in all of our lives right now and they deserve a big thank you for all the hard work that they do.

This cake was a lot of fun to make, and not only because it has rum in it (one shot for the cake, one for me!) but because I got to try out something really cool with chocolate to decorate the top of the cake.

Here is what you need:

250 grams butter, chopped

1/4 cup dark rum

2 tablespoons instant coffee

1 1/4 cups water

200 grams dark chocolate

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 eggs

Put the chopped butter, water, rum and coffee into a large saucepan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat, add in the chocolate and sugar and stir until it is mixed completely.

Kind of has a ying yang appearance here doesn’t it? Looks cool I thought. Besides looking cool it smells AWESOME! Let this cool for five minutes. While it is cooling you can sift together in a large bowl the flour, baking powder and cocoa.

Slowly mix in the chocolate mixture and eggs.

Pour the mixture into a prepared 9-inch cake pan and bake at 300 F for 1 hour and 40 minutes, covering halfway through ( I covered it by laying a sheet of aluminum foil across the top of the parchment paper that sticks up above the cake).

It comes out looking like this. Don’t worry about the cracks as it will cool and you will trim off the top anyway to level the cake. Let the cake cool in the pan for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling you can start to work on the chocolate decorations for the top of the cake. You will need a dozen candles wrapped in aluminum foil.

You will also need to cut three circles out of parchment paper, one 9-inches in diameter, one 6-inches and one 4-inches. Cut each of the circles into quarters.

In a double boiler melt 400g dark chocolate. You know how they say it is the little things that make you happy? For this next step I got to use my new offset spatula. I was excited. Does that speak volumes about the level of excitement in my life? Anyway, working with chocolate is always fun. Spread the melted chocolate over the quarter-circles of parchment paper and then carefully drape the chocolate quarter-circles over the candles and let them set.

Once your cake is cooled you need to cut it into three equal sized layers (use a large knife or a cake leveler). Sandwich each of the layers with chocolate ganache (1/2 half cup cream brought to a boil and poured over 400g dark chocolate and stirred until chocolate dissolves, cover, refrigerate for approx. 30-minutes until it is a spreadable consistency) and then cover cake with remaining ganache.

The chocolate quarter-circles should be set by now, so very carefully peel the parchment paper and set them aside.

On papered work surfaces place two of each size of chocolate fans on each work surface. I dusted one set with a light cocoa powder and the other with a slightly darker powder to provide a contrast to the finished design.

Supergirl helped with this step and took a quick self-portrait

OK, back to work!

Arrange the chocolate fans on the top of the cake starting with the largest. Alternate the light and dark cocoa. Do the same with the middle layer and the top. It should look like this when you are done.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all the staff at the Carleton Lodge that help with my Mom, I hope you enjoyed the cake!



  1. […] Chocolate Fan Cake « The days are packed Chocolate Fan Cake « The days are packed. […]

  2. VERY pretty!! Have you ever thought about opening a bakery?

    I have, but it would require waking up early in the morning, and I couldn’t do that. YOU could though! I could come in at noon!!

    I hope they found this delicious at the Lodge. It sure is beautiful. You know the saying – if it tastes as good as it looks…

    • haha! Thanks, I have thought of it, and I am up that early anyway. Perhaps in the future.

  3. Love this!! I might have to try that sometime!!


    • It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to trying it again sometime now that I know what I am doing! haha

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