Chocolate Honey Cake

I’ve used chocolate transfer paper once or twice to embellish molded chocolates but I’ve never been confident enough to use it as a cake wrap.  Intimidation held me back and I have never been a fan of throwing away money – specifically $7 for a single transfer sheet if I flubbed the job.

Maybe it was the recent success over poured fondant that has given me the confidence to try again. Maybe it was the simultaneous discovery of chocolate-honey cake and a cheerful honeycomb chocolate transfer.  I don’t know, but in the end the task was much easier than I’d made it out to be in my head.

As expected, my first-time wrap results are not perfect. Novice mistakes are apparent.  The chocolate bloomed a little due to overheating, and the honeycomb pattern became skewed in places.  Even so, I think if you are good at following directions, you will be at least as successful as I was with this endeavor; which, in my opinion, is not too shabby!

The honey glaze on the cake has a nice stickiness to it.  Plenty enough to hold the chocolate wrap in place.  I’ve made a short video of the glazing and transfer paper wrapping process in case you’re wondering exactly how to execute the technique.

(Email subscribers may need to click over to the SB site to view the video.)


I will say this.  The instructions that came with the transfer said to cut the paper to fit the side of the cake exactly.  I had something more sculptural in mind, so I didn’t follow that suggestion and my chocolate wrap towered high over the top of the cake.  I can see how it would be much easier to fit the sheet to the cake’s exact measurements, so novices may want to follow the manufacturer’s rule on the first go around.

You can find an excellent resource for chocolate transfer sheets here.

One more thing, I made this cake in my food processor!  If you prefer a stand mixer, you can find the instructions here.

Chocolate-Honey Cake                                                                                                     [printable version]

Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe:

Yield: one 9” cake

Note:  I made this
cake in a 6” pan so the chocolate transfer sheet would better fit around the
circumference of the cake.  The extra
batter was baked into cupcakes.  The
directions below are for the 6” cake.

Cake:

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 sticks soft butter

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp.  unsweetened cocoa
powder

4 oz. chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Valhrona milk
chocolate)

1 cup very hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 6” spring-form pan with
    shortening and line bottom with parchment paper circle.  Grease parchment.
  3. Melt 4oz. of chocolate in the
    microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth. 
    Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor
    fitted with steel blade add sugar, butter, honey, eggs, flour, baking soda and cocoa.  Process in a few short bursts until just
    combined. 
  5. Add melted chocolate and process
    again briefly.
  6. With the processor running, pour
    in the hot water.  Process until
    smooth.  Batter will be thin.
  7. Fill the spring-form pan 2/3 full
    and place into the oven.  Bake for 1 hour to 1hour 15minutes.   (Remaining batter can be used for cupcakes.)  When done, the cake will spring back when
    pressed in the center and a toothpick tester should come out clean.   Let cool completely in the spring-form pan.

Glaze:

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup honey

6 oz.  Semisweet
chocolate chips

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

  1. In a small saucepan, bring water
    and honey to a boil. 
  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate
    chips.  Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk
    again until smooth.
  4.  Run a knife between the cake and spring-form
    pan to loosen it, then unclip the pan and remove the ring to make sure it
    removes cleanly.   Pick up cake and
    remove the parchment circle, then place the cake back on the spring-form
    base.  Put the spring-form ring back
    around the cake, but don’t clip it tight. 
  5. Place cake in cake pan on a large length
    of wax paper.
  6. Pour glaze over cake inside pan,
    letting the glaze run down the sides of the cake.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then
    remove the cake ring.  The glaze will
    flow around the sides of the cake.
  8. Using a spatula, transfer the cake
    to a serving platter lined with strips of wax paper. 

Chocolate transfer sheet:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 10×16 chocolate transfer sheet, honeycomb pattern

  1. Using an X-acto knife or pair of
    scissors, carefully cut transfer paper into two long pieces (two 5×16
    pieces). 
  2. Measure cake and trim transfer paper
    to fit sides of cake exactly (or don’t – if you like my presentation).  You will use one strip and part of the other
    strip.  These will be pieced together
    upon application.
  3. Very gently – melt chocolate.   I rushed this process in the microwave, and
    the chocolate bloomed a little, so do this in a double boiler.
  4. Examine the transfer paper to make
    sure you are applying the chocolate to the correct side.  You should notice the correct side is less
    shiny and you can feel the design if you lightly touch it.
  5. Using an off-set spatula, thinly
    spread chocolate over the transfer pieces. 
     Let stand until chocolate loses
    its gloss  but is still malleable.   This takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the humidity
    in your house.
  6. Wrap cake with transfer
    sheet.  The large piece will go most of
    the way around the cake.  Place the
    smaller piece side by side (no overlapping!) in the gap the larger sheet did
    not cover.
  7. If you are using the same
    technique I did, you’ll need skewers or toothpicks to hold the transfer sheet upright above
    the cake’s surface.   Place them around
    the inside edge of the cake to hold the transfer paper in place.
  8. Let chocolate harden
    completely.  You’ll know it’s ready when the
    chocolate is completely rigid.  Peel off paper, revealing the honeycomb print and embellish as desired.  

Note: I created an organic shape by snapping
pieces off the top edge of the chocolate and used the pieces to decorate the
top of the cake.   

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The Blue-Eyed Bakers
The Blue-Eyed Bakers
9 years ago

Well aside from being completely and totally gorgeous – that honey cake sounds insanely delicious!

A GUSTO Y PIACERE
A GUSTO Y PIACERE
9 years ago

It looks great πŸ˜€

Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
9 years ago

Oh how I wish this was in my kitchen right now!!

Kim
Kim
9 years ago

Maybe it's not perfect as perfect-magazine-desserts, but honestly i'm impressed. It is really a beautiful cake you made and it looks pretty good!

Three-Cookies
Three-Cookies
9 years ago

The chocolate transfer sheet makes such a huge difference. And the cake looks extremely moist.

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

This cake must delicious! That is a divine combinaton. Beautiful.

Cheers,

Rosa

Divya
Divya
9 years ago

Gorgeous cake! Love the video…

Rosie @ Sweetapolita
Rosie @ Sweetapolita
9 years ago

Love.

Heather (Heather's Dish)
Heather (Heather's Dish)
9 years ago

I think the honeycomb pattern is so beautiful! Such a creative way to decorate that cake πŸ™‚

Dharma
Dharma
9 years ago

I love the video, and transfer the cake, is original. Greetings from Madrid.

The Cilantropist
The Cilantropist
9 years ago

Wow this is incredible!!! I have never tried using the transfer paper for the chocolate wrapping so you have opened my eyes to a new techinique! Thanks! πŸ™‚

vaniljekjeks
vaniljekjeks
9 years ago

It's gorgeous! And I passionately love Valhrona chocolate. It basically makes the cakes itself. It can completely change the consistency of a cake for the best!

Mirasens
Mirasens
9 years ago

Your videos and cakes are great!!

http://www.lasrecetitas.blogspot.com/

linda
linda
9 years ago

another work of art! truly!
i just finished baking …or rather burning…a disastrous german apple cake…& took a break from cleaning "the mess" to find your beautiful & inspiring post!! thank you.

Gloria
Gloria
9 years ago

Wow, Heather, you do such glorious work. I just said to myself again, "Man, this woman should have a show on Food Network or at least a book." Then I saw your tab, giving the latest on your book, but saw you are still working on it. You do such beautiful work, you revel in it and it shows. PLUS, your photographs are to die for! You are everything rolled into one. Plus you are pretty and you have cute dogs too. Hey, this is turning into a Heather/Sprinkle Bakes "Love Fest!" LOL! OK, I'll admit it… this is your… Read more »

katreece @ The Chocolate Addict
katreece @ The Chocolate Addict
9 years ago

That looks great ! I just made an instructional chocolate decorating DVD on the use of transfer sheets http://www.thechocolateaddict.com/ they are so fun and easy to use. I love how you crumbled the edges πŸ˜‰

Ryan @ Ryan's Baking Blog
Ryan @ Ryan's Baking Blog
9 years ago

I love the way the chocolate paper sits above and is cracked and uneven, this is a beautiful cake.

vanillasugarblog
vanillasugarblog
9 years ago

you are just amazing girl.
xoxo!
i hope to get as good as this someday.

Amy
Amy
9 years ago

This is such an adorable cake! I've never use a chocolate transfer sheets before and your video makes it looks so easy! Love your cake!

Donna Elick
Donna Elick
9 years ago

Oh my, this looks incredible!!! Sounds delicious. YUM!!!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

"The Sting of a Bee" music playing in the background! Unreal! I know you said the honeycomb should fit the cake exactly but Heather, that is so great about your creations…you are an artist! You make beauty from a creation as it happens. Would it be great to have these video inserts on the pages of your book?! Perhaps in an e-book… it would be so fun.

Lora
Lora
9 years ago

So creative. I love the asymmetrical top. Even your so called "flubs" are gorgeous!

Lila
Lila
9 years ago

Recognized this recipe right away. I love nigella!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Wow, this looks like a very lovely (and cute) cake! I'm really into honey and I deffinately approve of it being added into chocolate cake. Yum!

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

I've never seen this technique before! I love it and that cake looks sooo moist.

Dwiana
Dwiana
9 years ago

I really like your chocolate pattern sheet. Lovely!

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

Heather, My husband and I watched the video and thoroughly enjoyed it! Perfect music:) He loves honey and has a quite a variety. I know he would LOVE this cake! I love the little bee:) You are so creative, Heather! I love the rustic, yet fancy look to this cake. XO, Sue

yoli
yoli
9 years ago

mmmmmmm!!!!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

This is such a beautiful cake! I love everything about it. Thanks so much for making the videos. I LOVE them!

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots
Caroline @ chocolate and carrots
9 years ago

Absolutely beautiful. It's a work of art! πŸ™‚ I loved the video, too!

Meg Luby
Meg Luby
9 years ago

wow, chocolate and honey? sold. and- as per usual- stunning piece of food art πŸ™‚
thanks for sharing, heather! love
-meg
@ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

katie [the bright life]
katie [the bright life]
9 years ago

What a gorgeous cake! It doesn't look the least bit amateur to me. I love the honeycomb pattern and the uneven edge along the top…so chic! Xo, Katie

Rituparna
Rituparna
9 years ago

That is amazing. N what chocolate bloom are you talking about. It look perfect. Drooling …

Jennifer Michie
Jennifer Michie
9 years ago

That looks absolutely amazing! I loved the music in the video as well! It looks like something out of a patisserie in Paris!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

I came over from foodgawker. I rarely click through to recipes that I don't intend to attempt on my own (like this one, which is way out of my league), but I had to come tell you that this is beautiful and impressive!

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

That is so cute!

myFudo
myFudo
9 years ago

wow!! It looks delicious. I'll put the honey-chocolate cake on my soon to make list. Great photos.

Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny
Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny
9 years ago

This cake is absolutely amazing!!! Gorgeous pictures and looks so delicious, wonderful job! New follower! xoxo

The Dragonfly On Iron Gate
The Dragonfly On Iron Gate
9 years ago

Heather.. I'm dying.. really do you lay in bed at night and think.. and think.. I have to say this is one of my favorite cakes. I'm a bee hive junkie and this just "takes the cake" amazing.. I pinterested {is that a word now? ) on my ever growing thedragonflyoig page under just-bees ..bowing at you now as I leave to find your video… waving !! Jules

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

WOW!

Su-yin
Su-yin
9 years ago

Oh Heather, that is one gorgeous cake. You've just reminded me that I have a chocolate transfer sheet sitting in my cupboards that I have yet to use – not sure I could ever do what you've done here though!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

wow I can not wait to make this! Might I say that all your recipes have been delicious!!! Thank you for such lovely culinary inspiration.

question: Do you think this cake recipe would work for cupcakes?

Kristine
Kristine
9 years ago

Wow! When I go to your link and I'm waiting for the page to load, I get a little thrill of anticipation to see what's coming up on the screen! Definitely not disappointed. I bow to you master creator!!

365daysofbaking
365daysofbaking
9 years ago

Beautiful cake, Heather and I LOVE the video!! The music is PERFECT, too!!

Patricia Scarpin
Patricia Scarpin
9 years ago

You are so adorable! What a delicious cake – and beautiful video! So good to watch. I hope you make more videos like this one. πŸ˜‰

Rae______
Rae______
9 years ago

I need to make this – It looks delectable!

Lili
Lili
9 years ago

Your video was just the best Heather! I had never even seen or heard of transfer paper and it was so interesting to see this. Plus, I always enjoy your artful creations and putting it to music entitled "the sting of the bee" had me smiling! That cake is exquisite! xo ~Lili

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

omg! What a beautiful cake!! Love it!! And the video is just great! Amazing!

Megan's Cookin'
Megan's Cookin'
9 years ago

You did a wonderful job! I've always been intimidated to do it too and as always, you inspire me to give it a try. Great job and I'm loving the cake flavor!

Lynnea
Lynnea
9 years ago

Such a beautiful cake and I just love the little bee. As though he is at home with his honeycomb =)