Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mmm, cake

I've been meaning to do a test run of Baby Girl's birthday cake for several months now. I just got around to it, so it's probably good I'm not doing anything too difficult, just time consuming.

This is not a finished product, but here we go.

B wanted cake and didn't want to wait for me to finish all the petals. I didn't object too much; it took a good four or five hours to finish the cake up today, and that doesn't include making the actual cake. That might have had something to do with my super pouty helper.

In the end the cake will be covered with the petals; these look a little big to me. They're made of marshmallow fondant, rolled very thin with a clay roller, then cut with a medicine cup. I need to use a smaller medicine cup. Also, I need more ganache on the outside, I think. This is barely a crumb coat, but to get the layer of ganache in the cake and then enough to frost the outside took two entire packages of chocolate chips. Maybe I need to find another chocolate frosting recipe.

If I were a better food photographer, I would have cleaned up the plate and the ganache that got smeared down the side of the cake. I am not a better food photographer. Anyway, the cake is the Epicurious Double Chocolate Layer Cake and it's amazing. The top layer of filling is ganache, the middle is cookies and cream (my buttercream mixture and crushed Oreos) and the bottom layer is my buttercream mixture. I like to use a 50/50 mix of American buttercream (use half shortening and half butter if you think it might get too soft) and Swiss meringue buttercream. Definitely a pain in the rear to make, but so deliciously rich and silky that it's definitely worth it. On its own, I find it a touch too buttery and not quite sweet enough, but mixed with the American buttercream I think it's perfect.

I haven't included a link to the ganache recipe because ganache is simply a ratio of chocolate to cream. B wanted milk chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate, so I used milk chocolate chips. If you look around online, you'll see a lot of people saying that milk chocolate needs a ratio of three parts chocolate to one part cream. However, I saw a few people saying that a more traditional 2:1 ratio was better, so I went with that. It worked perfectly. To make the ganache, I simply poured my chocolate chips (I used 11 ounces of an 11.5 ounce bag; if I had known I would have to make two batches I would have used all 11.5 ounces to have 23 ounces of chips) into one bowl and half as much cream into another. Heat the cream in the microwave for roughly a minute, then pour over the chips. Let it sit for a few minutes then whisk until smooth. If the chips aren't quite melted, microwave it for about ten seconds and whisk again. Once it's smooth, cover it and put it in the fridge for an hour or so. It'll be very thick. You can use it as is (this is what truffles are made of), but I whipped mine in the mixer until it was fluffy and a few shades lighter. It's a very easy chocolate frosting if you don't like cocoa powder frostings, but like I said, you'll probably need to use at least three bags of chips to cover a split and filled nine inch cake.

My plan is to bake Sunday, freeze (makes the cake moister), thaw Wednesday, decorate Thursday and Friday and, of course, serve Saturday. If I have everything else under control I may thaw Thursday and decorate Friday. All the frostings and fillings can be made up to a week ahead of time. This is one thing I'm reasonably sure will go well. Now I just have to finish the other few hundred things on my to do list.

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard about freeze/thawing for moistness. You are one heck of a baker and those petals look perfect to me. I can bake, but I can't decorate like this.