The Cake That Couldn’t Break Me

If you saw my post from earlier today you know I baked a couple cakes to play with today. I need one for Monday’s cake decorating class and the other for my friend’s brunch tomorrow. I’ve been really looking forward to this brunch! I was assigned to bring a fruit salad…lord knows I love fruit so it was a perfect pairing. However, she also said, and I quote,

Should you have any type of homemade pastry/baked good hanging around the house, feel free to bring it with you on Sunday…I mean, why feed the raccoons of Bellingham when you can feed the girls of Arlington..? :)

So what’s a sugar crazed girl gonna do? Bake a cake!

Thank you to my sister-in-law who thought of me when she saw this amazingly beautiful cake on Pinterest. I Am Baker is an amazing site for things like this :) Gorgeous! And since I was pretty good with making the rosettes I figured I should give it a whirl :)

Ran into a few hurdles along the way, but I was bound and determined to clear em.

First…Ran out of buttercream. I’ve never used buttercream before, but figured I needed quite a bit so I doubled the recipe, which by the way is SCRUMPTIOUS!! However it only made enough to frost the cake and make the roses around the sides.

Second…During mid-cake clean up my hubby crunched my only 1M decorating tip in the garbage disposal because I was an airhead and dumped out the cup they were soaking in. Never never never put the cup you are using to soak tips in the sink…always keep on the counter so you think about what you are doing! Nothing that a quick trip to the local Michael’s craft store can’t fix!

Third…My daughter who I swear grows an inch a week is either taller than she appears or used her go-go gadget arms and stuck a little finger in one of the side roses for an unofficial tasting.

Fourth…New batch of frosting tint doesn’t quiet match the tint for the side roses. Maybe after it sits a bit it’ll blend.

and Fifth…The cake is all done, pictures are taken and I’m happy. If you’ve ever seen the Food Network Cake Challenges you know it’s not over until you move the cake to the table. In my case, move the cake into the cake holder. My finger slipped when pushing the cake board back and whoops! there went my finger through one of the roses. My personal touch I guess ;)

Regardless…I’m happy with the cake for the first time making something like this. It’s pretty and I can’t wait to share it with my wonderful friends. The best part…I used milk chocolate mousse filling in the middle of the layers!! If you haven’t heard of this, it’s like heaven and you can find the recipe on one of my earlier posts here.

I Spy

I’ve been cooped up this week with a nasty head cold, not to mention my two kiddos were under the weather too. It’s been a rough one. I told my husband he’s lucky he can open the door and walk through the kitchen with how I’ve been feeling. But my energy level is back and I’m ready to bake!

On that note…I spy 2 cakes, milk chocolate mousse filling, 4 sticks of butter and new Americolor color gels. (oh and some chocolate chip cookies my hubby made while I was getting my piggies painted) Oh yeah I’m feeling better! Now, what to do…what to do…

Filling Sent From Heaven

The other day I made a cake which turned out to be a decorating disaster, but the frosting was TO. DIE. FOR. Wow! It was definitely the hit of the dessert. Sort of like a Chanel bag being sold in Walmart…it just didn’t fit and out-shined everything else. It is a definite keeper as I search for better cake recipes. Thought I’d share it as it’s too good to keep a secret :)

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/milk-chocolate-mousse-filling

Took a little bit of effort to make but it was so worth it! I also like there’s three variations to the recipe. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips so it would be somewhere between a milk and a dark chocolate mousse.

Enjoy!

And…Take FOUR!

Yes…sadly four.

This cake started out to be a practice cake, quickly became built up in my head to be a beautiful cake for tonight’s dessert, and then quickly…and I mean quickly…took a turn and bypassed practice going straight for humorous.

Last night I baked the cake and made a delicious chocolate mousse filling. Even my oldest daughter helped mix up the filling!

     

Folding in the cream

Take 1: And so the morning started…assembled the two layers of cake with the filling and frosted the heck out of it. It was a leaning tower of chocolate cake that no amount of frosting could visually correct. Although, attempting to correct the lean did bring quite a few giggles from the peanut gallery. Quite possibly due to the excessive amounts of frosting on the cake (side note that I hate regular frosting like this so I’ll be scraping it off my piece tonight!) the sides and top never quite dried enough to smooth out. Same problem I had in class the other day so I’m thinking it’s more about the consistency of the frosting than the humidity which is what the instructor blamed it on. Clearly I should be teaching the class ;)

Take 2: I decided to stop fixating on the fact that I have yet another cake without smoothness and move on. Downstairs to be precise. I thumbed through some old Wilton templates that were my Mom’s from the 70’s and found one that I thought would look very nice piped on top of the cake, using a technique I learned in class to transfer the design. The technique calls for tracing the template on a piece of wax paper with decorating gel (bought at the local grocery store), flipping it upside down onto the the top of the cake. Unfortunately, I cut too big of a hole on the gel tube for the template I wanted to use.  “So that’s not going to work.”

Take 3: “Let me try and transfer the design using a toothpick.” I traced the design onto wax paper using a black sharpie. Laid the wax paper onto the top of the cake and followed the black lines with a toothpick. Should have known…if the cake wasn’t dry enough to smooth out with parchment paper, it’s not going to be dry enough to lay wax paper onto either. Needless to say, we had a sticky situation, none of which helped get my design onto the cake.

Take 4: For Christmas my husband bought me a bunch of cake decorating paraphernalia. In my bucket o’ goodies was a pattern press set with some pretty fancy looking presses. So I decided to whip those out and give em a try. I pressed ever so gently and began piping. Using a #2 tip I followed the imprint. HELLO WOBBLY HANDS! Yikes…the lines were not smooth. But at this point my husband and I were making way too much fun of the cake to stop. So I put a “J” and a “P” on the top for his parents who were coming for dinner tonight and slapped on some stars and dots. I do have to say my stars are improving!

Despite it taking four attempts to make this cake in the end it’s a cake that will be devoured in 10 minutes. My husband also said it was frosted better than we used to frost our cakes…so I guess that’s a move in the right direction :)

Lessons Learned:

  • Make sure you level your top layer of cake enough so that it sits evenly on the bottom layer.
  • While the instructor says the frosting used to frost your cake should be a thin consistency, I’d stick with medium so it actually dries sometime during the given century.
  • You do not need a 1/2 cup of frosting in each color to do 3 lines and a couple dots

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