November 20th, 2009 by leigha
Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday, so I decided to make her a cake and take it to her after my workshop on Saturday. Since Jason got me a cake decorating book for my birthday (Pretty Party Cakes) I thought I’d try the recipe for the chocolate cake. This is the first time I’ve tried to make a cake from scratch, and while it wasn’t HORRIBLE it wasn’t overly easy either. I thought I’d try to use 2 9-inch pans rather than 3-8 inch pans and it didn’t do quite what I’d hoped for. The temperature was way too high, so it ended up crisping the top with the inside still gooey. Thankfully the crispy top flaked off really easy. I used some simple syrup to counteract the dryness and then used ganache to kind of seal the cake so when I frosted with the chocolate buttercream I didn’t have the same crumb issue I had with the last cake. It was a long process, but it was doable. I think I started the cake around around 7:30 and I’m just now finished with everything right before midnight. Hopefully she likes it…
The shading difference on the top of the cake is from my goofing the letters–I really messed up the T in birthday, so I just scraped it off, smoothed it out and rewrote it. Letters aren’t my thing yet, but I’m working on it. I also learned a few tricks about the dumb buttercream this time too. First off making it was a cinch, even though I made chocolate. But sealing the cake with the ganache did great to keep the crumbs away, but made the buttercream slip around a little bit on the top of the cake and around the side of the cake. Then it didn’t want to smooth out nicely, so I heated up my spatula thinger put a little bit of parchment paper over the cake and smoothed the cake through the parchment paper. Can I just say FABULOUS! It worked so much better.
Aside from the late night hour, this was pretty easy, so I’m going to give this whole experience a Flip Out Factor: 2.