Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Birthday Cake of the Season!

I think I mentioned a few posts ago about ramping up for the fall, or in my life, "birthday cake baking season". It's a long, long season - very sweet, of course - and very rewarding! It's also a great opportunity for me to put some new recipes to use and rethink old classics. Sometimes, it doesn't work out - but hey, even the scraps are delicious!

I was a bit squeezed for time for this particular cake, but it all managed to turn out. Kind of. At least I didn't drop it! :P (if that is any clue as to who the recipient was) The cake itself turned out great, but I didn't plan very well in terms of transporting the cake throughout the various steps of preparation. Basically - once you bake, cool & trim the cake, get it on the final base/plate. Don't move it around like I did! I think for me, I didn't have a premade board ready nor was my cake stand small enough to fit in my fridge! Looks like I'm in the market for a cake plate! (I'd love to get an antique glass one!!)

The cake: Yellow Butter Cake c/o Martha Stewart (I added in the chocolate chips)

The filling: Seven Minute Frosting

The icing: Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

The decorations: Novelty Marbled M&Ms

Lessons Learned:
- Cake, although rich and butter was too dense for the filling - a sponge would have been more appropriate.
- The filling would ooze out at the slightest pressure, in retrospect, I would have used the ganache as a filling instead.
- The ganache was too sturdy! It spread too thin and crumbled during cutting in a really unattractive way.
- I think I would have switched the filling and icing - the Frosting would have added a lot of drama and volume and the richness of the ganache would have been a nice contrast.

The decorations were some marbled M&Ms I received a while ago from my brother. I think you can buy them in some stores now, but aren't they beautiful? I actually wanted to tile the entire outside with the candies, but I'm not sure I would have had enough. I decided to go with a freeform pattern on top and on the sides. Although the final product lacked that polish, I am still pretty pleased with the results. There are definitely lessons I learned here that will probably come in handy for the rest of the season!

Stay tuned for the next cake!

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