Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Easy as cake

Cakes are probably the most underestimated item to bake in my books. I used to bake a few cakes when I was much younger and since then, have rarely attempted to bake a proper cake. Simple cakes are inexpensive to make and one could easily get a good slice of cake for $6. Because of this, I am drawn to baking more challenging items which includes elaborate processes that goes into the making.

The last time I baked a proper birthday cake for someone was middle of last year but even so, the cake didn't have the aesthetic features that I was looking for. It did not have a flat top surface and the ganache was miserably dripping on its sides. The fruit pieces that I have utilized for decoration appeared clumsily placed. But even so, nobody complained about it (but I was secretly embarrassed in myself!)

And now, the time has come to face my fears and re-attempt another cake (talk about dejavu as the previous cake was also a chocolate one!). I didn't want to ruin my colleague's birthday by rocking up with a half decent cake and so, I researched on some good cake recipes and ideas from the internet.

So here's my first attempt, made last week, as an experiment. Did not turn out good.

I used my round cake tin and lined it with baking paper but sadly, the baking paper's lines gave it a fugly appearance and the oven temperature was obviously wrong.

So this is the vanilla section of the cake.

Chocolate ganache making. The easy bit, if I must add.

This is what happens if you do not ganache your cake asap. It hardens and becomes brittle-.-

So I proceed to layer my cake, trying to be as delicate as I can.

Doesn't look too bad once it's sliced up, right? This gave me a bit of motivation.

And so, the actual cake making begins. I have decided to make strawberry mousse and layer it between the cake pieces. Sounds good, right?

Strawberry mousse recipe:
300g fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
100g water
160g caster sugar
4 teaspoon powdered gelatin
400g whipping/ whipped cream

Place all the ingredients (except the whipping cream) and allow to simmer over gentle heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Allow to cool before putting it into a food processor.

Meanwhile, start whipping your cream until it's light and fluffy.

Oven at work!

Cut the cake into 2 section (I made 2 square cakes) and layer with a generous amount of strawberry mousse. Do not let the mousse sit for too long as it will thicken and be difficult to manage!

Chocolate cake recipe obtained from David Lebovitz

Ganache it and smooth out those rough edges.

Add a sprinkle of your choice/ whatever topping you like (strawberries dipped in chocolate sounds sexy!)

Tadaa~~ my colleague gave me a good tip prior to baking this baby. Best to undercook the cake, rather than overcook it, to prevent it from drying out:)

So here's my reward after working so hard in the kitchen! Instant noodles with chopped garlic, chillies and cabbage topped with a fried egg:)

Lesson to self: never underestimate a simple cake again and I look forward to creating more cakes in the near future:9

No comments: