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This week’s obsession: Cake Drips

What an appetizing title, amiright??! I actually do wish there was a better name for the drip method, perhaps something that’s a little more chic and appealing, but for now it is what it is and it is a drip. Which up until yesterday, I’ve done a pretty poor job of doing.

Chocolate cake with raspberry filling, covered in chocolate mousse frosting, topped with a dark chocolate ganache drip, fresh raspberries, and assorted candy pieces.

The drip method is a really pretty way to top off a cake with an extra punch of deliciousness and #eyecandy (and in this case, #candy candy). However, it has to be done correctly otherwise it’s a visual disaster.

Another chocolate cake with raspberry filling, unfortunately covered in a thick chunky drip attempt.

Generally speaking, when I’ve attempted the drip method in the past it’s been a big old chunky mess (mmm, even more mouthwatering adjectives for your enjoyment). I constantly got the consistency wrong (too thick) and the ganache wouldn’t so much drip down the sides of the cake as it would mudslide down. Not as fun as it sounds.

Then I started trying to use a much runnier consistency for my drips (again with the adjectives. I’m sorry to everyone who is cringing but still made it to this point. I thank you for your persistence but really I’m considering scrapping this whole topic in about 3 lines if these descriptors don’t get any better. Not that I have total

Bourbon caramel drip attempt. Messy but tasty.

control over that or anything.) but that consistency didn’t make drips so much as the chocolate/candy melts/caramel just sprinted down the entire length of the cake and made solid, substantial contact with the cake board even while I repeatedly screamed “STOP!! STOP!!” at it. (The screaming never once helped. In case you were wondering.)

As birthday season is winding down (at least amongst my group of friends), I wanted to attempt a chocolate ganache drip one more time. And I did. But to be perfectly honest, my first crack at it ended with the drip being far too thick again, and if you zoom in on this photo of the birthday boy, you can see my lumpy drip attempt that I tried (but failed) to cover up. (Which is why it's now the back of the cake.)

I got really upset about it and tried to scrape it off but that just took off the chocolate mousse frosting and caused an even bigger problem. After I removed myself from the situation (by going down to the pool and having a good cry about it... What? I get heavily invested emotionally to the production of my cakes! Deal with it.), I came back to my chocolate ganache, which is just dark chocolate couverture mixed with hot heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract, and added more heavy whipping cream in to loosen up the consistency before using a spoon to control each and every drip on this cake. This method worked really well because it gave me much more control over how much ganache was dispensed and at what intervals. (I’m usually not good a randomized spacing, but I’m working on it.)

Most cake designers use a squeeze bottle with a small round nozzle to execute their drips, but that’s just one more piece of equipment and I haven’t quite found the will to invest in one yet. So if, like me, you do not have a squeeze bottle, definitely try the spoon method for your drips for a more controlled experience.

Ok, I am signing off for a while. I am not positive if I will have time to post in the next two weeks because of some exciting travel plans that I will be sure to write all about when I get back. I am hell bent on tasting as many pastries as I can muster, and will try to write about my tasting adventures as soon as I can! Stay tuned!

Happy eating, y’all!

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