This week’s obsession: Chocolate on Chocolate
Well here it is, y'all. The very last cake order I was able to take on Maui.
I don’t always feel like it has fully hit me yet, and then sometimes I feel like it is REALLY hitting me, but regardless of whether I’ve processed it or not - we are leaving Maui. And I’m experiencing a wide range of emotions about it. It doesn’t help that every time I get together with a friend or two they always make this face: 😫
Trust me, guys. I feel it, too.
Which is why to help us all feel better, I suggest that we drown our sorrows in copious amounts of chocolate, like this little cake I made for a client. Isn’t it pretty?
I thought it was super sweet because this order was a birthday cake for my client’s wife, and his instructions were to ‘make it as chocolatey as possible’. Oh boy did you come to the right place!
During our planning stage I suggested:
a chocolate cake
with chocolate buttercream
covered in a chocolate drip topping
decorated with chocolate double rosettes
He agreed to all of it! But then as I was actually assembling the cake I came across my jar of chocolate sprinkles and thought, “why not?” and threw a fist full of sprinkles on the cake, too. #success
I took some photos while I was assembling this cake to show you some basic steps for how to assemble a layered cake once all of your ingredients are prepared (i.e. cake is baked and fully cooled, frosting and fillings are made, etc.). I’m thinking about turning this into one of the classes I teach so I can explain with way more detail, so leave me a comment below to let me know if you think live instruction will help you more with this process.
Cake Assembling 101
Step one - level your cake layers. Use a large serrated knife to slice off the cracked and/or domed areas of the cake to make the cake flat. I always save the tops so I can later make parfaits or cake pops with them, or just eat them as is for a delicious snack!
Step two - place your first cake layer on your cake board and spread an even layer of frosting on top. It’s important to get down at eye level with each layer to make sure it is level to prevent a leaning cake.
Repeat step two for as many cake layers as you have.
Step three - smear your frosting all over the exposed cake with a spatula, then smooth it out. I use a bench scraper to smooth out my shorter cakes, but I also have acrylic scrapers for this particular job if the cake is really tall. You can also use a spatula if that's what you have available.
Fun fact: This first layer of frosting is called a crumb coat, which really just seals all the crumbs together and prevents them from getting in your outer layer of frosting. This layer doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, but having it fairly smooth will make the outer frosting layer easier to manage. Refrigerate your cake until your frosting is solid, then repeat the process again for your outer coat of frosting. (Think of it like paint or nail polish; usually more than one coat is required so you can’t see through it.)
Step four - Decorate until your heart's content! This step can be as minimal or as extravagant as you please. For this cake, I chose to cover the top with a chocolate drip down the sides and to smooth a spiral design into the top of it. Once it dried I piped double rosettes on top and added chocolate sprinkles.
That concludes our lesson for today. I hope it was a good one and tides you over for a while because now that my apartment is all packed up and I have no more ingredients or a kitchen, it may be a few weeks until I can make some new pastries for my blog. However, I would still love to hear from all of you in the meantime. Please keep sending in your questions and photos - I always love to see what you're working on, plus the distraction of your delicious treats is sure to help me cope with the moving blues.
Happy eating, y'all!
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