I’ve slowly been evolving toward a more natural way of life the last few years and a major part of that has been a decision to move away from pre-packaged and processed foods. This has led me to decide that when it comes to baking nothing less than ‘from scratch’ will do.
This weekend put us smack dab in the middle of Conor’s birthday season (that’s right, I said season) and I wanted to make him the best birthday cake ever… from scratch.
He chose chocolate so I set about searching the intarwebs far and wide for recipes. I was looking for something with whole and real ingredients, such as butter instead of vegetable oil. If you’re going to make a cake, make a cake, you know? When it comes to baked goods a person should never mess around, yumminess is not to be trifled with.
I found the recipe that fulfilled all my needs so I moved on to frosting. I was looking for something in a buttercream when I found a recipe for chocolate ganache. Ganache is the smooth soft chocolate filling in chocolate truffles, and as a chocolate aficionado I find it to be drool worthy. So, I had to decide… buttercream frosting or ganache? Then inspiration struck… have both!
With all these major decisions made I darted off the store to buy my ingredients and then got busy baking on a hot summer’s day.
From the batter stage I knew I was on to something. It tasted so good and so much better than cake mix from a box. I had a hard time making cake with one hand and battling Conor with the other hand as he kept trying to stick his spoon into the bowl to eat all my batter.
Turned into this
After that, making frosting was easy. Keeping my own fingers out of the bowl was not.
Once I had made all the parts and let the cake cool down I started the assembly process.
Knowing that no one likes too much distance between frosting layers I decided on a four layer style rather than the traditional two. This would allow for equal layers of ganache and buttercream.
Here you can see the whole shaboingle starting to come together.
And finally, the finished product. It was a large enough cake to have written half a novel on, but I opted to keep the message simple.
After all of the planning, organizing and preparation it wasn’t until the final moment that I realized I had forgotten one critical detail: candles.
Thanks to technology and Steve Jobs, a solution was found and everyone was happy. Conor’s wish will still come true… unless his wish was to have had real candles on his birthday cake.
Until next year… bon appetit!