Sunday, May 17, 2009

Attempt at Cake Baking/Decorating

My parents' 30th wedding anniversary is this Tuesday. In honor of their anniversary, I came up with this grand idea of baking a nice cake and decorating it all pretty to take to church today. See, I have this wild imagination and I like to pretend that I am creative and crafty. In my head, I'm a photographer, an interior decorator, a baker, a chef, an artist, and a seamstress. But that's just in my head. When I try to put these things into action, it usually ends up a big mess and I get frustrated....such was the case today.

Anyway, back to the cake...I came up with this delicious sounding cake: Double Chocolate Raspberry. It was going to have one layer of chocolate cake, a raspberry filling, and a white cake, all frosted with white chocolate frosting. Then I would use my awesome cake decorating tools to make a pretty border, maybe some flowers and writing. It was going to be perfect!

I looked up recipes for chocolate cake, white cake, raspberry filling, and white chocolate icing from scratch....none of it looked too hard. I made sure I had all the ingredients and made a quick trip to the grocery store. I was set to go!

Saturday morning I got up early and started baking. I whipped up the two cake layers and set them to baking. All was going great....until I took the cakes out of the oven.

The white cake looked great! Nice and fluffy, not raised in the middle, just perfect! The chocolate cake, however, was a different story! It was about a half an inch thick and weighed around 2 pounds! It clearly didn't go well. I was frustrated, but couldn't do anything about it because I had to get ready to head out to my best friend's graduation.

On my 2.5 hour car ride over to the graduation, I figured out what the problem was. The recipe I used for the chocolate cake didn't call for any baking powder! How can you make a cake without baking powder?!? Isn't that what gives it the fluffiness and makes it rise?

This morning I got up early and was determined to finish this cake. I found a new recipe for chocolate cake, whipped it up, and set it to baking. Meanwhile, I got the raspberry filling and white chocolate icing ready. The icing was tricky...I made it about 3 times before I decided it would have to do.

I hate icing cake! I can never get it even. I get clumps of cake in the icing. I make a huge mess. By the time I got the cake iced in a way that didn't look like a 2 year old did it, there wasn't any time (or patience) left to do all the fancy flowers and piping. So, I took the easy road and placed milk chocolate and white chocolate chips around the edges, put a few fresh raspberries on the top and around the border and called it done.

Whew! What an adventure! The kitchen was a royal disaster when I got through! I'm so glad my husband, Mr. Clean himself, wasn't home! He would have had a few words to say about the mess I created!

This is just a sneak peak at the mess....I couldn't bring myself
to posting a picture of the entire mess!

I carried the cake to church (which was another tricky task, considering I didn't have a cake carrier) and pulled it out at lunch time. I presented it to Mom and Dad and took a nice picture of them with it.

All of the cake got eaten at church, which I guess is a good sign! All in all, it was a good experience. I learned a few things along the way:
  • Don't try to be Superwoman! I shouldn't have done everything from scratch. I think it would have been good to buy boxed cake and use that, but it was a good lesson.
  • You really need a good oven to do baking. Our oven is like a 55 year old going through menopause! It can't decide what temperature it wants to be, which causes some problems when baking.
  • Make sure your butter is soft when trying to make icing. Melted butter inhibits the fluffiness and whipped effect of icing.
  • Don't try to bake and decorate a cake on Sunday morning. It really ruins the mood!
  • Finally, I'm a loooooooong way from being on Ace of Cakes!
The final product!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!


Dani said...

For all the trouble it looks lovely Lydia! I'm impressed. I am not much of a cook myself. :)

Other Mother said...

I think it looks great, and even if it didn't it's the thought that counts! And by the way - your description of your oven made me laugh out loud!!