Today’s cake was for my friend Beth. Her kids’ birthday was today, and they had very specific ideas about what they wanted. Namely, a black cat with big eyes and a rainbow heart on it’s chest. It should have ganache or cream cheese frosting, and the heart was to be red on the inside and purple on the outside, and it should be a two layer cake with rainbow cake on the bottom and chocolate cake on top. Got all that? Now make it to serve 30 people. Gotta love a kid who knows what he wants!
I already had my recipe for the rainbow part, but I still wasn’t sure about the chocolate. After much trial and error – emphasis on the error -I finally found a chocolate cake recipe I was happy with.
At least – until I tried to turn it out of the pan. It was late, and I guess I was impatient. Maybe if I’d let it cool a bit longer, it might have turned out okay. Instead, when I tried to flip it over, it cracked and crumbled into a thousand decadently delicious little pieces. I crammed it all back into the pan and went to bed, hoping that somehow I could still make it work in the morning.
When looked at it in the morning, I despaired. I wondered how terrible a crime it would be to mix up a box of Duncan Hines. Confession time: I collaborated with Mr. Hines on all the previous carved cakes. But they were just for me. This was for someone else! But I didn’t have time for that either. I had to get Ian off to school, and take Nathan to the doctor, and also get the cake finished. Today.
Ganache to the rescue! Whoever invented that stuff ought to be a candidate for beatification. Not only does it taste amazing, it also worked miracles in holding my cake together. Hooray! I got it all carved and frosted that day, and covered it with fondant in the morning. My first real fondant cake! Definitely a learning experience, but it was so much fun – even when I was sure it would all fall apart. It has it’s flaws, but Beth was happy – and I’m pretty happy too.