My sister had her birthday in August and my plan was to make a four layer chocolate cake for her. This (I must say) was by far one of the best bakes I’ve ever done!
It started with my go to cake recipes for Hellman’s Chocolate Cake.Recipe It predates the box cake mix and it was what my Mom and Aunt’s made for special occasions. My two, I believe, crucial updates are the following:
- Use chilled brewed coffee in place of the water to heighten the chocolate flavor.
- Use King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend. This cocoa blend itself gives amazingly chocolatey flavor, so even if you didn’t want to put in that much coffee it would still be okay. You could even use a 1/2 tsp. of instant coffee in your water and get that slight bitterness that balances the sweet so well.
For the icing I normally would use stabilized whipped cream, but that didn’t come together so well, so I would suggest use your favorite icing, whipped cream, butter cream, etc. In the warm weather of California, whipped cream in August is a risky thing because it softens so quickly. For the filling I used fresh banana slices, but any seasonal fruit would work.
The marquee topper was simply cut out 50/50 Fondant/Gum Paste letters with dragees attached to the front. The letters had toothpicks strategically placed in the bases and were allowed to dry overnight.
Finally, I made rose cake “grenades,” using techniques from Wilton: Intro to Wired Gum Paste Flowers to go around the bottom of the cake. They were supposed to be cake pops, however they were too large to begin with and only got bigger as I added petals. LOL The rose centers where chocolate cake laced with some Bailey’s Irish Cream. Remember to use any alcohol sparingly as you would vanilla or cinnamon! The smaller roses were made using another technique Wilton Fondant Mini Rose , however my family doesn’t care for fondant so I used Wilton Candy Clay instead. This included all the rose leaves and calyxes under the flowers. Candy clay can also be iffy in the warm weather, but thankfully we had room in the refrigerator, so I made the flowers well in advance and stored them in an airtight container. This is important to remember because like butter, candy clay can pick up any off flavors you have in your refrigerator.
Honestly, I had so much fun making this cake! I hope you have a chance to try a few of these techniques! Have a great weekend!