When it comes to decorating cakes, I live in the shadow of my wonderful mom. She’s not a professional per se, but she has always produced fabulous cakes. As kids, my brothers and I always looked forward to seeing what amazing creation she would come up with for our birthdays.
Here is me on my first birthday with my lion cake. I wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini that skimpy these days...
She has also done several wedding cakes, including our own.
So, tomorrow is Brian’s birthday and wouldn’t you know it – the store is out of cake mixes! So today I have been on a quest to make a delicious from-scratch chocolate cake for his birthday. For my first attempt (yes, there was more than one…) I tried to go the frugal route, choosing a recipe that didn’t use a lot of expensive ingredients. (we're always trying to save money on groceries here) The results were disappointing. It barely tasted chocolate enough to deserve being called a chocolate cake.
I had to try again you see, because I was feeling bad that the birthday present I ordered and had shipped via DHL has still not arrived (there is no such thing as guaranteed delivery time for mail in PNG!). If he wasn’t going to get a present on his birthday, then he should at least get a nice cake! So the second recipe I tried didn’t cut any corners. A huge brick of butter, a whole cup of cocoa powder plus some melted dark chocolate and some strong coffee to bring out the flavor went into the mix. I must say that I am happy with the results as they come out of the pan – it looks awful chocolaty and it came out even and tall enough that I should be able to do three layers.
After it cools I’m going to do a crumb coat and then I’ll do the actual decorating tomorrow. It’s going to have an Oreo cookie filling. I haven’t decided how exactly I’m going to decorate it, but I think I’ll keep it simple. Nothing that you would see on a reality TV show. Besides, now that I’ve written a post about it I have the pressure to show a picture of the final product!