Today is Ethan’s birthday. He is five years old today. How he got from being a wee babe in my arms to the boisterous, chatterbox full of energy now is beyond me.
Anyway, we decided to have a birthday celebration for him in school last Friday, with his classmates, and feeling a little bit adventurous this year, I decided to bake him a birthday cake. Well, it was because I had inquired with several bakers on the price for the design Ethan wanted, and they quoted around RM180-RM250. Being frugal, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make the cake myself. Thankfully, the design Ethan wanted was not too complex to create. After all, it was only for 22 kids, right? No biggie… 😛
The customer (Ethan) had wanted a chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting, and he wanted Mickey Mouse’s face on the top of the cake. Not a 3-D design, just a simple, 2-D design. He wanted a round cake, not a cake in the shape of Mickey’s head, and he wanted the words in CHOCOLATE. Do we sense a theme here?
Being paranoid, I decided to do a trial run of the cake beforehand. I first used the recipe for the chocolate cupcakes I made, and attempted to fill the layers with the vanilla buttercream. Nah…didn’t quite work, because the chocolate cupcakes did not call for any eggs. And apparently for a pound cake, eggs are required to give it that FORM.
So then I bought a cake pre-mix, thinking that perhaps I could use that and just concentrate on the decorations instead. While this was easy to make, the results were not satisfying at all. The cake turned out rather dry and unappetizing.
Then I decided to try making the Love and Olive Oil’s Very Tall Chocolate Cake. It was supposedly to die for, and the picture certainly made the cake look good. It was my first time making cake in layers and also my first time making chocolate ganache. Man, did my kitchen smell awesome… 🙂
My first attempt did not turn out too good, because I only had 2 9-inch pans and the cake’s recipe made 3 9-inch cakes. So in an attempt to put the third cake into the oven, I hastily took out the hot cake from the pan to wash the cake pan.
Big mistake there. The cake broke into 3 or 4 pieces.
In the end, I had to use the chocolate ganache to seal the cake layers together. But taste-wise, it was excellent.
So I knew that was where I was going….and I started getting all the ingredients I needed. For the real deal, I *knew* I had to cool the cakes COMPLETELY before removing them from the pans.
Ethan’s party was on a Friday, so on Wednesday I started baking the cake layers, and at night, I assembled them together . Somehow, I ended up witrh 4 cake layers, so I used 3 for the birthday cake and the extra layer, I frosted it and cut some up for hubby’s friends at work.
On Thursday morning, I set to work with my fondant, decorating the cake in the way my boy wanted. This took way longer than I had imagined, but the results were very gratifying.
So I had a really delicious chocolate cake, sinful to say the least, topped off with a Mickey Mouse face on the top, all according to the customer’s request. Just seeing that look on Ethan’s face was enough to make me do it all over again.
And the cake? Decadent is the word you’re looking for. This was a recipe I would use again and again and again. Mmmm-mmmm… 🙂