One day away! 5 hours to bake!
Its Saturday morning. I'm off from work and eager to spend the quiet time in the kitchen working on my cake. I changed my baby boy, handed him over to his sleepy dad, and let them snuggle the morning away while I bake!
Started a pot of hazelnut coffee, pulled up a chair and thought about all the ingredients I just took from the freezer. Over the week, I've constructed and reconstructed this cake in my head several times. Carefully thinking about each step and trying my hardest to mentally build and see what will work or not work. I've changed directions, then changed back, discovered problems, and solved others all without lifting a finger. I did practice with the left over trial 'scoops'. I tried my hand at using poured fondant to cover it. The mental building of the cake is integral to my own success. My usual m.o. is to make a recipe, see what went wrong then make it again much better, and near perfect. Cakes are different. I like to problem solve on paper first then with a little luck and prayer hope for the best. Knowing all the while that each cake will get better, my skills will get better, and one day the cake perfection I strive for will be found! One cake at a time though...
All my ingredients are nicely defrosted now. Time to build. I start with the illusive chocolate 'bowl'. The roulade is wonderfully perfect. I am very glad I went with the cream cheese filling, it seems to have a good pliability but also has more stability than a creamier filling might. I slice it up and begin to build the 'bowl' in a bowl. There's always a lovely sense of accomplishment and exhilaration, when you begin to see the dream take shape. What a lovely shape it was taking!
I popped that in the fridge to set and started re-beating my now somewhat softened buttercream.
(*note* Most recipes I find say if your going to use buttercream after it has been refrigerated to wait til it is room temperature then re-beat. I don't have the time! Ever! So say what you might, a quick 10 seconds at a time in the microwave works just fine! Keep a close, very close eye on it though, or melted butter will creep up on you.)
My cake scoops needed a quick fill of strawberry puree, strawberry buttercream and a few thin fresh strawberry slices.
Poured fondant was a quick recipe I found on the Wilton cake website. Besides having wonderful tools for everything cake, Wilton's website has quick 'shortcut' methods of classic cake accompaniments. Their version of poured fondant is powdered sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla. It was easy to make and to use. The only drawback I found was the thickness. The color was transparent. I covered all my scoops with plain white buttercream first which helped the fondants thinness not show. The chocolate fondant however didn't quite live up to what I had envisioned. It too was runny and see through. But because I have the freedom of working my mistakes into the cake design, my chocolate ice cream scoop simply became vanilla and chocolate swirl!
I'm feeling pretty good as I go for my chocolate bowl.
Success!!! The bowl is freestanding, beautiful, and oh so delicious! Now just to build all the components in the middle. My husband was skeptical of the structural integrity of the bowl, but as I clearly explained, I wouldn't be resting much cake weight on the bowl so it would be fine.
One scoop in!
Everything is all wrong! The sides are completely annihilated. Yes the weight of the scoops was too much for these delicate walls. The beauty of the bowl is quickly just a chocolate disaster beneath scoops that are now straining under their own weight. Defeat?!
It's time like these that I need to search my inner-self for a speck of patience and perseverance to keep me going. My first thought is can this even be remedied?! I'm learning the same lesson over and over with caking; when all seems lost, a delicious cake still needs to be produced. Something must be done! I've spent the better part of a morning on this pile of cake rubble. The party is set for tomorrow, this is the last 2 hours I have to make a memory the recipients won't forget! Something must be salvaged and served!
A trifle bowl to the rescue! Thankfully the chocolate roll was big enough that only half was used in my 'bowl'. The other half was just enough to line the glass trifle dish. From here smooth sailing! Though my pride is somewhat battered that the cake was not a sound structure. The help of a trifle dish makes the cake pretty, unique and like all the cakes before it absolutely delicious!
Cleanup is done and so am I!