Sunday, May 23, 2010

birthday cake

Today is my mom's birthday! She's a major chocolate fiend, so I wasn't surprised when she wanted a chocolate birthday cake. We decided to call it "Near Death By Chocolate", and you'll see why.

I confess that I'm not much of a baker. It's a bit too rigid for my liking. I'm more of an improviser and unless you have a pretty good grasp of what you're doing, baking isn't too forgiving in that respect.

I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour, which is just down the road from here (oh yes, be jealous). The recipe called for hazelnuts but I couldn't find them in any sort of affordable quantity, so I skipped them and just went for chocolate on top of chocolate, smothered in chocolate. The cake itself is pretty standard. The frosting between the layers is bittersweet chocolate, and the ganache is bittersweet chocolate combined with heavy cream. I had a little mishap with the ganache as I was applying it to the cake. I didn't realize the recipe was for about twice what I'd need to cover the cake, so I blithely dumped three quarters of it on, only to panic when it started to overflow the edge of the plate and creep across the counter like The Blob. I managed to clean it up and salvage a lot of the extra, which I used to make truffles...stay tuned!