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Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

So, like I’ve said multiple times before, when tests roll around, blogging gains so much appeal. I think I’m gonna try to blog once a day this week since I have a large surplus of recipes/pictures that I haven’t had the time to blog about in the past.

But anyway, this cake may look familiar, and that’s because it’s the very same one I made for Rachel’s bday a couple weeks ago. This time though, things went way more smoothly because I had worked out all the kinks on Rach’s cake (sorry Rach). My friends that got to taste this one said it was even better than the first. Win!

More win is the fact that the reason I made this cake was to enter it in the First Annual ASUC Food Contest. My friend Faryar helped plan it and even though it ended up being smaller than anticipated (haha) it was really fun. My cake “took the cake” as Anna said, and I won the first place prize–a $50 gift certificate to CREAM, the new ice cream sandwich place in Berkeley. Yummmm. Calories.

Anyway, I thought I’d use this post to demonstrate the steps in making a layer cake. And better yet, a layer cake coated in chocolate ganache and layered with strawberries.

First, I made 2 9-inch chocolate cake rounds in pans that were carefully sprayed and floured in addition to me putting a round of parchment at the bottom of each to ensure no stickage.

Then, I cut each round in half around the middle, carefully rotating as I cut to make sure the layers all came out as even and level as possible.

I spread a generous layer of mocha buttercream between the first layers (I made 1.5x as much as I did when I made it the first time, and this was a great choice) and carefully stacked the layers to make the cake as flat as possible. A good tip when doing this is to use the bottom half of one of the rounds as the base layer, and then invert the top of the round so that the cut side is facing up on top of that base layer. When you get to the top, its nice to have the bottom of the bottom layer facing up.

Between the second and third layers, I added some fresh sliced strawberries.

Then, I coated the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream to catch all the crumbs. This is called the crumb layer. I refrigerated the whole thing for about 30 minutes while making the ganache.

I poured out a lot of ganache on the top of the cake and slowly spread it towards the edges while letting it start to drip down. This is the hardest part. I rotated the cake constantly while spreading the ganache evenly around the outside of the cake.

To make the SUPERB logo on the top of the cake, I piped melted white chocolate out onto wax paper. I made about 20 versions of the logo to ensure it looked awesome. White chocolate dries at room temperature so I just left them out over night and they were perfect the next morning.

Finally, I added a garnish of whipped cream and strawberries to the cake. The most important thing with the strawberries is to dry the slices out a little bit on a paper towel because the juice doesn’t mix well with the ganache.

The final tip for creating a beautiful cake is to place pieces of parchment or wax paper under the first layer, in a ring. After everything is frosted, you can just pull these pieces out and you’re left with a beautifully clean plate/tray.

Voila! 4-layer, award winning cake!


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