Monday, July 23, 2007

One birthday cake down, one to go...

I think a common trait that all people who cook share is that they are opportunists. Whenever anyone has a birthday or a gathering or a night in, they offer to take care of the food (HAH! I know you're guilty). And being as gluten-free and dairy-free as I can tolerate lately, I quite missed the feeling of baking with butter and wheat flour, what can I say, they do make cakes pretty darn good. So on Fred's birthday I appointed myself official birthday cake maker and decided I wanted to go all out, with the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cream, chocolate, layers, frostings... and here's what I ended up with.

Burnt sugar cake with layers of milk and dark chocolate ganache and kahlua spiked cream topped with a rich buttery caramel frosting.

Notes for the cake:
I had to make the burnt sugar syrup 3 times because the first time I overlooked the part where I had to add in HOT water, and added in tepid water which make the caramel harden. Second time I cooked it for a tad too long and it became bitter. Third time lucky. =). I notices my syrup wasn't VERY dark brown but more like a rich hazel color.

Notes for the ganache:
I used this simple recipe of 1/4 cup cream: 125g chocolate. The top layer is a milk chocolate ganache while the bottom is a dark chocolate ganache. I did that because I ran out of dark choc. =P no other reason.

Notes for soaking syrup for cake:
Mix 1/2 cup water with 2 tbsp of instant coffee powder and 1/3 cup kahlua. Brush cooled cake layers with syrup after assembling. i.e. place the cake layer in place on top of the cake board and brush first layer, and then top with ganache and place second layer on top before brushing with syrup. Repeat.

Notes for kahlua spiked cream:
Simply whip 200ml of thickened cream until soft peaks form, add in 1/2 of icing sugar and 3 tbsp of kahlua, whip a little more until stiff, chill before spreading on 2nd layer.

Notes for the caramel frosting:
I followed recipe exactly except I reduced the icing sugar and used 2 tbsp of cream at the end to thin it out. It set pretty quickly.


Cindy said...

Wow, that is one awesome cake! I'm too chicken to try to layer the ones I bake.

Yep, I am also guilty of offering to make food whenever the opportunity arises. :-)

Hui Wen said...

Great cake! I know how hard it is to suppress a baking itch and would be more of an opportunist if I kept in touch with more people. Good reason to socialise.:-)

PASSIONATE BAKER....and beyond. said...

LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!! Am guilty too of being the official cake baker on birthdays. At least gives me an opportunity to try something new. Love layer cakes, and yours looks too good to miss. Am gonna try it this month, as a load of birthdays are coming up! Thanks for the post.
Do drop by at my place sometime...I'm passionate about baking & food! Ciao for now!