Monday, November 16, 2009

The Wedding Cakes!


My mom got married this weekend, and these are the cakes I made for the joyous occasion. I know some of you will be relieved that my cake-fest is over, but I have bad news for you: It's not. I have started selling batches of cupcakes, and am working on getting myself some business there will still be a lot of cake recipe testing to come. You'll just have to bear with me. Meanwhile, I have a new stepdad, and that's pretty cool.

These cakes were my wedding present, and they are all cakes which have made appearances on this blog before because I worked on the recipes all summer in preparation. From top left: Carrot cake, Black Chocolate Cake, and Banana Cake with Nutella icing.

(who knew blueberries were so vivid green on the inside? I'd never noticed before!)

The chocolate cake was the most popular, and was the first to be polished off. The kids present didn't know what to make of a chocolate cake with blueberries & raspberries inside and on top, but there were a ton of tiny little Hershey's bars present so they were ok.

Chocolate Ganache
2/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
6 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp light corn syrup

Do not make ganache until you are ready to use it, like when you have assembled the cake and the base icing is smooth, or when your donuts are already fried and cooled, etc.

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small sauce pot. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and corn syrup, let sit for a few minutes until chocolate is melting, then whisk until smooth. Pour over cake immediately. Smooth with an icing knife or whatever you can manage.

(sorry the photo's not more glamorous, we'd all had some really delicious white sangria by this point and I couldn't be bothered to mess with manual settings. ha!)

I added 2 layers of caramel cream to the banana cake, at the request of the groom. He approved of the result wholeheartedly. Good thing, too, cause I messed up the first batch of caramel cream so badly it was basically a weak dulce de leche. If I hadn't been so caked out, and if I hadn't had to travel with it, I would've held onto it to make tres leches cake or something. I'll just have to do it again on purpose sometime.

Caramel Cream
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
3 3/4 cups whole milk
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla

Measure out the cornstarch into a small bowl. Add 1 cup of the milk to it and whisk until smooth. Measure out the rest of the milk into another bowl. You will not have time to measure things once you have started.

Using a wooden spoon or heat-safe rubber spatula, stir the sugar and water in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until it looks like caramel. It will go through phases and will look like sand, gravel, rock candy, etc, and eventually will be liquid and dark brown. Let it get a tiny bit darker than you think it needs, because it will be paler when the milk is added. Do not, at any point, stop stirring. I mean it!
When it's nice and dark amber, remove from heat and add the whole milk (not the starch milk!) in a slow small stream while whisking constantly. Return to heat and add the starch milk while still whisking, a little faster now. When it thickens to a state just below, say, molasses, and has cooled a bit, add the butter and whisk until incorporated. Let cool almost completely before spreading it.

If using this caramel cream between layers of cakes, you will have a ton of leftover caramel, so you might want to bake a batch of brownies and swirl the caramel on top, or some cupcakes and inject it in them or something. Don't waste it!
Also, the cake will need to be refrigerated to let the caramel set before serving it.

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