I love cake. I don’t think I knew how much I loved cake until I started working at a bakery that specialized in cakes, where I daily see, smell, talk about, write about, draw, write on, blablabalbla cakes. I also didn’t realize how much I enjoyed making cakes until I had enough time to devote to making and decorating a cake from scratch! It was always hard to make cakes in college because cakes take a lot of time and effort. I’m not one to bake from a box (though yes I’ve hit rock bottom quite a few times in college and succumbed to those $.99 pleasures), frost a cake and call it done. I love making it a half-day project where I can work on my own, as slow and particular as I want to be (which by the way, does not equal success in a commercial bakery. you gotta HUSTLE up in there!). And during my funemployment months, I found comfort and joy in my ability to create something that tastes and (if I must say so) looks good! So here are my post-grad, post-Asia cake ventures!
After three months of zero baking, I decided that the first thing I wanted to make was a birthday cake for my good friend’s birthday. I made this Raspberry White Chocolate Cake using this recipe. Three mistakes that day: I ran out of eggs and substituted apple sauce for two eggs, I added raspberry extract to white chocolate while I was tempering it, and I left the cake in the pan for too long. That translated to: a cake that wasn’t properly emulsified and broke apart when I tried to remove it from the pan, white chocolate that crumbled up into hard rocks (when you add a liquid to melting chocolate…game over), and cake that just won’t come off the darn pan. Yup. It was pretty disastrous. If you could only see the sides of this cake… But at least it tasted good! Bonus points for discounted raspberries!
Ah my birthday month! One fine day I typed “elephant cake” on Pinterest and found plenty of adorable birthday cakes! They were mainly for children aged 5 and under. But nevertheless I decided to copy one and make it for myself! I knew I wasn’t going to eat it and that it would be purely for decorating purposes (it’s also 6 inches in diameter). So I made a cake that was purple inside (not caring how it tasted), with my favorite animal on top and called it my own birthday cake.
Happy Birthday to me! (Can you imagine how sad it was to dump this cake, unsliced, uneaten in the trash can? Yes I am the kind of person who makes a cake just to decorate it.)
I was tasked to purchase a cake from the bakery I work for, for my step-grandma’s birthday. BUT, seeing as this is yet another opportunity to exercise my cake-making prowess, I volunteered to make it instead! I chose a white chiffon cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream inside with a whip cream frosting on the outside because it was the cake they had wanted me to buy. I perused online for a recipe for a good hour, compared them and decided to use smitten kitchen’s recipe. This was the first recipe I’ve ever used from her site!
It was a light and fluffy, tasty vanilla cake that had a nice hint of lemon. Do note that strawberries are not their best in November though. But overall, I liked the cake! I definitely prefer whipped cream frosting to buttercream because it’s lighter and easier to spread on the cake!
I also made my first ever, chocolate chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday! I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make two 6 inch round cakes, one for me and one for my friend :). I decided not to use an all milk chocolate frosting and used semi-sweet instead (I find milk chocolate to be too sweet) and I also added whipped cream in the middle of my cake to offset all the chocolate. Overall, I think it turned wonderful! It does harden quite a bit in the fridge so I’d leave it out in room temperature before serving (unless you put whipped cream inside like I did…then you better not).
And thus ends my streak of cake-making! I need more friends who appreciate cake on their birthdays. So holla at me if you want one for your birthday!