Posts tagged ‘cake’

August 18, 2010

Birthday Cake

So I’ll finally post a week (almost two) late! I know I said I would have lots of fun stuff for you, but I am slacking.  I could use the excuse of FINALLY moving in (you’ll see cute pictures soon!) but I will just say I’m sorry and I will not allow it to happen again!

So I thought to myself, “I will make the most beautiful birthday cake.  It will be a vision and people will ooh and aah about its glory.  It can’t be too hard. Can it?”

Well folks, Duff and his people make it look really easy! I learned I cannot carve a cake without taking off a good 2 or 3 inches.  I also learned that I’m not that great of a cake decorator and I either need to stick to easier desserts or take a class or some sort.

I dreamed of an elaborate cake, so I couldn’t just use the white box cake mix I has in my cabinet.  I wanted to add a blackberries, but unfortunately our blackberry bush is all shriveled from the sad little bit of rain we have received.  The blueberries at the farmer’s market looked fabulous though!  They make this really great purpley color that makes me so happy! I don’t think you can taste much difference in the cake batter.  I think it would have to be a more potent blueberry flavor for it to really come through once it’s baked.

The cream between the layers and the icing is really deluxe!  I used a recipe for the blueberry cream from Epicurious and the dark chocolate icing is also from there.  I think the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate balances the sweetness of the cream and the cake.  I just used a whole to-go packet of instant coffee because I couldn’t find instant espresso, and I really liked the extra coffee flavor. If you don’t like coffee at all you could leave it out and be just fine!

Actually icing the cake became quite an ordeal! I can’t cut cakes level for one, and the top layer ended up being about the same size as the middle layers.  It ended up looking a little like the Mad Hatter’s hat from Alice in Wonderland.  Cake decorating takes serious skill!  I tried, but it did not form into a work of art.  It did however taste REALLY good, and it lasted for about a week.  I basically ate cake for breakfast and sometimes lunch until I moved to back to school.  Well here’s how I did it!

Blueberry and Chocolate Birthday Cake

  1. The Cake
  • 2 boxes white cake mix (follow box directions for eggs and oil)
  • Blueberry puree (see blueberry cream recipe) – enough to replace the water the recipe calls for (more if you really like blueberries)
  • lots of cake pans

Mix the cake as directed, replacing the water with blueberry puree for one of the cake mixes. I was just able to use two 8in cake pans, a large tier, and another 7 in. cake pan, so it makes a lot of cake! Bake according to box directions

2.  The Blueberry Cream and Puree (adapted from Epicurious)

  • one container blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • splash of vanilla extract

Rinse blueberries and without drying them, put them in a food processor with the sugar. Blend to a puree.  The original recipe said to strain it, but I liked the bits so they stayed. Set aside the equivalent of the water in the cake mix.  Beat the cream until peaks form. (You cannot do this by hand! Well maybe if you’re awesome, but don’t waste your time. Break out the electric beaters!) Then fold in around 3/4 cup of the puree.  You now have delicious cream that can be used with lots of things!

3. The Icing (adapted from Epicurious)!

  • 1 pound bittersweet or dark chocolate (I use a combo of both because it’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)

Put chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set aside. Heat the cream and espresso powder.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then pour it over the chocolate.  Whisk the mixture until all the chocolate is melted.  Let refrigerate for about 2 hours or you can flash cool it in the freezer in about 30 minutes. Just keep checking on it.

Then you put the whole thing together.  Level the cakes.  Put chocolate icing over the bottom layer, then add the second layer to it.   I cut all my layers in two and put the blueberry cream in between them.  Ice the cake and make it beautiful!  Then eat it!