homegrown mama

Posts Tagged ‘shower’

::Let them eat cake!::

In food, look what I can do! on 20112011-11-25T05:54:13+00:0030 9/11 at 05:54

She answered: chocolate. 

A military wife who’s relatively new to the base recently had her first daughter, Amelia. Wanting to celebrate the birth of this precious child, the fantastic Liz (a mutual friend) decided to throw Sherry (mommy) and Amelia a shower. I was responsible for the cake, among a few other small items. Liz asked Sherry what kind of cake she preferred. She answered: chocolate. She’s my kinda gal.

I have always loved baking but never as an art, just as a hungry girl with a sweet tooth. And let’s face it: cakes are intimidating these days. If it doesn’t have fondant, require cutting and reshaping, or feature moving parts, it comes across as rather juvenile, I find. With Cake Boss, Food Network Challenge, and Ace of Cakes on tv, it’s no wonder the art of cake-making has taken baking to a new, and seemingly unattainable, level.

However, I was armed and ready. I have an already well-loved recipe from Real Simple magazine (fave!) in my collection that provided a deliciously moist chocolate cake. The article is called The Only Cake Story You’ll Ever Need and it’s seriously a no-fail cake-making tutorial. Then, I came across this awesome filling/frosting option from Sweet Paul magazine for Chocolate Layer Cake with Salty Caramel Filling. Who could say no to that?! So I made Real Simple‘s chocolate cake recipe, and added Sweet Paul‘s salted caramel and chocolate ganache andta-da!—chocolate goodness on a plate.

And then! I was pinning one night (you know…as we do) and came across this tutorial for making chocolate leaves. Beautiful! And so sweet. So I asked Safeway’s floral department to box up some leaf discards for me and hubby brought them home so I could make the chocolate leaves. Note: make sure the leaves are considered NON-toxic. All I knew were rose leaves were good to use, and I forgot to ask what the other leaves were, so I had to throw most of them out. I followed the tutorial but ended up cracking about 4 of the leaves when trying to peel them off, leaving me with less than I wanted. But c’est la vie.

Close-up of the chocolate leaves

Full-sized cake.

I sprinkled more sea salt on top of the ganache, and surrounded the base of the cake with homemade chocolate salted caramels. Whoa baby, this was RICH! Also, the recipe for the ganache made WAY too much. Granted, I only put caramel between the cake layers and left the ganache for the outside. But even if I had added ganache between the layers, there still would have been too much. Half this recipe is more than enough!

The beautiful Sherry and her adorable Amelia!

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