Wednesday, September 8, 2010

making a layer cake

yesterday i had the opportunity to make a layer cake, which i haven't done in a while so it was good practice for me. the cake was for my friend's younger sister's birthday. my friend told me that her sister liked a cake she had before that had white chocolate & strawberries. yumm! so i was thinking how i could incorporate the two ingredients together so i decided to make a vanilla cake with white chocolate ganache filling, layered with fresh strawberries. this was my first time working with white chocolate ganache so i wasn't really sure how it would turn out, but anyhow, let's get started!

i used the vanilla buttermilk cake recipe from Sky High, Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, which you can find here. i only used half the recipe because i was only making 2 6" round cakes & it came out perfect. i think i could've done a third layer, but using two cake pans was fine too. so after the cake is done cooling you want to level the two cake by cutting the top dome off the cakes with a serrated knife. 

since the cake is going to have a filling you want to make sure the filling doesn't ooze out of the middle. so to prevent this, you want to build a dam around the edges by piping buttercream along the sides of the cake. 

then you want to fill it with whatever you want. first i put a layer of white chocolate ganache. i don't remember where i got the recipe because i had to do some research. some people say to add butter, but for this one i just used equal parts white chocolate & heavy cream & melted them in a double broiler.

then a layer of fresh strawberries.

if you're going to make a triple layer cake, you would just repeat the same steps again. after you're done with the fillings, it's time to top the cake with the final layer. when you put on the top layer, you want to place it upside down so the top would have a smooth top & egdes. 

then you want to frost your cake with a thin layer of frosting first because there will be some loose crumbs floating around the frosting while you do this. you don't have to make this smooth & perfect because you're going to add another layer of frosting. after you're done with this process, you want to put it in the fridge for a few minutes until the frosting hardens a bit. if you keep adding layers of frosting while it's still soft, you'll probably end up with some cake crumbs on the outer layer.

(2nd coat of frosting)

& here's the final product

i didn't know how i wanted to decorate the cake because my friend didn't have a preference, but i wanted to keep it simple. i was nervous about putting the strawberries on top because i could never make it look pretty, which is why i don't make fruit tarts as often. i was lucky this time & the strawberries actually looked okay (from far away). i didn't get to taste the cake, but hopefully my friend & her family enjoyed it!

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