This is ambitious. I had a “Christmas in July” party at my house for about 30 people this weekend. Everyone brought food, but I was in charge of drinks and desserts.
These three cakes are chocolate/white buttercream, chocolate/chocolate buttercream, and spice/cream cheese icing. Sure, I’ve made them all before, but not on the same day.
After the party, we had plenty of leftover beer, but no leftover cake. I wonder if there are any cake recipes using beer? Watch for that in the coming weeks.
My niece wants to learn to be a cake decorator, so she spent the day with me this week. I used to teach Wilton Cake Decorating Classes at our local Jo-Ann Fabrics store, and it was certainly fun to dust off my icing skills.
We made flowers from buttercream, gum paste, and fondant. Practiced basket weave, swags, stringwork, and shell borders. Made two double batches of icing and used it all! One of the cakes we decorated went across the street to the church for a community dinner. That was the pretty cake! The remaining “Franken-cake” was already half eaten by our kids when I remembered to take this picture. You get the idea. What’s more fun than playing with icing then eating your creation?
If you’ve been following along, you’ve certainly noticed how often I run home to chocolate. I never get tired of it! This recipe is from the back of the container of Hershey’s Cocoa. I even used the frosting recipe from the container. It’s delicious and not difficult at all. It was gone in one day!
This is the second confection in the Year of Cake that I can’t claim to have made. My family took a fantastic vacation to a resort that takes July 4th seriously: The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan. The food and service were as wonderful as the scenery.
To prove the point, this is one of the many desserts served up to revelers. The dessert table was already partially ravished when I thought to snap a picture with my phone, but you get the idea. I added to the destruction of the beautiful cake with the…um…two or three pieces I took.
This cake was two layers of chocolate with a hint of coconut in the icing between them. Buttercream on top garnished and decorated with fresh fruit–who could ask for any better celebration?
See the magazine in this picture? It was totally worth the $9.99 in the grocery checkout line. Filled with beautiful cakes and cupcakes. Great recipes for cake, frosting, and ganache. I have devoured it several times.
So, why am I calling this the “Sorry, Martha” cake? Only because it isn’t beautiful. It tastes wonderful and decadent. I made the “One Bowl Chocolate Cake” recipe from page 81, but failed to entirely follow directions. I thought my 8-inch pans looked too full…and they were. I was supposed to divide the batter into THREE 8-inch pans. So, the cake is awkwardly tall. Kind of like me in the 6th grade. To cover it, I made the “Chocolate Ganache Glaze” from page 83. It is lovely and tasty, but my method of pouring it on was pretty messy. I’ll do better next time!
In the mean time, my sister and I raised a glass to Martha as we ate a piece. Only a small one, though, because it’s richer than a lottery winner.