"Hey, I can do that!"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tyler's 18th Birthday Cake

Tyler's 18th Birthday Cake
(+10 skill points => 355/400)

Happy Birthday to my youngest brother-in-law, Tyler.  I've been super busy lately so this had to be a pretty simple cake ... I didn't even write anything on it!  I'm giving myself 5 points for this cake and 5 points of another cake I made exactly like this earlier but didn't take pictures ... stupid cupcakes have been robbing me of points!

  • Duncan Hines French Vanilla with extension 8" round
  • filled and iced with caramel IMBC
  • ganache crumb coat
  • chopped peanuts, mini chocolate morsels, and chopped caramel bits on side
  • reverse shell border on top, shell border on bottom
The overall taste of the cake had me a little disappointed.  Since I've been using an extension/enhancement doctored recipe, I might need to compensate with more flavorings.  This doctored cake recipe yields about 1.5 times what a normal box cake yields.  This makes a taller 8" round that's also more sturdy.

Fast forward a bit (because I forgot to take photos from the beginning).  After making the caramel IMBC, I filled the leveled and torted cakes (baked in 2 8" round pans).  I made a little bit of semi-sweet chocolate ganache ... just enough to be a sturdy crumb coat and add a bit of chocolate.  The inspiration for this cake was a Snickers candy bar, but it kinda fell short.

Man, when I dirty ice, I dirty ice.

I don't think I'm improving much for smoothing and keeping IMBC even.  I do 8" IMBC rounds all the time and have yet to really nail it.  Oh well, this didn't need to be pretty.  Notice I put down strips of wax paper around the base of the cake that will be removed later.

I chopped up some unsalted peanuts and Kraft's Caramel Bits into smaller chunks.  After mixing in some mini chocolate morsels, I had me the base ingredients for a Snickers bar.

Internet research suggested to put down strips of wax paper around the base of the cake before adding chunky side bits.  These will catch the remainders and clean up will be a snap.  A couple weeks ago I made my first cake like this for my co-worker Jon.  The sides had chunks of white chocolate and pecans.  It looked so professional, I had to try this again for Tyler.  It's tricky to get everything evenly dispersed.  Some areas needed more chocolate or what not, so it took several passes to get it right.  I basically held a 1/4 cup of this mix in my palm and gently tipped my hand and held it against the side of the cake, starting from the top.  I wiggled my hand downward to get all the bits embedded into the icing. 

Fortunately I had the opportunity to try a slice of the cake.  The caramel bits were nice, but the rest just really didn't add much to the cake (besides the visual appeal).  I had scraps of Jon's cake and the pecans were so crunchy it was distracting and deterring from the cake.  Oh well.  Maybe straight up chocolate chunks are the way to go.

My reverse shell border was a little different this time.  I didn't form each shell one at a time ... instead just continually piping.  Since the tails didn't taper out, this made shells stand upward more.  Not sure if I like it, but it was definitely faster!

Happy Birthday, Tyler!
Thanks to all my family for letting me practice caking for them.

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