Ok so here’s the deal.
I’m not perfect. Yes, I make a lot of delicious stuff, but pastry chef I am not.
This stuff is all still kind of new to me. I’m pretty much learning it all as I go. And sometimes I make mistakes, or things don’t come out quite perfect.
So, I’m not going to edit, or censor.
Every single baked good I make, and even some of the savory things will end up on here. Hopefully, it will help me get better.
Right now I’m working on tiered layer cakes.
They’re really not that difficult, but to a perfectionist also not that simple. I want my cakes to come out looking like something from a Martha Stewart magazine. Probably a bit of a stretch considering I’ve made a total of two so far. For the first two, I think they’re pretty good.
The first cake was practice for the second. I wanted to give my mother a beautiful little layer cake for her birthday. I had cocoa powder so I thought a chocolate cake would be nice. And considering my slightly insane love of raspberries I thought I would fill the layers with raspberry purée. It was pretty amazing.
The cake was moist and intensely chocolate. The raspberry complimented it perfectly. The frosting was just ok. I used the basic frosting recipe from Hershey’s (even though I wasn’t using their cocoa powder). I remember loving this frosting as a kid. Now it seems far too sweet and slightly grainy. I also made mini cupcakes with the left over batter.
They were filled with raspberry and quite cute.
The second cake I made for my mother was an orange buttercream cake. It was damn good. And very rich. It turned out looking much better then the chocolate cake. Buying a cake-frosting spatula helped immensely. I will post that recipe soon.
I have a goal to make a wedding cake for someone. So I will continue working on my cakes, and eventually I will make a gorgeous, huge, tiered layer cake that looks good enough for Martha.
Good tools are key for these types of cakes. So is buttering and flouring the pan. They’re not that hard and look quite impressive, I would definitely recommend trying them to impress someone for their next birthday.
Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake
1 cup coffee
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 whole milk
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks of butter softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 pans, you can use a variety of shapes, sizes and types. You want to make enough cake to have layers and tiers as well. I used an 8-inch spring form and a 4-inch. I then had to slice each finished cake in half.
2. Brew 1 cup of strong coffee. Mix cocoa powder in with coffee until dissolved. Once cooled add milk.
3. In another bowl mix flour, and baking soda.
4. In a mixer using the paddle attachment cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time until well blended. Add flour mixture and coffee mixture alternating, starting and ending with flour.
5. Pour into cake pans, filling 3/4 full. Place pans on cookie sheet and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Times will vary based on cake pan size. The timing I use goes a little like this: 14 minutes for mini cupcakes, 18 minutes for regular size cupcakes, 20 minutes for smaller cake pans and 40 minutes for larger cake pans. Just watch them, and keep a toothpick handy. It’s not that hard. I promise
6. Once cooled place cakes in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This makes them much easier to slice. Slice cakes in half, as well and leveling the top. Leveling isn’t necessary but helps. Start with the bottom tier first, fill with raspberry filling. All I did was cook a bag of frozen raspberries for 20 minutes with 4 tablespoons of sugar. Put top on first tier and return to freezer for another 20 minutes. Repeat this process with the second tier.
7. Frost the layers. Start with the bottom layer, putting a large amount of frosting on the top and working your way to the edges. Allow the frosting to fall over the edges and smooth along the sides. Put the second tier on top and repeat the process. Using a frosting spatula will allow for much smoother frosting.
Here’s the recipe I used for the frosting.