People ask me many times if I make cakes. Sure, make them, but decorate them? Not a talent I possess… yet. While I can use some techniques that I have observed through the power of YouTube, this does not even compare to a real cake decorating class. Nor have I given the time to practice and practice and practice. It is a true art, and I fully appreciate those steady hands and patient minds that go along with the gift you cake decorators have! Perhaps I will take a few classes one day, when the timing is right. But for now, I present to you my ugly cake of the year.
Why would I show you this cake? Because
I need you to all feel sorry for me with the amount of time I dedicated toward it it was completely awesome regardless of appearance.
Actually, I wanted to demonstrate the steps that I took following a website that I admire. I am sure some of you have seen the cute polka dot cake on Pinterest. So, I checked out her other cakes and found these really AMAZING designs.
While I was making the cakes, I discovered a big fact. I am not her. She makes the cakes look flawless and I cannot. I wanted to make one anyway, and, WHY NOT? With Valentine’s Day in the near future, I thought this to be a good chance to hide some hearts within.
And get my chocolate fix on as well.
I will not kid with you, it’s a big project. I did however have some helping hands in the kitchen with me! My daughters wanted to naturally participate, so I let them make the sugar cookies that was placed inside the cake. (As well as outside for decoration.) It’s a traditional sugar cookie recipe that I grabbed of the internet; find any you like, and add food coloring if you want them to be unique in the cake.
I made the sugar cookies pink, because it would look nice within a red velvet cake. There is something magically beautiful when you put pink next to red… JUST for Valentine’s day. The rest of the year, I don’t advise those two colors together. (I have color issues!)
Next, I created two batches of red velvet cake (box kind!) Yep, I cheated… ahem, saved TIME. This is where I think, what’s the big deal? Stuff the cookies in a half baked cake, and bake. Easy? Well, not SO easy. I had no idea how long to let the cakes cook since they were twice the size, so I had to periodically check with a toothpick. Once they were done, I made the mistake of letting them cool in the pan. BIG no no. Even I know better, but it was late, and I was tired. So, when it came time to take the cake out of the pans, they naturally stuck. I gently reheated them up to loosen them, and still had to cut them in half to have them fall out of the pan. I made some buttercream frosting in the mixer (though you could use the canned kind) because I needed something that was going to be strong to mend my cake back together. Cake repaired, and looking U.G.L.Y at this point!
So I’m thinking, I quit. This is too hard, blah blah blah. No! I invested too much time, and I wanted to taste it when it was correctly frosted! I made a big batch of dark chocolate ganache, which turned out to not be enough for this immense cake. Now at this point I think, “what’s next?” Oh yea… my frosting smoother was missing in the kitchen. Turned out my Hubby had that cake decorator in his car (using it as an ice scraper!!) So, I smoothed the ganache as nicely as I could with a butter knife. And found I had waited too long (while looking for the cake decorator!) and it had pretty much set up. *Sigh*
So, I took the leftover heart cookies, and covered the ugly middle section. Ahhhh, now it was coming together. Picture taking time, for you all to see my um, well… masterpiece. And there you have it!
Then, after ALL that, I of course had to cut the cake for you to see the hidden hearts. (And to see if it had actually worked!) It had worked! Though, I should have added more cookies inside to get it more perfect. Some hearts laid down within, and some stood up giving an inconsistant appearance. So, if you try to make this cake, FOLLOW HER DIRECTIONS exactly. I tried to shortcut it and it does not pay off.
Was there any reward in the end? OOOOOOOHHHHH yea. The cake was FABULOUS to eat. Who cares if it was not glamorous? It was delicious! Red velvet…dark chocolate ganache… homemade frosting? Worth it.
If you want to make this cake, hit Once Upon A Pedestal for her directions. She has some pretty amazing cake ideas! Also, I am sure you are curious if I could taste the cookie within the cake, and the answer is no. I was surprised to find it matched the cake texture perfectly!
Happy Valentine’s Day!