Happy Birthday…

Today will be the first post of hopefully many posts to follow.  I was thinking of what would be a great New Year’s resolution, and although there are many that would definitely top the list – go to the gym, eat healthy, take better care of myself and my family – I know that one thing I would definitely want to focus on would have to do with my baking projects.  This year, I would seriously give this “hobby” the time that it deserves.  So with that, I would like to say, “Happy Birthday” to the Willyummsbakery blog site, where my goal is to share with you my cake projects, all the fun times…and the not so fun times…and in finding that “Yey!” at the end of the day.  Most importantly, I am creating this blog for myself, so that I can chronicle what I’ve accomplished in hopes of always improving with each new creation.

Cake with candlesSpeaking of birthdays…the cake featured above was one that I made for my sister on her 42nd birthday, celebrated on the eve of the New Year!  Coincidence? I think not!  If I must summarize this experience in 4-words, it’ll be “Thank goodness for KitKat”.  More on that later…

Anyway, this cake was a 3-layer chocolate mousse cake with chocolate brownie at the bottom followed by a layer of smooth chocolate mousse, a thin layer of fresh strawberries, and then another layer of strawberry mousse.  The topping was a rich chocolate ganache, with fresh strawberries and bordered with KitKat, nonetheless.  I looked at several recipes online, combined ideas and tweaked them a little to create my own spin (links below for helpful how-tos).

I’ve learned 2 things from making this cake:

  1. I’ve learned for the first time how to create strawberry “rose” garnishes…Below is an up close shot of one of my test strawberry rose. 20151230_220656 This is definitely way better than the sliced version of strawberry garnishes that I’ve used to decorate my cakes with in the past!
  2. Second lesson learned, and one that I cannot stress enough:  be patient!!!  So here comes the KitKat story:  ” I finished topping the cake with my strawberry mousse and I let it sit in our fridge for 25 mins. just like I did with the chocolate mousse.  I slightly peeled a portion of my wax paper to see if it’s forming properly and I was pleasantly surprise that the mousse held up. So with confidence, I unlatched the spring-form pan and peeled off the  rest of the wax paper (reminder to self: invest in some plastic collars).  Voila! the cake is still holding its shape.  Yey! right?  Well… not quite.  I poured the chocolate ganache, which quite frankly I thought had already cooled to room temperature.  From this point, I started to see my cake sinking and deforming. Oh no! What have I done?!?!?!  Anyway, I am not sure if it was because the ganache was still warm or our house was warm (hmmm…was the heater on?) but from the looks of it, my mousse had started to melt 😦  Luckily, some magical hands appeared (thanks Hubby) and alas with some maneuvering, was able to cover the side of the cake with wax paper, re-inserted it into the spring-form pan and safely returned it to the fridge. At this point, I’ve decided to walk away and give my “broken” cake some time to heal itself. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, I really hate waiting….After another hour, I braved the fridge, took out the cake, and prepared myself to face the damage.  To my surprise, after removing the pan and the wax paper, I found that the cake was just fine with only some minor damage to the sides where the ganache had been smashed.  After a trip to our local store for some KitKat, some cutting and mending, and…Tada! our cake is done :).  Who knew that KitKat would be the answer to my dilemma?”

I am happy to report that the final cake got its “ooohhs” and “ahhhhs” at the party and was happily devoured by all.  It even provided some comedic entertainment as my 8-year old son said: “Mom almost dropped the cake!”

Anyway, til our next adventure….


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