Thursday, July 12, 2012

All American Cake (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

I love America. 

We have Oreos,



and Sally Fields.  

Oh, Sally.  

The woman is notorious for playing a bad-a mom.  Seriously dudes, you do not want to cross this chick.  

I've been on a Sally kick for the past few weeks and on Sunday I settled in to watch "Not Without My Daughter."  Have you ever watched a movie that made you feel like you were in a locked sauna?  Basically, you want to punch someone, but are too busy trying to breathe and maintain the fetal position.

Ya, it was intense. 

I feel like it is my duty then, to offer some guidelines: 1) Do not watch this movie if you have a pre-existing fear of travel.  2) Skip it, if having an irrational desire to request proof of U.S. Citizenship from all potential dates seems extreme.  3) And above all, do not watch this right before bed unless relentless, tortured dreams are your cup of tea.  

Did I mention, I LOVE America?  

No, being scarred by that movie is not the reason I made this cake.  It just makes me wish I had a piece left because, in this instance, eating my feelings with the help of some cake in all its American pride and glory seems like the only logical thing to do.


So July 4th.

It's a pretty big day in our house.  The birthday of our great country and the birthday of the best brother in the whole world! (<----- test to see if he "really" reads my blog ;)

What about this scenario doesn't scream - "Needed: Cake of Epic Proportions" ?? !? !!!?!

Only one could fit the bill: All American Cake.

From the moment I laid eyes on this cake it was like we were meant for each other.  5 Layers.  Plain outside...flag marvel-fantasticness on the inside.  I LOVE secret details like this.  And to top it all off, this blog couldn't stop raving about how "easy" it was.

Well I'm here to tell you that "easy" is too flippant a word.

1) Baking for hours on end because...for the sake of cake consistency...I only baked one layer in the oven at a time.
2) Trying to make white and dark chocolate ganache using candy melts all the while not realizing that the almond bark that you are not supposed to use is in fact the same thing.
3) Whipping up a chocolate buttercream at literally the very last second (people were killing time by watching Storage Wars while I kept proclaiming - "the cake is almost ready!").
4) Actually, physically frosting the monstrosity.

...After all that, I would like to offer a more appropriate word: Involved.

Sure, it doesn't take a genius, but don't make any other plans cause you be stayin' in for the night.
You need a large round cookie cutter to create the blue and white/red layers.  I used the second to largest ring in this package I picked up from Michaels.
These layers weren't that difficult to make at all.  You just place the ring in the middle of your cake pan and pour blue batter on the outside and red/white in the cookie cutter.  Then carefully lift straight up!

The outer edges of these layers got the most discolored from baking.  I had to slice off a thin top layer to get this picture.

For a "truer" blue color, I would suggest purchasing one of those Wilton concentrated colors you can get at craft stores.  I have food gel which is supposed to work a lot better than the drops, but I put a ton of coloring into this blue batter and it still didn't come out rich enough.
What I thought was going to be my white and dark chocolate ganache.  The picture before the storm.

Learn from my misfortune: Candy melts (i.e. almond bark) do not make ganache.  They make a grainy, soupy sauce.

I was able to use the white chocolate one for my layers.  I just spread the thinnest amount possible.  But the dark chocolate one was unsalvageable.
The makings of a grand cake.

For the frosting I went with this Chocolate Buttercream recipe.  I used about a 1/2 cup less of the powdered sugar because I hate sticky sweet frosting.


It worked!  It worked!  It really worked!

After all the time I spent and the last minute changes I had to make, I was a little wary that this "project" would turn out like my Cake Pops - total disaster.

But after making those first slices and carefully removing a massive chunk, I couldn't wipe off the big fat grin that found its way to my face.

God Bless America. 

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