Word has gotten out about my now famous chocolate mocha cake. This weekend I made one for a friend of a friend to celebrate Grandma’s birthday. Despite lots of practice I still get nervous about baking for relative strangers. Somehow I have to get over this, I’m making this cake for a friend’s Superbowl party next weekend, and for a different friend’s Valentine’s day dinner the following weekend.
Since this particular cake was for Grandma I wanted to make sure it looked extra special. I had several ideas for buttercream flowers but I just couldn’t get them to look the way I wanted in my practice session. Pipping class here I come! In lieu of buttercream flowers I went for my flowered stencil and decided to keep the look elegant by going tone-on-tone so I used cocoa to stencil the flowers onto my mocha buttercream. I was very pleased with the result.
I wanted to add some chocolate adornment but I didn’t want to cover too much of the beautiful design so I made some wedges. In my house properly tempered chocolate is hit or miss. I was prepared to try the wedges multiple times if necessary but for once I got perfectly tempered chocolate on the first try. My melted chocolate set back up firm and shiny. Making the wedges was a breeze.
Without a doubt something always goes wrong when baking for someone else. On this cake I piped some stars between the stenciled flowers to give the design some dimension. Some of these stars got in the way of the wedges, there was no working around it. Rather than ditch the wedges that I worked so hard on I decided to let them sit in the stars. Not perfect, certainly not planned, but not so bad either. The only other thing that went wrong was the setting of the cake on the board. Of course the cake was centered on the board when I started out but somewhere along the way this got away from me and I didn’t notice until it was too late. Rather than destroy the frosting that had already started to set I let the cake be off center. Not a catastrophe but it certainly bugged me. Note to self, I’ll pay more attention to this next time.
Overall I think the cake was a success. I truly hope that the family enjoyed the cake and I look forward to hearing some feedback.