Tuesday, 11 October 2011

DIY Birthday cake: nobody gets too much heaven no more,

It was my mum's birthday a whole month ago, so I decided to bake her favourite Blackforest cake before the 18th of September, Happy blessed birthday Mummy, we love you ♥ You could simply get a recipe online but I decided to improvise mine because of certain dietary preferences for low sugar levels and fresh ingredients in my family. Here are some tips for archival purposes as baking reflections, but you could just read along so you won't fall into these baking pitfalls on the way (even though I think they were pretty heelarious) Just my two cents' worth so take it with a pinch of salt ☀ 

1. On whipping cream
Chill your mixing bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes before starting on the whipping cream because the humid Singapore weather disintegrates it pretty fast. Also, you might want to get an electronic mixer instead, because after adding confectionery sugar after the soft peaks, the stiff peaks appeared really fast. Mixing manually, I couldn't gauge properly so it got churned to butter (irreversible) and I had to start over. Oh, and the cream doesn't stay fluffy for 3-4 days in the fridge without stabilizer, as you can tell the cream on my cake became really flat :( You can try adding a few teaspoons of instant pudding mix, I heard it works like a charm!

2. On cutting halves
This was where I went deadly wrong because I was so anxious to half the cake whilst it was hot and the top section broke into two (I'm sure you can spy some cracks on certain pictures hee) So I suggest you wait for it to cool down before taking a sharp knife to cut at the cross section, if not you can always cover your flaws using a bunch of strawberry hearts like yours truly hahaha.

3. On chocolate shavings
The pre-packaged ones in the supermarket were way too expensive for my liking so I decided to make my own, it's really simple! Take a bar of chocolate (of the ideal colour gradient you desire) and using an apple peeler, just shave the sides and Viola! Chocolate shavings ✌ If you wanna do chocolate curls, just melt a bar of chocolate on a flat aluminum tray and use a knife or a metal spatula to scrape a thin strip after it cools.

4. On Black forest filling
The key idea here is adding loads of cornstarch and waiting for the water to slowly evaporate whilst on a slow fire so it reaches a good consistency. Try not to mash it up too much in the pot because it becomes very runny and hard to spread over the cake later....that happened to me and it kept oozing out from the sides.

5. On storing
Haha I kept mine in the fridge for about 5 days, it still tastes the same except that it became really dry and the whipped cream flattened immensely. Also, it was hard to find a box to store it at first because I worked on it whilst it rested on an overturned porcelain place and was too fragile to be shifted. Would love to get one of those pretty cake stands.

So much to update but till later, ciao!

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