It Ain’t Pretty…

But it is tasty!

I’ve been wanting to make a cake the past few days. This morning I decided I’d make a chocolate cake with strawberries somewhere in the mix.

I gathered the ingredients using a King Arthur Flour chocolate cake recipe from one of their cookbooks. The recipe was for single layer, so I doubled it as I wanted two layers. There was also a recipe for chocolate ganache icing.

After the cakes had baked and cooled, I leveled off the bottom layer. Since strawberries were part of my vision, I melted some strawberry jelly I had made to brush on top of the bottom cake, somewhat like a glaze. It was still a little thick, so next time I’ll add a bit of liquid of some sort—maybe a red wine.

Next step was to pipe and spread a little chocolate buttercream icing as a base for the sliced strawberries.

I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to place the strawberries. So I just started adding them, starting from the outside edges and working my way in. This was topped with a second layer of the buttercream icing.

The top layer was then put in place.

It was at this point the “ain’t pretty” came into play. Since I had only made a half-batch of the buttercream icing, I didn’t have enough for what should have been the next step. After putting the top layer on, I realized I probably should have made a full batch of the buttercream. The extra would have put used to “even” out the sides by filling in the little gap between the top and bottom layers.

Using the King Arthur recipe for chocolate icing, I made a quick ganache. Since it was to run down the sides of the cake to coat. Unfortunately, since I hadn’t filled in the middle gap, the icing ran down the sides as expected, but “jumped over the middle part,” leaving the gap visible. Had I used the buttercream more prudently, the icing would have helped the ganache flow better and more evenly.

The final step was to place what was left of the strawberries on the top. This way, no matter what, we would get a good mouthful of chocolate and strawberries, a heavenly combination. I decided to mimic the pattern from the middle layer.

The end result isn’t earning me any presentation points, but I would get a few bonus ones for flavor. Even though I know we eat first with our eyes, at least it tastes good once the mouth gets involved.

I’ll make my notes for next time. Take care I don’t repeat the same mistakes. And it will be even better on the second try.

Live and learn, eh!?

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