Friday, March 25, 2011

Cake Doctoring

So I know I called a moratorium on cake eating a little while ago, at least until my birthday/my brother's wedding, but I forgot something - one of my very good friend's birthdays.  I found out last week that nobody was planning on making a cake for the party that she was having this past Wednesday.  So I felt that this was a tragedy and offered.  She requested red velvet cake and as I am pro from scratch cake I figured piece of cake (hahahaha, see what I did there?).  Until I checked my bank account.  (Yikes, that is a scary place).  And so I was going to compromise, I was going to do box mix cake and homemade frosting, because honestly I don't have too many bones with box mix cake as much as I find frosting from a can to be utterly revolting  (which considering how much I've been accused of being a sugar addict is kind of strange).  I went to the store only to discover that my particular store of choice does not carry a red velvet box mix, and I really couldn't muster the motivation (or the gas in my car) to go on a multi-store search.  So I re-evaluated.  I found a chocolate mousse cake mix.  Now there was something I could work with because there would be no canned frosting involved (!!!).  And because I felt guilty that I wasn't delivering exactly what was asked of me I compensated by also making two dozen funfetti cupcakes which did unfortunately get the canned frosting because I know some people like that junk.

So the chocolate mousse cake was pretty much your standard chocolate cake mix although I couldn't for the life of me get it to release from the pans.  I found a handy tip/trick from Bon Appetite online and totally warrants sharing.  Now this only works for metal or non stick pans (do NOT do this with glass pans unless you would like them to shatter or otherwise get ruined).  But if your cake was stuck (like mine were), you can turn a burner on your stove on (gas or electric works, but if it is electric give it a chance to heat up).  And pass the bottom of the cake pan through the flame or on the hot burner for several seconds.  Then when you flip it and shake it should finally release (though still slightly unwillingly).  So the cake gets made, the mousse mix gets made and as I'm inspecting my mousse mix and the cake mix box I realize that there is only enough mousse to go on top of and in between the cake layers.  I consider that this will probably be fine and then I consider that my cake had some stickage problems and is a little unsightly.  I want to put mousse mix on the outside edges too I decide, which means one of two things - I can run out and by another box of just chocolate mousse mix and hope that it matches in flavor and consistency to the one I already have or two I can find something else to put in between the layers, thus giving me enough mousse mix to put around the sides and hiding my cake's flaws.  I opt for door number two.  So I open the fridge and stare blankly into its portents and unearth some "fancy" jam (I call it fancy because it is a) not Smuckers and b) costs around 7 or 8 dollars a jar) which is my favorite type of jam to bake with (hello jam cookies!) because it is usually thicker and stands up to heat better than say Smuckers.  So I now have the better half of a jar of fancy red raspberry jam (I used Stonewall Kitchen jam, I love love love this stuff).  I dump the entire contents of the jam jar onto the bottom layer of the cake and spread it around with an offset spatula.  Now bear in mind this jar was not full, although I think an entire jar of jam would work well on a 9" cake, because I ultimately found myself wanting more jam when I had a piece.  Then I slapped on layer number two and slathered the whole thing with chocolate mousse et voila a chocolate raspberry chocolate mousse cake!  I grabbed a bottle of raspberry wine that was sitting around my room (which paired PERFECTLY, don't knock fruit wines until you try them) and served that up for a semi homemade cake doctored birthday dessert.  It was definitely a huge hit.

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