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Old 04-22-2011, 01:48 AM   #21
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Thanks for the input. How do you think such a combo would taste? How do you think such a cake might hold up? Would the fruit turn the cake to mush?

I have been wondering about how I might pull this off and still coat in ganache. I came up with a nutty scheme to make a small amount of buttercream and them build the cake by piping a bead of butter cream near the edge of a layer, then fill the center with fruit mix, adding the next round of cake, piping another edge band of buttercream, etc. This would hold the fruit in place and allow me to do a crumb coat on the outside with buttercream so the ganache will go on smoothly.

Is this nuts?
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:13 AM   #22
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Not nuts at all! You are actually right on the money. It is called a damn and used by cake decorators to hold in a filling. I use it even when I am filling with the same buttercream because it helps to set up a height guide for the filling. You don't even have to waist a piping bag or tip. Just fill a ziplock, and cut a whole in one corner the diameter being similar to how high you want your filling to go. Run it around the cake and then fill.

Once you have all your layers, refrigerate your cake before putting on a "crumb coat" of buttercream and again before you add your ganache.

I think those flavours would work - just chop your fruit quite fine so people aren't getting chunks.

If you do want a chocolate buttercream that is light and not to sweet, instead of adding tons of other flavours with the fruit, I have a good one. I think I posted it before, but I will find the link for you.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:36 PM   #23
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Cake day today and I have to admit the cake won!

Cake day actually started yesterday with baking and basic assembly. I altered the recipe quite a bit to fix moisture balance in the cake. The seasoning blend got changed up as well. After the earlier test run and comments from 12 tasters their bottom line was that this was too highly spiced. They didn't like the clove flavor and found the rum was overkill and when I asked them about the coffee they could not taste it at all. Too many flavors soooo... I cut the nutmeg in half, took the clove out entirely, added some red pepper and used walnuts instead of pecans. My version has no coffee, traditional buttercream (no rum) and a prune and dried cherry purree between the layers.

8 AM Yesterday: I made 2 complete recipes of cake in 4 10 inch pans. Yup - I doubled the recipe.

11 AM: I made the fruit filling, chocolate buttercream and then after some tasting added cocoa pwd and some butter to the fruit filling (not too much) but it deepened the flavor nicely. heck what's a little extra butter when there's 6 sticks of butter in the cake already.

2 PM: I assembled the layers making a dam of butter cream near the edge of each round. I only used 3 layers - not 4, and added a generous layer of fruit between each. Then I put a crumb coat of buttercream on the whole thing and stuck it in the fridge. The fourth layer got halved and treated the same way. It will be decorated and served at the kids table with some toffee icecream.

3 PM: Dish washing commenced. OMG!!! I have never used so many dishes to make a cake in my entire life! The big chocolate cake they sell at costco is looking better and better. 12 bucks - no dishes.

4:30 PM: I sit down to watch the youtube video of the ribbon making process in prep for the next step.

Almost every comment I read at Bon Appetits blog regarding this cake said "the cake was fun to make but time consuming and used a lot of dishes. They also said they never bothered with the ribbons....

Today was ganache and ribbon day. I've never actually made modeling chocolate before. Can you buy this stuff premade? What a hassle! I would like to point out that the youtube video never really shows the ribbons being made.... just the before and after. There's a reason - I'm sure they couldn't show all the cussing. The recipe says to heat chocolate, mix in corn syrup, cool and then knead. Kneading implies some sort of supple product that you can bend to your will. Instead I got hard, crumbly, miserable %$#*&(#@! Oh never mind.... eventually it came together.

So - the cake is finally done. I have to say, I haven't eaten any yet but could never imagine that any cake would be good enough to warrant this level of hassle - ever. My kitchen is a mess, there is chocolate everywhere. I'm tired and it will be a long time before I'm interested in a project that involves modeling chocolate... But it's done. In the last 2 days I've used 16 eggs, 9 sticks of butter, unspeakable amounts of chocolate - maybe 6 lbs, 3 cups of nuts, cups and cups of sugar and flour, 2 rolls of paper towels, and the list goes on. I've washed loads of dishes, cleaned counters more times than I can count and invented some new 4 letter words. That which does not kill me, etc.

Here are some pics. Clearly I have a lot to learn about working with modeling chocolate still... one pic before bows - one after.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:41 PM   #24
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Janet, that is beautiful! Great Job! DON'T fall in that Chocolate!
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:42 PM   #25
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What an absolutely Gorgeous cake! What talent!
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:14 AM   #26
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Janet, I know your pain! You can buy modelling chocolate from specialty stores (I don't think Michael's has it). But I admire you for making it. I have done it and you are right, it ain't pretty! You did an incredible job. I hope your friend liked it.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:00 AM   #27
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Your friend is very lucky to have you!
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #28
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I finally got to eat some of this cake. The choice to fill with fruit was good. A little acid bite and hint of caramel flavor. But the cake is still waaay to sweet. All in all, not worth the trouble imo. And finally - the money shot.

Cake porn:
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Send milk :)
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