So out came the cake recipes, pans, mixer, and bowls. I thumbed through my recipes with a specific flavor in mind: chocolate, of course.
Ah, here we go. Warm milk and semi-sweet cocoa powder... sugar, flour... fold until just combined. So away goes my mixer and out comes my sturdiest spatula. I wish I'd had a laziness-inspired moment and stuck with the mixer.
No matter the consistency of cake, it is never easy to stir or fold that many contrasting ingredients together. The amount of liquid did make for a pretty fluid start, but about halfway through adding the dry ingredients, whisked together in a separate bowl, the batter was beginning to thicken and fight back.
Given my less than formidable shoulder, I almost lost the joust. In the end, it was the batter and not me that was split between two 6-inch prepared cake pans before settling into the oven. Bake, remove, settle in the pans, then flip out to a wire rack to cool completely!
As stated: I chose a no-bake cheesecake recipe for my filling/frosting. It wasn't really frosting, so I'll call it "topping" from here on out.
Fresh raspberries are a tear-inducing sight. Unfortunately, my raspberry bush just isn't into the season enough so I had to get these sumptuous little beauties from the grocery store. Luckily, I seemed to stop by the grocer just as new arrivals were being set out. Yay, no digging through pack after pack in search of a one without mold or squished bits from shuffled packs!
After washing my raspberries I quickly measured out what I needed for the topping so my sampling wouldn't short my recipe. The measured amount got a bit of squashing with a fork and then folded in with the cream cheese and whipped cream.
As I set up my space and placed my first cake layer, my mind was racing through the pastry tips I had available. A wonderful aspect of naked cakes is you can focus more on what you put on them: rosettes, shells, pearls, strands, ribbons. As I am still getting use to my basic tips and techniques, I chose to use the rosette tip, Wilton 2D.
First, I had to set my two layers. Another great aspect to naked cakes is they are usually not cut to level. If you are making a multi-tiered cake, obviously you still want to level your cake layers. However, with just two layers it is perfectly acceptable to skip the leveling. Having the natural top of the cake is part of keeping it au natural.
I filled, layered, and topped in uneventful bliss. As I started in on rosettes, I noticed my top layer seeming to settle to one side. I resettled it and continued my rosettes. Turning the table as I worked my way around, I returned to the beginning to see my first rosette seeming lower than it was previously. I stepped back to look at the cake and the top layer was off again.
It was then I realized: I had worked with softened cream cheese to make my topping and then had gone straight to building my cake. I had not chilled my topping and it was now too soft.
Play would have to wait for another cake; this one needed to be finished.
Raspberries, as with most berries, stain everything! This includes plastic colanders, counter tops and featherweight pastry bags. Be sure to rinse utensils immediately and thoroughly.
Captain Obvious note: chill topping/frosting prior to use as needed.
All [creativity] is not lost...
Corissa has been an artist her entire life and attended the Art Institute for design after completing a Bachelor’s in Accounting from National American University. She validates the contradicting combination with “I love my art but I don’t have to starve for it.”
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