Fred’s Birthday Cake

On the heels of a cake I did for a friend’s birthday in October, I was commissioned to do a cake for a friend’s husband this past week. I really enjoy the process of creating a cake with a lot of creative freedom. Usually I think of the recipient – and the flavours they are drawn to. For example – the cake in October was made for a friend who enjoys wine and thus, I did a red wine-chocolate cake with a marscapone filling (less sweet) that used chocolate as an effect and not a major element. For the s’more cake, I knew the recipient would like something more whimsical with a good balance of flavours – no particular strong element desired. So for this recent cake I had to ask my friend (the wife):

  • What flavours does he like?
  • What textures does he like? (crunchy, chewy, dense, light, crumbly, etc)
  • Mousses ok?
  • Fruits?
  • Things to avoid?

I managed to get that Fred likes chocolate, berries with no aversion to mousses.

With that in mind (and that this cake would feed a large crowd) I set about sketching the plans for a cake.

*Wouldn’t this be an awesome moment to post a picture of hand-drawn sketches of the cake? Yeah…I do everything in my head….maybe next time! Good for documentation.*

Base layers: Chocolate
Number of cake layers: 3
Fillings: Chocolate mousse, strawberries and my “signature” crunch twist

Working backwards from the party’s date (Saturday) – I started work on Wednesday.
Wednesday: Baked cake layers
Thursday: Soaked cake layers in flavoured syrup (Kahlua and Van Gogh)
Friday: Assembly – make mousse and stack layers, frost with chocolate whipping cream
Saturday: Top with ganache, decorate & lettering in the afternoon

Chocolate Berry Mousse Cake Slice

Kind of “cutting to the slice” (haha) but you can see the layer breakdown from the top: ganache, chocolate whipped cream, cake, mousse (with Skor bits and cocoa nibs), cake, strawberries, mousse and cake.

Chocolate Berry Mousse CakeAlmost-finished cake, before the lettering

It’s a more traditional looking cake than I am used to making but it was a good challenge to keep to more classic decorating principles (no shards and alas, no blowtorches, haha).

Chocolate Berry Mousse Cake 2Strawberry corners

Chocolate Berry Mousse Cake_GanacheLove the ‘drippy ganache’ effect – good way to cover up imperfect edges and adds a “polished” rough finish

White Chocolate Toasted HazelnutsIn an added twist – toasted hazelnuts, tumbled in white chocolate and then dredged in bronze lustre dust
f
or a glam touch

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the “final” with the lettering or upon presentation. It was very well received and I have to say…pretty damn tasty! The strawberries added a bite of freshness (and tartness) to the cake, taking down the richness just a tad. For this slightly more mature crowd, I went with dark chocolate for a richer flavour (and also less sweet). I spoke to one of the guests who was particularly enlightened by my use of Skor bits in the second mousse layer. I don’t like to only plain mousse, I like to keep my guests on their toes and he was certainly surprised by the addition of texture and crunch. As my friend relayed to me, he said, “I understand her!” I was honored that took to heart my small bit of creative consideration. It’s these little things that make it gratifying…when a cake and even the small elements are appreciated.

Happy birthday Fred! It was an honor (and a lot of fun) to make your cake.

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Tags: , ,

Categories: birthday cake, cake, chocolate, chocolate cake, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, mousse cake, strawberry

Author:bainvancouver

Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!

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2 Comments on “Fred’s Birthday Cake”

  1. mizzjblog
    January 1, 2014 at 1:34 am #

    You’re amazing BA, this cake looks so professional! Are you in the cake making business now? Because I want one for my next party! haha

  2. Patty
    February 19, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Reading this post brings back memories of the cake and the party. I can almost still taste my slice and GAWD was it good!!!!!

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