Childrearing is no easy task. This is a little nugget of wisdom that I have picked up over the last couple weeks, all thanks to Harold.
Harold is my new pet betta fish and he is just a bundle of joy. He swims around and performs tricks such as follow-the-finger, regurgitating his food, and playing dead. These are, in my opinion, quite advanced for his age. The only problem is that he seems to be on a hunger strike, which should probably be more concerning but honestly I'm just so happy he's still alive. This is a pretty big deal, seeing as the only life-form our apartment has managed to sustain is our artificial Christmas tree.
Today marks two weeks since his adoption!! I thought about throwing him a party, but instead I opted to get him some new leafy furniture and upgrade his diet. If he keeps up his rebellious attitude and refuses to eat these Betta Buffet color-enhancing flakes, there may be some disciplinary action in store for Harold. But we'll see.
In other news, here is a cake!! It involves lots of chocolate with layers of buttercream frosting and then more chocolate in the form of a drippy ganache. I made it in honor of two of the most amazing people on earth, my friends Jack and Katharine, whose birthdays were a few days apart.
The drip effect might seem daunting, but it's actually pretty simple to execute. As with most layer cakes, the baking/assembly process is a bit time-consuming but well worth the effort. Here are my tips for a successful cake baking experience:
- To avoid the cake-stuck-in-the-pan scenario: grease your pans, line with parchment paper cut into 8-inch circles, and grease again.
- After baking the cake layers and letting them cool completely, wrap them in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will make them firmer and easier to level before applying the...
- Crumb coat! Spread frosting between the layers, stack, and then apply a thin coat of frosting all around the stacked cake. Doesn't have to be pretty, it's just meant to hold crumbs together for a more polished end product. Cover and refrigerate the whole ensemble for ten minutes, then apply your final coat of frosting.
- Wait until the ganache sets completely before adding any decorations on top. This could take several hours so it helps to plan ahead.
And here is where you can find the recipe:
- the cake and frosting. I multiplied the cake recipe by 1.5 for three layers, and doubled the frosting. I also ended up using a lot more powdered sugar than the recipe called for (I wanted a stiffer consistency and less of the buttery taste. Feel free to adjust according to preference)
- the ganache. Baking bars work fine. I found that a one-to-one ratio of chocolate and heavy cream makes the best consistency for dripping.
- a drip tutorial (and the blog that inspired this cake!)
- and another drip tutorial for good measure
Will be back soon with more recipes! In the meantime, I hope your week is filled with lots of cake (or Betta Buffet if you're Harold).