Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back to the Safety Net: Mocha Buttercream

A few weeks ago, I was approached by an old resident about making a cake for her boyfriend's birthday. I accepted the challenge and began planning the full operation in a friend's small kitchen I reserved for the afternoon. Armed with my standmixer and a shopping bag of fresh ingredients I embarked with friends to complete the cake. 

As my business has come along, I've developed my cake philosophy. Namely, that all my cakes be four layers thick, about five inches tall, and composed of high quality ingredients in a timely, fresh, fashion. The process for Heather's wedding cake was so rewarding that I decided I wanted to do it for most of my cakes: the problem with this is my time available. For Heather's cake, I developed flavor composition on a deeper level than I had before - utilizing spices and dominating flavors and coconut - something unusual to me. For Haley's cake this time, I relied on a cake I had done before, with large success.

This cake shines for the buttercream: as it is tasted, the coffee flavor hits right away, and is rounded over with a deep chocolate taste. The buttercream recipe I have is my crown jewel - it accepts flavors of all sorts that can be incorporated at any point in the process for a different outcome. Next is the simple ganache over the top - rich chocolate, slightly bitter, combines with the buttercream for a perfect blend. I have high expectations for the cake element as well, and here the rich chocolate flavor rounds out the flavors of the buttercream and ganache. 
As always, I use Ghirardelli baking chocolate for the ganache. I normally use Baker's chocolate for chocolate cake, but the Ghirardelli was the same price this trip to the super market, so I bought more and swapped it out. As far as I know I don't think the fancier chocolate made much of a difference in the cake. 

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Buttercream, Drizzled with a Ghirardelli Chocolate Ganache. One 6-inch cake and 6 cupcakes made. 

I never know when I'll bake again, but until next time,
Jen :)