My friend Geneva turned 21 in April (yep I am a little behind with this blog thing so just bear with me and we will catch up eventually!) and her lovely Mum Tracey sent me a message about making her cake. I met Geneva at university, and she has been a lovely friend to me over the last 2 and a bit years. Law school can be a big, scary and lonely place sometimes and I am certain I would not have survived this far without her smiling face by my side! So, naturally, I was more than happy to be the one to make her special cake!
I sent through some ideas and we settled on a two tier gift box cake with a pink, silver and aqua colour scheme.
The base was a 9 inch chocolate/vanilla swirl square, and the top tier was a 6 inch white chocolate/rasberry swirl square. This cake was VERY heavy – I know I always say this, but this one may just be one of the heaviest so far!
The cake was not stress-free. For some completely unknown reason, I decided to use milk chocolate to make my ganache. Don’t do this. EVER. Apparently the cocoa content of milk chocolate is very different and for some sciencey reason that I don’t understand, it does NOT set firm when you mix it with cream. I repeat. NEVER DO THIS! And when it seems like its not setting, and it’s lumpy, do not continue to ganache the rest of the cake and then cover it in fondant and hope it might magically set overnight. It won’t. And you will have to re-do EVERYTHING. Luckily I learnt from a previous disaster how to salvage the cake and I managed to pull all the icing and ganache off, re-make dark chocolate ganache, and re-ganache and cover the whole 9″ square.
Please. Learn from my stupidity and don’t do this. I cannot express to you how ANNOYING, EXPENSIVE, TIME-WASTING and STRESSFUL your cake-xperience will be if you follow my footsteps! I have a special knack for discovering new and creative ways to take twice as long, and twice as much money, to do things.
BUT despite all this – I was so pleased with the end result! Squares are tricky things, AND it was my first gift box lid! My vertical stripes were so much better than the ones I attempted a year and a half earlier on this graduation cake (ha ha ha look how lumpy and squishy they were! How embarrassing!) – and I think that at the end of the day this is really why I love cake decorating so much… I love to look back and think “wow – I am actually improving!” It’s progress that keeps me motivated, and progress only comes with practice!
It had to drive for about an hour – one very nerve-wrecking hour! But as you can see, it made it to the party in one piece, and was enjoyed by everyone! The top tier was saved for a family lunch the following week.
If you want a laugh, this is the terrible sketch of the design I sent initially! Lucky I decorate better than I draw… They were very trusting to let me go ahead after seeing this!!
Cakes I make for people I love are my favourite. I always remember birthdays by the cakes I had and I hope that when Gen flips through photos of her 21st in years to come she will look at the cake and remember all the lovely memories we have together. Most involving bad reality television, and the rest involving a special day at the Barbie Dream House. Happy 21 years of being alive, Gen! xxx