I’m not one to be defeated. So after the gong-show of an attempt at double baking a cake I did some poking around the internet to see if there were any other techniques I could use and maybe make it a slightly less painful process. The result was a success!
We have a cake!! There’s surprise hearts inside! Yay!
Now, before getting to this point of delicious cake, there were several hiccups and A LOT of work.
Let me explain…
Since there were going to be cookies inside, I had to… bake cookies. Heart shaped pink ones since it’s still February. It took quite a few to fill the pan.
Sorry about the random blob of cake mix; I forgot to take a picture of just the cookies
105 to be exact. Not that it was an issue, because my paranoid self made 185 cookies. Take that Christmas!
So the cookies were baked and lined up the night before using a simple sugar cookie recipe.
The next morning I snuck out of bed early (abandoning Eric and Ella) so I could mix up a batch of Red Velvet cake. I know, it should be red, but I thought the pink hearts would look better against a brown cake.
It did come out a little thicker than I expected, so after plopping the mix into the pan, I used the back of a spoon to poke the batter, getting it between the cookies. Totally unnecessary. After it heats up in the oven, the mix becomes quite liquidy and fills the spaces all on its own.
Even with a gigantic 13″ springform, I had batter left over, so I went to town making six extra cupcakes and a smaller heart shaped cake. Why not?
Now, I’m just about convinced my mom’s oven
is possessed has hot spots because it took FOREVER to bake this monstrosity. The recipe called for an hour to 90 minutes at 325°F. Since it has a tendancy to be too hot, I lowered it to 300°F as usual and happily set the timer. I also left the extra cakes out, being slightly smart, knowing they would bake faster than the giant cake.
After an hour, I grabbed a skewer, opened the oven door and poked.
The middle was freakin’ raw! Not ‘little bits of cake were on the skewer’ but like ‘gooey batter sticking to the skewer’ kinda raw.
Turn up the temperature to 325°F, re-set the timer for another 30 minutes, and quietly give the oven the finger as you walk away. Maybe it was that last step?
I ended up doing this three more times with the temperature ending up at 350°F and that cake sitting in the oven for just over two hours! At least I was able to bake the other cakes in the meantime.
Once cooled, I could decorate! The plan had been to cover the whole cake in swirly roses but I didn’t have nearly as much icing sugar as I needed and I didn’t want the cake to be overly sweet, so I settled on covering just the top. Sadly, my MacGyver-ed equipment wasn’t up to the task.
Since I left all my piping and decorating equipment in BC, I had to use what my mom had. Yes, that is a plastic bag. Sturdy one, though. She did have a few piping tips but no couplers. Seeing as I didn’t want the tip to come rocketing out of the bag mid-squeeze, I secured it with tape. Cow print scotch tape, to be exact.
Starting with the top of the cake, I layed on the roses and made my way around the edge. I love this technique because it’s relatively easy but still looks pretty.
I had enough stiffer buttercream icing to make one circle. The rest was supposed to be done with the slightly softer whipped cream but when I went to pipe it on…
It came out looking like a pink and white turd.
Plan B; smooth the whipped cream over the top and sides, and be done with it.
As for the cupcakes and heart cake, I piped on some turd-like mounds and put cookies on them.
I think this is it for our Valentine’s baking this year.
I’m also super excited to be heading back to BC tomorrow and having my own kitchen again!
The promise of warmer weather, cross country trips and seeing friends again, whoo!