Today, though, I took a break from all that. We went to church, and it was lovely. It felt relaxed and uplifting for the first time all year. And I made a birthday cake for a friend. It felt so nice to do something creative and not related to packing, moving, cleaning, or kids, just for a little while.
Just a few notes about the cake (again, these notes are mostly for me, but are here for anyone who is interested). I used the same cake recipe as the purse cake. It works well because it is very dense. I didn't make buttercream. Instead, I used dark and white chocolate ganache to both fill and cover the cake. I loved it! I loved working with it so much that I may not ever make buttercream frosting again. The ganache itself didn't take long to make, and it is very smooth and easy to work with. The trick is to wait for it to be the right temperature to spread. Not too warm or cold. I made it the night before and put it in the fridge. Next time, I'll take it out of the fridge early in the morning to give it more time to come to room temperature. This three-layer, 8" cake took 13.6 oz. dark chocolate (2 large Hershey bars), 16 oz. white chocolate baking chips, and 10.8 oz. heavy cream.
I tried the Upside Down Frosting Technique to fill and cover the cakes this time, which is a new technique for me. It went great until I got to the very end, 99% done, and I went to peel the parchment paper off the top of the cake, and it was completely stuck to the ganache. It took all the ganache off the top of the cake with it. Bummer! I threw a small fit (poor Spiff has to witness these every time I do a project like this, since I can never do a project without some kind of a major hiccup). Then I pulled myself together and replaced the ganache on the top of the cake. It ended up being fine. I'm just disappointed that the new technique didn't work as smoothly as I wanted it to. I also wish I knew what went wrong. I have no idea how to fix it next time.
Here's a picture of the cake after I finished covering it with ganache. It's sort of marbled because of using both white and dark chocolate. Notice how straight and smooth the sides are! Notice how cylindrical it is! I did like that technique. I just need to iron out that one small detail about the top.