Saturday 28 April 2018

Vertical Layer Cake/ Drip Cake

Today, I tried to cramp three techniques into one cake. This cake marked my first foray into Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC), first vertical layer cake, and first drip cake. Although the taste was good (as I am using my previous tested recipes), the artwork is mediocre at best. I have much to learn on making a smooth frosting and applying the dripping glaze.  I think my greatest enemy is my lack of patience. Making such cakes is a long process to say the least. It involves layers and layers of work. By the time I was at the decorating stage, the novelty sort of fizzled out. I was then left with a messy frosting and an urge to just abandon the endeavour. I am happy to say that I followed through to come out with this wonderful piece of art.

This cake was for my niece. It was her birthday. She adores sour fruits. Therefore, I added strawberries and kiwis. In fact, the last cake I did for her was also filled with strawberry roses .

I have always wanted to try my hands on a drip cake. And her birthday gave me this perfect opportunity. To be fair, you can make a drip cake and a vertical cake separately. It will make the process less challenging. Just remember to make your cake taller for that dripping effect to show nicely. I have divided the explanation of making this cake to different parts for easier "digestion"...

The Cake

I used a chocolate cake layer for both top and bottom (recipe here). I only used half the recipe. Use  6" round pan for this cake. You can also do without these two layers if you think it is too troublesome. For the vertical layered sponge, I am actually using a Swiss-roll recipe. Use any recipes that you like as long as it is big enough. Mine uses 6 eggs for a 12.5" x 15" tray. I purposely made it thinner so that there will be more layers to show. If you don't already have a recipe, you can use the recipe here (mine was 1 1/2 of the recipe).

Chocolate Ganache for dripping

I was not very happy with the recipe I used. I made the mistake of pouring it onto the cake while it was still warm, melting part of my frosting in return. Lesson learnt. Make sure chocolate ganache has cooled completely. The consistency of the ganache is very important. It must be runny enough to pour but not too runny making it flow all the way to the bottom. Too thick and it will make the ganache clumpy instead of a smooth flowing drip. If you have a good recipe in hands, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, you can follow this simple recipe here.

Whipped Chocolate Cream

This is for the filling between the layers of sponge. I was pretty happy with the outcome of the whipped cream. Recipe here.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC)

As this is my first try on SMBC, I reduced the original recipe from Nasi lemak Lover, using only two eggs. The cream came out smooth and creamy, just the way I like it. I did a crumb coat (first layer) on the cake, chilled it for 30 minutes, and then the frosting. I have much to learn on how to get a smooth frosting. Definitely got to practice, practice and practice. All in all, I was pretty happy with this first attempt. Recipe here.

Cake Assembly

1. Apply whipped chocolate filling on the Swiss-roll sponge. Divide into 3 equal long strips. Start rolling the first piece. Continue to wrap the second piece around the roll until all the sponges are used, forming a big log.

2. Cut chocolate cake into two even layers. Apply some whipped cream on the chocolate cake layer and put the log on top in a standing position. Top with more filling before adding on the last layer. Note: My chocolate layer turned out a bit too big for the log. Recipe has already been rectified for a smaller layer. Cut off excess to even out the surface of the log.

3. Apply buttercream to cover the whole cake. This layer does not have to be perfect as it is just to prevent the crumbs of the cake from mixing with the frosting. Put in the fridge for 1/2 hour until the cream sets. Apply a second layer. This layer is where you want to keep your frosting smooth and flawless. Tips: If you are not very good at it, try making rustic swirls and pattern.

5. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake. It may take some practice to get the drip effect that you want. Once again, practice makes perfect. Mine is definitely a rookie's work.

6. Decorate the cake with your choice of decoration. As my family is into chocolate, I used chocolates and fruits (for my niece) as decoration.

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