Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cake tastings............

..........or any excuse to bake will do!

The last few weeks have been a bit quiet on the orders front, mainly because I have discouraged orders, while we are trying to sell the house. It's stressful enough trying to keep a house clean with two kids, let alone add my baking in too.

So, while we went back and forth with the real estate agent and various interested parties, I soothed my soul with some baking and testing of recipes so when I land in Melbourne, I am good to go with a variety of mud cakes.

This meant lots of taste testing for friends and the Workaholic's staff.

Here are some pics.

Caramel Mud cake

Filled with white chocolate ganache

Cut into cake serving sizes.

I had been looking forward to trying this caramel mud cake recipe for such a long time and it lived up to my expectations. My clear favourite.

Snickers Mud Cake and Cherry Ripe Mud Cake

This is a cross section of the Snickers mud cake. I did a Cherry Ripe mud cake first but wasn't happy with the amount of Cherry Ripe flavour in the cake. Nobody else seemed bothered, but being a big lover of Cherry Ripe, I really needed more flavour. So, when I tried the recipe for Snickers Mud Cake, I increased the amount of snickers bars in the actual cake, and then I chopped up some snickers into the ganache filling. This seemed to do the job, and this cake was a clear conversation starter in the Workaholic's office. I am still getting emails about it a week later.

Lastly, was the Strawberry Mud Cake.

I have had three attempts at this, and I am not sure I am satisfied but it was a clear favourite with everyone else. Part of the problem for me is that I don't "get" white chocolate mud cake. May aswell have a vanilla pound cake. Don't see the "wow" factor. But I am a dark chocaholic, so probably too subtle for me.

My first attempt at this was using artificial strawberry colour and flavourings. It is not really my thing. I prefer the real deal, however all the advice out there, suggests that the "real" strawberry flavour gets cooked out anyway. So, I went with popular opinion and used artificial products. The cake was a success and very "pink" but I felt like a fraud. All that artificial stuff!

So, I made some fresh strawberry puree and tried again. Only used the puree, no artificial flavours or colours. Guess what? No flavour! The popular opinion was right! Who knew?!

Attempt number three, was for a paid gig today, so I did a mixture of both, strawberry puree and artificial flavours and  colours, and the off cuts were YUM!

This is a cross section of the 2nd attempt with just strawberry puree.

Then, to add more strawberry flavour, I put the strawberry puree in with the white chocolate ganache. YUM!

And here is the cross section. Probably should mention that I was going for a marble effect rather than an all over pink cake!

So, after all this testing I now have many flavours to my arsenal of mud cakes:

- banana
- caramel
- dark chocolate
- light chocolate
- white chocolate
- strawberry
- snickers
- cherry ripe
- gluten free orange, to name a few

 but that's no reason to stop trying to create new ones.................

1 comment:

  1. Hi kate! Congratulations for your cakes!
    You're great!
    I started to decorate cakes just in December, and being italian, I baked italian cakes (except madeira cake)... unfortunately english/american cakes are really more firm: perfect to decorate... but it's difficult for me to find great recipes... Your cakes look absolutely delicious (especially your caramel mud cake and your Snickers Mud Cake!!)... so I dare to ask you if you can give me the recipes... Am I too barefaced??
    I thank you if you can... and sorry for my beastly english!!
    My e-mail is