Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It Takes a Village

Sometimes it take a village...to bake a cake.
Every year before kiddo's birthday, I bring out the computer and cookbooks and let him decide what cake he'd like for his birthday cake.  {Last year he chose this.}

This year, I started by showing him one cake on a certain little blog that I love, Bakerella. He took one look and said, "that's it."  He wouldn't look at another blog, wouldn't crack open a cookbook...that was HIS cake.
Here's where the village part comes in. 
  1. I used Bakerella's beautiful cake as inspiration, her ganache recipe, and her (genius) idea to add mini chocolate chips to the frosting layers.
  2. For the cake, I used a Martha Stewart Devil's Food Cake recipe that we've been using for years.  You know what else? It makes the cake THREE layers! (More cake!)
  3. I've always wanted to try Shelly's (Cookies and Cups) buttercream frosting and thought this was the perfect opportunity.  Y'all...it is the most delicious buttercream I've ever eaten...and I ate a LOT of it. ;)
  4. For putting the cake together, I used tips from Melissa over at My Cake School.  Now, my cake is nowhere near as smooth as Melissa can get them, but MUCH improved over any other cake I've ever made. 
I mean, can you IMAGINE living in a village with Angie, Shelly, Martha, and Melissa?!?  
{That is MY kind of village!} 

First, you're going to want to bring your cake ingredients to room temperature. 

Next, make Martha's cake and let it cool completely.  With a serrated knife, level the layers as best as possible.  Eat scraps.

Make Shelly's buttercream.  Scoop out about 1/3 cup, set aside.  Divide the rest of the frosting in half.  Per Bakerella, add 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips to one half.

Now, add sifted powdered sugar to that 1/3 cup frosting that was set aside to make it very stiff.  Place in a piping bag, cut off the tip and "outline" the cake layer.  Melissa says this will keep the filling from oozing out the sides.

Once the layer has a piped edge, add half of the frosting with the chocolate chips in the center.  Use an offset spatula to spread.

Top with another layer.

Add another piped edge and fill with the rest of the chocolate chip frosting.

Top with the 3rd cake layer.

Apply a thin layer of the plain buttercream (to crumb coat) and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Add the remaining buttercream and smooth.  Melissa has videos of several smoothing methods on her website.

Make Bakerella's ganache.

Pour over the cake.

Eat.

We all agreed that this cake got even BETTER over the next day or two. 

My baby, he's 13!  {How did that happen?!?}

Yep...sometimes, it takes a village.  And I LOVE this village...thank you Angie, Shelly, Martha & Melissa!

{{PS...please go visit Bakerella's cake (the original). Her pictures are out of this world!}}

97 comments:

  1. That is one smart kiddo!! Happy Birthday Jack :)
    Thanks for the link up...such huge praise coming from another sugar lady like you. Hugs :)

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  2. That's so pretty! I love the look of a cake with a light colored frosting with chocolate poured over the top- looks so fancy! Happy Birthday!

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  3. All I can say is WOW! Your kiddo is smart! No need to look for more cakes after coming across this one! Looks delicious!

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  4. looks like a fabulous cake, I LOVE your village!

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  5. Looks absolutely stunning. I'm inspired to bake my own cake... for no reason other than to make something beautiful (and no doubt delicious!)

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  6. I need an excuse to make this cake! So decadent and awesome. I love me some Bakerella :)

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  7. Um, can you please make my birthday cake, too? That looks spectacular! Your step-by-step photos are great!

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  8. Oh Bridget, this is just a work of art...And the layers. Let me count the ways. But first the chocolate-chip infused buttercream. Oh yeah.

    And your little "baby". Yes, where does time go! Happy Bday to him!

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  9. I was looking for the nostril flare pic! My boys are 12 and 13 and I have no idea where the time went. Seems like yesterday they were toddlers - so sad!

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    Replies
    1. I had one....but it was blurry! *sad face* It was definitely "nostril-flare" worthy! ;)

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  10. looks like a fabulous cake, I LOVE your village!

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  11. Neighbors are technically in your village right?

    to - die- for

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  12. I LOVE your village, Bridget! And the pic of your son wishing... priceless!

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  13. Beautiful cake, Bridget!!!!! You did such a great job--& I am so happy to be in your village! ;0)

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  14. you did an incredible job! i always have a hard time getting my icing *just right* too...love that you have a collection of recipes just within this one cake! happy birthday to kiddo :-)

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  15. My God ... that perfect recipe!
    I do in my daughter's birthday, thanks for sharing! kisses.

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  16. Oh my that has to be the most delicious looking cake I have EVER seen. Whoa.

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  18. I loved your blog, very beautiful, with lovely recipe ... I discovered the program by Instagram iphone! kisses.

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  19. This looks so fantastic!!! I rarely bake cakes, but next one up I think will be this one!!!

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  20. Seriously!!! That cake is amazing!

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  21. Excellent pictorial & description of cake layering steps! But my fave part is when you matter-of-factly state "Eat scraps" within the directions. Can't wait to try this combination of recipes.

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  22. That cake looks absolutely amazing... It's also great to see how the different components of the cake came from so many great bloggers. Bravo! And, happy birthday to your kiddo! :)

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  23. Kiddo must have the sweetest aura surrounding him because again this year, the little hearts are showing up in his photos...behind him...this time white hearts with a red glow.
    His birthday cake looks beautiful, big and delicious! Love it when there's leftovers of cake.
    Hope your teen has a fantastic year.

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  24. That cake is a beautiful thing and I'm sure it tasted as good as it looks!

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  25. I so want to live in that village if they have that sort of yummy stuff!

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  26. That's the kind of village I'd love to live in! :) Gorgeous cake, and happy birthday to the birthday boy!!

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  27. That looks scrumptious! Happy 13th to your son!!



    p.s. I'd like to live in that village with you all :)

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  28. That sounds like a perfect village indeed! Sending bundles of birthday wishes to your sweet little fellow!

    That cake is GORGEOUS!!!

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  29. I better not show this to Allison......or she'll be picking it for her cake too! lol

    I've been dying to do a cake with ganache poured over it - your cake is beautiful Bridget!! tell Kiddo Happy Birthday!!

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  30. Happy Birthday to your kiddo. Kids grow to fast. Your cake looks really good, I have also made the Martha Stewart cake before and it is really good.

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  31. Sweet Mother of Pearl! I want it to be my birthday!!!

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  32. As soon as I saw the thumbnail picture (on facebook) of the cake with the ganache, I said to myself, "Hey! That looks like Bakerella's cake!" I used her chocolate cake recipe for my daughter's cake last month. Absolutely delicious! Your son has good taste.

    Now I want to try Shelly's buttercream recipe too.

    Happy birthday to the kiddo!

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  33. Happy birthday to kiddo! Your cake looks amazing! You're lucky to live in such a village :)

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  34. And I just drooled! Oh that is one fabulous cake!!

    Happy Birthday to your son! My oldest recently turned 13 too, still can't believe it!

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  35. Clearly you have a son with impeccable taste... that cake looks amazing! I love the addition of mini chocolate chips between the layers. This would make any birthday fabulous!

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  36. It looks positively delicious, Bridget. Or, as I say.. Yumorrific

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  37. Oh wow that looks so delicious, happy birthday to your son! I know he had a great day - how could he not have with that yummy looking cake! and is there room for one more in the village you created? I defo want to live in a village amongst all those wonderful cake makers!

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  38. My layers ALWAYS slide! How do you prevent that?

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    Replies
    1. Ashley...I think refrigerating the cake with the crumb coat really helps. Melissa has some great tips in My Cake School, too.

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    2. A simple thing, and you may already do this, is each time you put a new cake layer on, "smush" it down with your hand or a cake pan - kind of cementing the layers together.

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  39. It looks pretty darn smooth to me:) Kiddo sure knows how to pick 'em, and you sure know how to make 'em! Congrats on rising to the rank of "Mom of a teenager"! :)

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  40. this looks wonderful happy birthday to your son

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  41. Oh. My. Ganache! That picture made me want to lick up the puddle of ganache on the screen. Gorgeous pictures! :)

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  42. Fabulous job on the cake... it looks delectable!

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  43. The cake is beautiful... But that kiddo and his wrinkled little nose takes the cake! Pun intended!

    Congratulations to you!

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  44. Hi Bridget - I am a fairly new reader to your blog. This cake looks amazing! I told my husband that I wanted to make it for myself for my birthday!!!! Happy Birthday to your son!

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  45. A very happy birthday to your son!.god bless!...i love your cake..its out of this world!

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  46. Wow, what a cake (I can't even begin to pick my favorite part) and what a lucky boy you have! Please pass on birthday wishes to him.

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  47. Wooooow! Bridget that is beautiful, and SINFUL! Haha! My baby is 13 too, just turned in January :-( My youngest of 4, I'm surrounded by teenagers and young adults!

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  48. Congratulations on that beautiful boy of 13 years and that beautiful cake. A greeting and meeting many more.

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  49. That's one lucky kiddo! I love your "village" idea.

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  50. Happy birthday!! Cake is so beautiful. I love how you chose recipes from so many different people; I find I do this a lot as well! The cake sounds so good!!!

    www.lifeofamodernhousewife.com

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  51. Can you make this for my birthday? It looks soooo delicious!

    "Happy Cooking"

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  52. That cake looks amazing! Happy Birthday to your son :D

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  53. My birthday is this month and I'm going to ask for a year's subscription to My Cake School as my gift.

    When Bakerella first posted this cake, I added it to my list of "to be baked." It's a gorgeous cake. So simple, but beautiful.

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  54. This looks amazing!! The cake looks perfectly moist too which is a huge bonus.

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  55. I cannot believe kiddo is 13 !! I have been following you for years now and I cannot believe how fast time has flown. Happy Birthday !!! Great cake !!

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  56. I wish I was that kid in the photo. I would eat that cake myself and not share it with anyone..lol

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  57. That is so sweet you let your son pick his cake! Make sure he gets what he wants on his birthday and year 13 is a big one! I'm pretty big on baking but I've never been great with frosting - I tried making a penuche frosting last weekend for my friend who just got engaged and it turned out suuuuuper runny - barely stuck to the cake. Needless to say, the decoration needed work, but the taste of the frosting was spot on, runny or not. Let me know if you have any penuche tips! Congrats on little man growing up and thanks for the gorgeous cake recipe and photos!

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  58. what a lucky kid... this looks so indulgent and delicious. beautiful work!

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  59. sweet! love love how simple but decadent it is.

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  60. Bridget, I'm in love with this cake! The moistness of the cake, the contrast of the icing between the layers, the ganache - amazing... I have featured this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration

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  61. I want to live in that village, too! Are there openings? LOL
    Gawd, what a scrumptious looking cake. No matter what age you are, you can't help but go bonkers for it.

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  62. Aw Bridget, a big happy birthday to your baby boy! He did a tremendous job picking a cake! My birthday is coming up at the end of March; I just might make this for myself :)

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  63. It takes a village to bake a cake here, too. I once walked up and down my street looking for a cup of icing sugar while my children napped. Borrowed flour from the neighbors on the right. Borrowed 4 eggs from the neighbors on the left one night at 10pm. Thankfully I repaid them with 4 eggs AND fresh cookies, because last night at 9:30, I knew she wouldn't have coconut extract handy, so she came over in her robe to house-sit while I ran to the store! These cakes wouldn't have happened without their "support!" :)

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  64. I hereby submit my application for residency in Village Ganache.

    On a totally unrelated note: Kiddo and I are kin. Like, our birthdays are mere days apart (okay and twenty years, but that's beside the point) and I'm making Bakerella's cake for myself next week =D However, I have to use Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever and Smitten Kitchen's SMBC. Oh, and I'm planning to add caramel to filling between the layers instead of chocolate chips. What might Kiddo think of THAT, HM??? We're buds, I think.

    Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen are councilwomen in Village Ganache, right? I'm packing right now. Is there a shuttle or do I need to get a ride?

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    Replies
    1. Love it! :) Yes, you're in! And so are PW and SK!

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  65. I've never made a cake that pretty! I want to live in your village!
    It's amazing how reading blogs gives me such a strong urge to bake. I'm now trying to think of a good excuse to make this exact cake with all the exact recipes and instructions you used. Wish me luck at making it look as lovely as yours!

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  66. I bet I said OH MY WORD 99 times while drooling through this post!
    KIDDO rocks!
    He knows GOOD CAKE when he sees it!
    I'm speechless over this creation!
    Passed out 2 times while trying to take in the lovely~ness of it all!
    I wanna go to CAKE SCHOOL and them party with Bakerella ~Shelley and Martha!
    I know this cake was the HAPPIEST most yummiest~most MAKE A WISH MAGICAL cake ever!
    Happy 13th Birthday KIDDO!
    xo

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  67. Goodness gracious... cake made in heaven!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

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  68. The hearts are in the pic with the candles again! haha.(:
    Great cake!(:

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  69. What a lucky boy! That cake is a masterpiece!

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  70. My daughter wants this cake for her bday so I am making it tonight for her birthday.... I cant wait to taste it!!!

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  71. I made the buttercream icing yesterday. I put candy-coated mini choc chips in one batch for filling a devil's food cake, then I put seedless raspberry jam in the second batch for filling a white cake. Definitely the BEST buttercream I've tasted so far! I added a teaspoon of vanilla and only 1/4 cup milk and the taste and consistency was perfect. The cake got rave reviews - thank-you for sharing!

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  72. What a brilliant way to make a best of sort of cake, and incorporate tons of the blogging community. It looks great, and Happy B-day to your son :D

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  73. OH. EM. GEE! This looks SO delicious! Thank you VERY much for sharing! I found my birthday cake to make next week!! Woohoo!! Thank you again, Bridget! And I hope your kiddo had a very wonderful and fantastic birthday...and why not? He got this cake! :-)

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  74. I told my husband about the way you had your son pick his cake. He wants that kind of choice any time I make a dessert. And I'm sure he would pick amazing cakes like this every time.

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  75. Oh my god, this cake is TO DIE FOR! It looks absolutely incredible! This cake is amazing and thank you for sharing it.

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  76. Looks delish!!! Will have to add this to my to-do list. Thanks for sharing!

    come check out my blog...
    www.cakeblocked.blogspot.com

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  77. I attempted ganache for the first time last night, tried it twice and it would not get thick either time. It looked shiny and tasted good, but it was completely runny! what am I doing wrong??

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    1. ilissa...you'll need to let the ganache set up a bit. Bakerella mentions that in her recipe that I linked to. The longer it sets up, the firmer it will become. You can even stick it in the fridge, or in an ice bath, for 45 minutes to a couple hours, stirring every so often for a really thick, spreadable, YUMMY frosting!

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    2. thanks for responding bridget! I tried to put it in the fridge and it still would not thicken up.. I think there must have been something else wrong with it. after two hours in the frige it was still completely soupy. I tried whipping it and it got thicker but was all grainy and not very appetizing.

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  78. would have been nice to see a photo ofthe whole cake. either way, the shoulder of it looks good.

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  79. thanks for sharing.

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  81. Your son is a blessed boy to have you doing this for him.

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