So, my dad had three of these cakes in a week. A big landmark birthday coincided with my graduation from undergrad so my mom said they could either pick up a cake from our wedding bakers (they’re awesome but over an hour drive away in unseemingly hot weather) or I could make one. I had a little over a week between my last final and everyone coming in, and we had already scrubbed the apartment so I had plenty of time for a cake. Well, I sent the recipe to my mom for approval. What she didn’t tell me until the evening they got into town is that she made two of them for the parties they had in my hometown. So my dad had three of these. I then made another for DH's birthday a couple weeks ago (it did not turn out as pretty).
The Very Few Differences:
- I used cheap Baker’s chocolate for the ganache. I should have used Hershey’s, there's loyalty there. I’m not sure what I did wrong but it was thick and did not dribble nearly as much as I’d like. (I used Hershey's semisweet chips and it dribbled much nicer, not sure why, perhaps the higher paraffin content)
- I put candles in the top- don’t bother unless you really like seeing the holes. I just don’t think it looks as nice. I should have just bought the numbers. I think DH threw out these candles. No candles for him when his birthday rolls around again. (well... we bought them but then forgot them.)
- Invest in an offset spatula (mine was like 7USD). You get such a nicer looking cake with it. Three would be best- one for the crumb coat, one for the cream cheese frosting, one for the ganache but you could just wash between since you NEED to chill the cake between coats, really please, chill.
- Use a crumb coat and don’t cross contaminate your spreader (the offset) and your scooper (um... a spoon, or scraper, or the free ladle-spoon-thing that came with the dutch oven you got as a wedding gift) unless you want crumbs in all of your icing and that does not look pretty
- Listen to SK when she says to full freeze the cakes before working with them, they are very soft. Deliciously, redicoulsly soft. I would not recommend this for cupcakes. Triffles? Definitely. One layer fell apart in DH's cake and we crumbled it up with extra frosting and it was delicious.