Last Wednesday (28th May) was my birthday.
Ta-dah! Another year older and definitely not any wiser.
I didn’t make a big thing out of it, because, well, I am pretty pathetic when it comes to blowing my own trumpet, or things of a similar ilk.
Anyway, I planned to make a birthday cake, which I would then share with you. However, it didn’t exactly go as planned.
I had made a chocolate cake for someone a couple of weeks ago and ever since I made it, I’ve had it on my mind. So I knew this was the cake that I was going to make for myself.
It all appeared to be going quite well until the time came for it to be assembled. There was some left-over caramel sauce in the fridge that I wanted to use up and what better thing to have in the middle of a chocolate cake than a layer of ooey gooey caramel.
Because the caramel sauce was quite soft, I knew I was going to have to use the chocolate frosting to create a dam in which to contain it.
Can you see where things started to go pear-shaped? Yep, there on the right. My chocolate dam was not big enough and the caramel sauce was making a break for freedom. I quickly scooped it back up and tried to mix it in with the frosting a little, in the hopes that would contain it enough.
At this moment in time it looked as if my plan had worked. As you can see there are no puddles of caramel sauce. So I started to spread the frosting down the sides.
Hello, what’s this?
Uh-oh. The caramel sauce is escaping. I quickly scooped it up and tried my best to squidge it back into the cake before spreading a thick layer of frosting over the exit site. This is thick chocolate frosting, it will hold it no problem and no one will be any the wiser (apologies for the slightly out of focus photo).
I continued covering the cake with the frosting and then took the Crunchie bar that I had battered to bits with a rolling-pin (and was also slightly more out of date than I had thought. It had been in my emergency chocolate ration box under my bed for a while. What? Like you don’t have an emergency chocolate store under your bed, which is cunningly disguised as a Clarins box so no one will suspect. Please. You all do. It’s a good place for me to keep chocolate because I tend to forget about it. Hence why the Crunchie was maybe almost a year past its best. It’s chocolate, it keeps forever) and scattered it over the top.
Hang on . . . what’s that?
NO! The caramel sauce has broken through! There is no way I can do anything about that. It will just have to ooze. Also, can you see that the cake is not completely straight? That it not because of an uneven layer of frosting, it’s because the cake is leaning because the top layer of sponge is slipping on the caramel sauce. Why didn’t I put it in the fridge to firm up? Why did I think putting the sauce in the cake was a good idea? Why hadn’t I fixed the chocolate dam properly instead of doing an apparently insufficient quick fix?
Oh well, there is always the other side.
Oop, nope, that side is worse.
I left it for a bit as I didn’t want to cut it until we were ready to eat it. Every time I went into the dining room I held my left hand up to my face because I didn’t want to see if it had slipped completely and was now a mangled mess on my already covered in greasy marks (and some squashed mushroom from a chopping board incident) photography surface. I need to invest in some things I can take photos on and wipe down. Paper and mounting board are no longer working for me.
However . . .
Fortunately it didn’t completely collapse.
It did spring another caramel leak not too far from the site of the first one, but it stayed in one piece, which was all that mattered.
I had messed around with the flours a little bit, and although the result was perfectly acceptable, I wasn’t quite happy enough with it to share the recipe with you. Not yet anyway.
So instead I have regaled you with the story of the cake that oozed and slipped. And made me a little bit scared.
But at least I know now that this particular caramel sauce it not suitable for the inside of cake. On cake, yes. In cake, no.
PS – if you would like to give me a belated birthday present, please vote for me in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. All you have to do is click on the associated picture over there on the right, in the sidebar, go to the second page and fill in the details. Thanking you so very much!
12 thoughts on “The Tale of the Oozing and Slightly Lop-sided Birthday Cake”
Voted! Happy Belated Birthday, too. Frankly, a little oozing where cake is concerned is not a problem in my opinion. So there’s a bit of a caramelly dribble… Oooh, I can see I’m getting caramel! I understand the urge for aesthetic perfection, though. It looks fab, I love the idea of bashed up Crunchie on the top, and look forward to the recipe in due course. Have you thought about a sheet of thick white flexible vinyl for your photography surface? Washable, and because it’s flexible you can curve it up to form a seamless background.
1) – Thank you for voting for me.
2) Thank you for the belated birthday wishes.
3) You are not the only one who has pointed out that a little oozing caramel is not a bad thing, but to me it looks as if it is vomiting the caramel . . .
4) I do have a white plastic tablecloth which I have used in the past, but it is a lacy one which I felt was a little too fussy to use as a background. Maybe I should give it another go. The only thing about a sheet of vinyl is that the majority of them have a shiny finish which I am worried will cause nasty glare. I’ll keep my eyes out for something. What I would really like is a big slab of marble!
I suppose it depends on the level of laciness… I’ve seen something at a photographer’s studio; when I worked for the in house packaging department at Coles, I had to go to food shoots on a regular basis. He had a huge sheet of 4mm matte white vinyl. You could drop anything on it and it would just wipe off, and it made a perfect curved background because it was flexible and the bounces just gave a nice glow off it.
You are convincing me! I will try the lacy tablecloth again and also try and hunt down some matt vinyl.
I think the oozing caramel sauce adds a nice touch to your cake… Gives you an idea of what’s hidden inside! 🙂
Thanks – I hadn’t thought of it like that! 🙂
p.s The Cosmo thingy is on the right in the sidebar, not the left 😉
Whoopsie!! I am spectacularly bad at telling my left from my right. I have corrected it now. Thanks 🙂
No worries. I am also notoriously bad at the left/right thing and failed my first driving test because I went left instead of right!
Ha! I was always worried about doing that. I have to tell myself that I am right handed, therefore that side is the right.
Happy belated birthday – the cake still looks amazing!
Thank you, you are very kind.