Today’s my birthday and that means mostly one thing: CAKE! I had a lovely day so far and was even rewarded one extra hour of sleep tonight because of the setting up of daylight saving. On the other hand, that meant that it got dark pretty quickly today, but it was a lovely sunny day nonetheless, whatever the amount of sunlight hours. I prepared my birthday cake yesterday, because cakes always taste better the day after, and since I knew it would get dark soon I wanted to have it ready for pictures in the morning.
Yesterday I also went shopping and found the greatest cake topper I could wish for. I got it at Tiger, which has recently opened a store in my area. Since I had wanted to make my cake very simple, just covered in white chocolate ganache, finding this item was like a sign: it’s so kitsch and big that it can only go on a simple cake. And to some extent it represents me quite well: it’s shamelessly pink, baroque but plastic, and it holds 9 candles – I turn 29, so the number is not even entirely random.
I topped the cake with small heart-shaped sprinkles which also come from Tiger. I’ve always loved bright pink, and although it’s not my very favourite colour, I like it for its kinda excessive personality. In such things as a birthday cake chandelier it’s the perfect colour.
The cake is made of cocoa sponge filled with whipped white chocolate ganache and topped with white chocolate ganache. I had recently made a small batch of white chocolate ganache for my macarons so I felt like using it again in my cake. White chocolate ganache is made of only two ingredients: white chocolate and whipped cream. Proportions vary depending if the ganache is meant to be used whipped or piped. This post reveals every secret about ganache, and to some extent those are the rules I followed myself when preparing this cake. The outer ganache has more chocolate and less cream, while the one used inside has more cream and less chocolate. It sounds simple.
White chocolate ganache is not too straightforward and simple to make, though, because if heavy cream is quite an easy ingredient to handle, the same cannot be said of white chocolate. For a smooth and easy outcome, only white chocolate of the best quality should be used. I chose a cheaper brand and regretted my choice greatly, when the chocolate separated and messed up while I was trying to prepare the ganache. There has been a lot of struggling and some unfortunate wasting of ingredients, but in the end I managed to get my cake done. I had started trying to follow proportions in order to write them down here, but when failure happened I tried my best to save whatever I could and ended up throwing either more chocolate or more cream in my bowls. So whatever came out and was used in this cake is ganache made with pure luck. Cooking is 99% about following directions. The ganache in my 29th birthday cake belongs to that other category, the 1% of food made with pure luck.
So unfortunately I am only sharing photos of my cake, as I have no idea how much chocolate and cream ended up being used in this cake. I had 400 g of white chocolate and 1 litre of heavy cream and used it all, but how much ended up in the cake and how much was an unfortunate waste I can’t say.
Gotta try again with high quality chocolate – made of only right ingredients in the right amounts, without random additives, therefore much more reliable. Then I’ll be able to share the ganache recipe I have used. This cake was a strike of luck. With a killer pink chandelier!