Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A chocolate caramel cake: cake fails, frosting, learnings and photos

I had plans for a fancy chocolate layer cake.  Salted caramel cream cheese frosting.  Chocolate ganache.  Caramel popcorn on top.  The cake collapsed.  I could have cried.  Instead I photographed its best side.  Then we ate it.  It tasted very good.  So today there is no recipe.  Just photos and reflections.

The salted caramel sauce was amazing. 

The chocolate cakes looked promising in the tin.  They came out whole.  One collapsed when I picked it up.  I have never made the recipe before.  Perhaps it was too fresh.  Perhaps I tinkered with the recipe.

The salted caramel cream cheese frosting was toothachingly sweet.  (Less icing sugar?)  Not enough salt.  Too soft to hold the cake on top.  Which had already collapsed.  Then slid some more.  While the frosting (and ganache) oozed.  And the popcorn went soft quickly when mixed with the caramel sauce.

When I chilled the remaining frosting it was much firmer.  (The leftovers sandwiched together chocolate bikkies.)  Next time I will chill it before spreading on the bottom cake.  Next time I will make the sturdier tried and tested  ultimate chocolate cake.  Next time I might try this caramel popcorn.

Meanwhile I had a mess of a cake.  I wanted a Pinterest-perfect picture.  Not one to land me in a cake fail shaming.  Blogging has made me vain.

I spread leftover frosting over the least collapsing side.  It covered a multitude of sins.  I drizzled the remaining caramel sauce over it.  It looked great with flowers (top photo). 

So what is it?  A cake fail?  A cake save?  Just pure delicious decadence?

Sylvia and E set the table in the backyard.  The cake was the centrepiece.  Dinner was a simple bowl of fried rice.

The cake was topped with birthday candles.  For me.  Dim lights and candles also make any cake look pretty.  It tasted delicious.  Not matter which side you looked at.

More attempts at fancy cakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Butterscotch layer cake
Chocolate cake decorated with strawberries and music
Ginger fluff sponge (gf)
Nigella's Nutella cake (gf)
Ultimate chocolate cake with green ombre frosting
Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake (v) 

Chocolate Caramel Cake inspired by: Miss I-Hua and The Boy, Sweetapolita, Munchies and Munchkins

Salted caramel cream cheese frosting
From Miss I-Hua and The Boy

Beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in icing sugar.  Beat in the caramel sauce.  I found it quite soft when done and easier to handle once chilled in the fridge.

On the Stereo:
High Violet: The National

21 comments:

  1. how divine!! Love the caramel popcorn addition :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa - the popcorn looks great but I wanted it crunchier

      Delete
  2. many happy birthday wishes Johanna, you certainly had a memorable cake! I bet it tasted great. I don't mind cake fails because then you just heat a messy slice and serve with icecream and you get instant pudding :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Faye - yes memorable indeed - shame I missed my chance to warm it up and eat it as pudding - sounds like wise words :-)

      Delete
  3. Happy, Happy Birthday, Johanna!!! I think your cake is pure delicious decadence!

    I often wonder about failed blogger recipes. Kudos to you for sharing the prettiness goodness and the not so prettiness but yumminess goodness:)

    I most certainly love the premise of this cake, the salted caramel cream cheese frosting AND that popcorn!!! What a GREAT idea...

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Louise - yes very decadent - I got that right :-) And yes a great idea - glad to let you see when great ideas collapse :-)

      Delete
  4. I'm so glad you shared this post and the 'good side' looks amazing so it highlights how easily one can deceive with photography if you're selective about what you show! What a shame about the collapse after all your efforts - and for your own birthday too! - but at least it tasted good.

    Happy belated birthday as well :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kari - it does show that the camera can lie - I was disappointed when it collapsed but then moved on which is the great thing about food! At least you can still eat it :-)

      Delete
  5. Bloggging has indeed made us vain.
    Sometimes its all about the taste. I am still pleased you mananged to capture its best side (and show us the collapsed side) too such honestly.
    You so sneaky, let us know right towards the end that this is YOUR Birthday cake. Happy Belated wishes my lovely blogger friend, I am sure we would have been good friends if we had met in real life too x
    By the way did you see my recent rice cake fail? In fact I made another dish that wa a fail, but could not share that as it totally stuck to the pan, we at it still as it tasted fab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shaheen - Blogging does breed vanity - isn't it ironic you could share the rice cake that was a fail but looked good but not the one that tasted good but looked a mess. Often I set aside ones I love but don't have good photos of for another post when I have time to repeat them but sometimes they just never get made again and are buried. So sad!

      Delete
  6. Happy Birthday Johanna! Haha you slip that in quite late didn't you? ;) I wonder what happened with the cake? What did you change about it? I know that you don't like eggs so was it aqua faba'ing it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorraine - I think I would have been less annoyed if it was an aquafaba cake because at least they always feel like an experiment - this was one that promised to be a tried and tested from someone else.

      Delete
  7. Sounds delicious! I love your honesty :-) Blogging has made me super vain about my pictures. There are many things that don't make it on any more because the photos are too bad. Though I wasn't always so picky...the photos in my early days of blogging are awful...I cringe when I see them. Still it encourages me how far I've come in such a short time! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eb - Thankfully my photos have improved from my early days of blogging but yes it does show progress. And if we are kinder to ourselves blogging has helped us learn to take better photos I daresay!

      Delete
  8. I was like you a couple of weeks ago. I made a cake that looked less than perfect, and I just didn't put it in my blog. I'm glad you showed us the cake that you made, because I think it's just gorgeous :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cathleen - the cake did have its gorgeous side - but was a bit jeckyl and hyde :-) I would love to see your less than perfect cake.

      Delete
  9. Happy birthday! I think the cake sounds snd looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I really enjoyed eating it so not all bad!

      Delete
  10. Happy Birthday Johanna. Who cares what it looks like? It sounds amazing and looks very very delicious. We all get cake fails but I love that you have shared it anyway...... it's life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kate - we do all have cake fails but the internet is such a brutal place that I think it often does not feel safe to share which is such a shame as you are right - it is life!

      Delete
  11. I was so impressed with your post and i want to see more of your write ups .Please keep posting. You can also visit my site. Thank you.

    triciajoy.com

    www.triciajoy.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)