Monday, 19 December 2011

I'm back! (So what did become of THAT cake?)

Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake
Now THIS is a cake!
Yes, I am back. I daresay anyone who would have read my last post would have assumed I had completely thrown in the towel and disappeared into the ether. To tell you the truth, the main reason I haven't been around is my photos. Not the quality (let's face it, I'm never going to be a blogger who people follow just for the photos) but because my computer hard drive was full and I couldn't load them from my camera onto my computer. And then I got busy. And then I kind of forgot. But I realised, I was actually kind of missing writing about my cooking, and I was still taking (slightly dodgy) photos, so now I am back!

So, what did become of that ill-fated birthday cake, I hear you ask? Well, in all honesty, my problems didn't end there. The chocolate cake was difficult to cut symmetrically, the caramel sauce wasn't firm enough so the cake layers started sliding out and then the caramel started oozing out of the ganache, which I had managed to split so didn't look the best, and I just couldn't get the chocolate curls to work. But you know what, it tasted awesome and my sister loved it, AND I managed to make dulce de leche for the first time ever and it was to die for. In the end all of the mishaps and frustrations and failings of that cake didn't really matter. Yes it would have been nice if the cake had looked like the original, but I'm new to this and I wasn't selling it, so who cares? Well I do care, but at least I'm over it. And I find it easier to deal with it when my baking doesn't go to plan, which happens all. the. time. That's what makes the successes so much sweeter, isn't it?

So the cake. For those who are interested in making a cake like this I really encourage you to check out Heather's Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Cheesecake over on her blog Sprinkles Bakes. And while you're there, checkout the rest of her blog - she is amazing! Here is how I attempted to recreate that phenomenal dessert...

(I chose to use Mars Bars instead of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because a) they're not all that easy to find in Australia, and b) my sister's cousin-in-law is severely allergic to nuts and I wasn't sure if he was coming. Turns out he wasn't. Oh well. I don't think the Mars Bars baked all that well, either. Next time I'll just do a plain cheesecake I think.)

Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake
Adapted from the Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cheesecake on Sprinkles Bakes
Mars Bar Cheesecake adapted from (basically, the filling with chopped Mars Bars stirred through)
Dulce de leche (caramel) from Not Quite Nigella (this was to. die. for)
Chocolate Cake from Julie Goodwin (see my previous post here)

No full recipe today, just a few hints and tips if you are inspired like I was. I have included the links above to the recipes I used - all of them I have made with success previously (hence why I was so frustrated when things didn't go well), I just made a lot of errors in my processes on the day.

Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake slice

Hint and tip #1: Use the same sized pans for all of your cooking. If you don't have four that are the same, try to have at least two (even if you have to borrow them) and make the cakes first.

Hint and tip #2: Make sure the cheesecakes are frozen before adding the caramel, and make sure it is all frozen before layering the cakes. This will stop the layers from slipping and sliding, and stop the caramel from oozing.

Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake oozing
Mmmmmm.... oozing...
Hint and tip #3: Don't over whip the ganache. It will split.

Hint and tip #4: Chocolate curls don't curl very well when it is the middle of winter. Just don't bother if it is cold.

Hint and tip #5: When the whole thing is put together and looking fabulous, put it in the freezer. It will be much easier to cut and it will look pretty too.

Caramel Chocolate Cake Cheesecake innards
Very messy but VERY yummy!

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