FINALLY—I’ve done some baking.
I did my first test run on some wedding cake. I did (2) 6-inch rounds using the Yellow Butter cake numbers from The Cake Bible. I followed the recipe exactly until the end, except I took approximately one quarter of the batter and incorporated 50g of bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli 60% cacao). I then filled the pans with the yellow batter, then put the chocolate batter on top and swirled it for a marbled effect. Baked at 325F in a convection oven and bake-even strips for 38 minutes (when the cake tester came out clean).
Seemed to be OK until I removed them from the pan. I used cake strips for a 9-inch pan and wrapped the excess around, which seems not to have been a good idea. It seems like one side of each cake didn’t set up quite enough, and was too soft and fell apart upon removal (2nd pic). Otherwise the cake strips worked well, and there wasn’t much mounding. I might need to buy another set and cut them to the appropriate size for the smaller pans.
The marbling effect was good, though (1st pic). I slapped some chocolate mousseline buttercream on it and some fondant roses I had lying around, and invited a couple of friends over (who totally misunderstood that I wanted them to take the *WHOLE* cake, not come over for a slice) and we ate some. Nice. Moist. Decent chocolate taste, although kind of hard to differentiate from the chocolate frosting. I was concerned that just adding melted chocolate would affect the structure of the cake or throw off the baking powder ratio, but everything seemed OK. I’m still worried that the results won’t hold up for the 12-inch layer, but that can be tested separately.
Here’s one thing I learned—each cake layer rose just over the 2-inch sides of the pan. I’m glad I didn’t spend $85-90 on the 3-inch high cake rings, because my layers are going to be just over 4 inches high after they’re iced. Metal flashing might be the way to go after all…