This wedding cake was a bit of an adventure, not for me but for hubby who is my hero now! I got stuck on a business trip and had to stay an extra day and then had a 4 hour delayed flight, which put me into SFO 43 hours before the wedding - and since both cakes need time cooling I enlisted my husband as apprentice. I don’t think he’s ever baked before
It all went well, though the chocolate oblivions he baked were 2.5”, and he baked them until the internal temperature reached 150 F, which turned out to be the crumbling point of the upper half of the final product. Learning: If you need a thick chocolate oblivion bake two and put them on top of each other - which is what I did with the 12” layer, joined by a thin layer of chocolate ganache - that one came out perfectly.
I used the white chocolate ganache, and I learned much:
- Different white chocolates will make the ganache behave differently. This time I used Aldi’s white chocolate, and there was never any fear it would curdle, even though - see next point. Last time I used Guittard white chocolate slabs, and I was always on the edge and had to watch it closely. No problems at all with Aldi’s chocolate. Husband is already trained to raid the Aldi stores each time he’s on an East Coast trip. Both contain cocoa butter, but the Guittard is much whiter and much harder. Must be some other ingredient that does it, perhaps more lecithin?
- If you must make the white ganache when it’s warm in your kitchen do it in an ice water bath, otherwise you’ll be beating it to death, which, with some white chocolates can be a curdling death.
Same with chocolate bands - if Rose says do it in a kitchen below 72 degrees she means it. I did most of them early in the morning, no problem, but then ran out of chocolate, and the kitchen was at about 75 when I did the last one. It still worked, but I had to wait a lot longer, and the chocolate wasn’t quite as stable, resulting in a slight crumpled look. Nobody noticed, though, except me.
I have to say that chocolate bands are the way to go for tiered cakes: You only need to roughly slab the frosting on, no need to make it perfect, a real time saver, at least for me. And the tiers are easy to handle, you can use a spatula and then support with the other hand when putting them on top of each other.
It was funny, a couple at our table was talking about the cake, and how beautiful it looked, and how she watched the people putting it together, not knowing it was us. It was the best compliment of the day!