2.1kg Chocolate Cake - Pocoyo and friends (3rd take..)
As I put up this post, birthday boy's mum dropped me a line to tell me that the cake didn't "turn up well". I thought Pocoyo and his friends collapsed yesterday en route to the birthday venue (it was pouring and rain is every sugar figurine's worst nightmare) and that would have been devastating to the poor child. But it wasn't. It was the cake itself. It crumbled into pieces when it was cut. I think it's time I talk about cakes instead of their designs.
You see, my cakes are always freshly-baked from scratch. By that, it means the cakes are baked at the earliest, the day before it's due to be picked up. If you're a regular with home-baking, you'll realise that freshly-baked-from-scratch cakes are always moist, soft and light. Pre-mixes result in drier and denser cakes. What I've learnt over the years is that store-bought cakes (as well as a lot of other cake suppliers) bake their cakes between 2 to 3 days earlier. There's a good reason for that. Cake's a whole lot easier to shape, cut and styled after it's been "aged". Plus, they've got a lot of orders to deal with. They need to bake all their cakes by Wednesday, take turns working on your design on Thurday and Friday so you can have your cake on Saturday. Basically, you're getting a couple of days-old cake.
While I don't compromise on the freshness of my cake (that's why I only have time for 1 cake order a day), I do try to improve and educate. I can always bake (and I do have) denser resulting in richer cakes, but that may be too much for our palate (and health) in the long run. Majority of us love soft, light and flavoursome cakes. Cakes you can have more than one helping, right?
Cake-cutting skills are almost non-existent here. Most just butcher the cake using a butter knife! Every household needs a good serrated knife. A bread knife is another good investment. With a sharp serrated knife, in a saw-like motion, gently slice the cake. You'll get a beautifully-cut cake not matter how thin your slice is. A lot of hotels and good restaurants now have a good cake knife for occasions when their guests bring their own cake. Those plastic wannabes you get from bakeries are crap. They're only good for store-bought cakes. I've even used a good short steak knife and it's great! Please don't press the knife down on any cakes the way you would an apple. It just doesn't work on good cakes.
Nevertheless, I hope with this little information, you'll probably be a bit more discerning but do get to enjoy your cakes better.