Every December I indulge myself in a plethora of different gingerbread flavoured sweets. It’s really the quintessential Christmas flavour! When I dabbled in the world of cakes, I came across Tessa Huff’s cake book, “Layered.” This gingerbread coffee toffee cake was baked with Tessa’s flavour combination but adapted for my chiffon cake. I also used a coffee whipped cream filling to match the cake’s lightness.
This was a particularly fun cake to make since it was for my mother-in-law’s birthday and my partner helped with the decorating! 🙂 It was a half-day activity as I designed her card and he assembled it. What a treat it was to create something together!
As you know, I’m an advocate of desserts that are light, delicate yet flavourful so that you can enjoy several treats rather than one. Who wouldn’t want three slices of cake or ten marshmallows?
Homemade marshmallows have been on my radar for awhile now. While I enjoy the Kraft brand marshmallows, I find them too sweet, dense and chewy. So when a friend shared her homemade marshmallows with me, I fell in love and had to try making some! Homemade marshmallows are so airy, soft, fluffy and heavenly! The best part is that there are so many flavour combinations waiting to be created! Hellooo, gourmet marshmallows!
And no, I haven’t forgotten cake, everything is made for a reason… I want to make a s’mores cake with homemade marshmallow minis as a filling!
I found it! A base recipe for all my future cake flavours! My science-self would call this a control recipe. It took about three weeks for the tests but this is it! My criteria for cake was 1. light, 2. fluffy and 3. soft (almost pillow like). With this in mind, I ruled out butter cakes (normally what a layer cake is made of) and tested out both chiffon and sponge cakes. I think this is a combination of both…
Anyways, this recipe makes one, two-layer, 6″ cake and works for both vanilla and chocolate cakes!
Here’s a picture of the base cake: this is a picture of an earlier bake…the later bakes were consumed before I remembered to take pictures! OOPS!
So I was thinking…now that I have a base recipe, that I’m happy with, how do I make it even better? Some questions and variables I’m considering..
Can I replace milk with sour cream to make it more moist and soft? If so, will I need to add in baking soda? (I’m worried sour cream will make the cake too dense…)
What would happen if I add the dry ingredients into the yolk mixture instead of into the meringue? (Am I deflating my meringue right now?)
Will beating the egg yolks and sugar until light and frothy help the cake rise more?
I’m not usually a cake fan…in fact, here are some of my opinions of cake:
I think frosting/icing is too sweet
Cakes should be soft, pillow-like and have a hint of surprise
6″ cakes are the most adorable ones out there (followed by 4″ cakes, then 8″ cakes)
Having said that, I’ve never really baked cakes. But I love the idea of limitless flavour combinations and possibilities. My goal with these cakes is to be able to create a cake based on the taste preference of my family and friends. Unique cakes for each person.
As author Shaun McNiff says, to become creative in a field requires hours of preparation and foundation building. Once the foundation is laid, novel and interesting ideas will break through. In other words, “trust in the process.”
In thinking about the foundation, classic flavours of vanilla and chocolate come to mind. And since my partner loves vanilla, it should be a good place to start. Though…to be honest, vanilla has never been something I’ve loved on its own…will have to pair it with something fun.
Here it is, the momentous moment when I clicked the sign up button and created The Marbled Cake Stand (TMCS). What’s TMCS you ask? It’s going to be a living document of my kitchen adventures. I, and probably my friends and family, would describe myself as an “obsessive hobbyist.” More specifically, someone who needs to learn and know everything about a particular hobby.
This all started with macarons last winter (2017). I haven’t had much baking experience and have always loved challenges. But what really intrigued me about macarons and the art of baking is that it’s science! My inner scientist is always dancing ecstatically whenever there’s an opportunity to learn the “how” and then conduct the “trials.”
From macarons, to mousse, then to bread, followed by pasta and now cake. A plethora of pictures were taken throughout these phases and sadly, my phone was running out of storage. Hence, the creation of a blog as a documenting tool (thanks, WordPress!).
I’ve debated (for a few minutes) whether to post a picture of my marbled cake stand. The conversation in my head went something like this, “don’t post it yet, the photo isn’t edited” “you need to post a picture, “you’re not even sure if it’s marbled…you just used it cause it was the closest thing you had a word for” “you can’t call it TMCS without a picture.” Since this isn’t Instagram, it doesn’t have to be perfect!
So here it is! My marbled cake stand, complete with the tag and sticker from Winners (obviously where I picked it up from today).