Next I let those cool while I made the pecan & coconut icing. I am not sure it got as thick as it was supposed to, but I cooked it as the directions said. (FYI, I am now the master of the double boiler method of melting and cooking things.)
Up next, I assembled the cake layers and icing. Here is a pic of the first two layers iced and stacked. As you can see, the coconut icing is not so easy to work with. It kept falling off and onto my cake dish. I cut the counter out of the picture because is covered in little piles of icing. (Grin)
Here's all 3 layers, stacked and iced. Not too shabby, after I cleaned up the icing a bit. Next up, the chocolate ganache finishing touches.
I fixed the chocolate ganache first so that it had plenty of time to cool while I was making the cake. So I beat the ganache with my hand mixer, put it in an icing bag and went to town. I thought I had a larger piping tip, but I didn't, so I ended up doing three rows of ganache swirls on top.
I switched to a smaller piping tip #3 I believe, and wrote out Happy Birthday. It wasn't until I was uploading these pictures that I realized I forgot to cross the "T" of birthday. Of course, that was after I had already put away the icing. So I used a toothpick and stole some of the icing from around the bottom and fixed the "T". Hey, a cook has got to make do with what she has!
I am really pleased with the results and am dying to cut into the cake and have a taste.
As always, I learned a few things making this cake. Which, by the way, is my first ever layer cake!! Ok, I learned more than a couple things, but practice makes perfect.
- First off, don't forget to mix in your sugar with your butter when making the cake batter. I was about to pour the flour into the mixer when I realized I had not added the sugar!!
- Along those lines, the recipe calls for separating the egg yolks from the whites. You beat in the yolks first, then at the end, you fold in the whipped whites. Well, I whipped the whites, and let them sit on the counter. Then when I was ready to fold them in, they were a tad runny. Next time, I will whip the eggs with my hand mixer right before they are to be added. What's another 2 items to wash at this point?
- Next, I think the pecan & coconut frosting would have been easier to work with had I used fresh coconut like the recipe called for. This remains to be seen until I attempt to make this cake again in the future. In case you are wondering, I used the sugar sweetened flake coconut.
- The ganache is delicious, and was not part of the original recipe, but my honey requested chocolate frosting. Next time I will place the ganache into the fridge so that it becomes thicker. I think this will make piping it much easier in the future.
- I need to get a cake "lid" for my fancy cake stand. I put the whole thing in the fridge until later, and I am afraid to put any wrapping or foil on it until my honey gets to see it first!
- Making this cake dirties a ton of dishes, I need a kitchen assistant to keep up with me, just saying.