I’m a lucky girl. I have a dad who will watch my dog for and walk him when I accompany my mom to the gym. He’ll check the oil in my car weekly to make sure nothing’s leaking. He tries to fix what he can in my car to save me some money, and when I do need to take it to our mechanic, he handles all the discussions. When I want to feed him a vegetarian meal, despite being a very meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, he’ll eat it without complaint and always try to find something positive to say. He spends one weekend each year cheering me on at every cheering station during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk. When he was a stay-at-home dad for many years, he happily played Pretty, Pretty Princess with me, painted my nails, tried to fix my hair and would occasionally surprise my brothers and me with brownies after school.
I have the kind of dad any kid could dream of. He has always put his family first, and I feel very blessed to have him in my life. I was more than happy to bake any cake he requested and emailed him a long list of suggestions.
Initially, he selected a carrot cake, much to my surprise. My dad has a history of choosing things like orange cake with orange cream cheese icing or Boston cream pie, rather than carrot cake or chocolate cake. Carrot cake seemed so… typical. He revealed he didn’t want to choose anything that would require me to do a lot of work. Um…. hello?? This is your daughter who loves baking and wouldn’t consider it work. It’s not like I get a lot of opportunities to make layer cakes. He quickly changed his mind to Evil Shenanigans’ Raspberry and Chocolate Ganache Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream.
What. a. disaster.
Baking the cake went very smoothly. The recipe yielded a very moist cake, although I still lightly brushed the cakes with a simple syrup before wrapping freezing them. It was after that when the problems started occurring – all due to my inexperience.
I’ve never torted a cake. Usually when I want a few extra layers, I just bake the right number of layers, rather than having to cut the layers. It’s easier for me, but since I baked the cake Friday night when I was exhausted, I chose to bake the two layers so I could be finished earlier, and I decided this weekend would be the time I learn to torte a cake.
Well, so much for learning how. I froze the layers, assuming it would be easier to torte the cakes when they were frozen. Maybe it normally is, but as soon as I began cutting into the cake, the knife kept going through the bottom. I was not going to get three layers out of the first cake. I decided to try for two layers instead. Same problem. Clearly my knife and cake-torting skills leave a lot to be desired, so I gave up before I complete destroyed the cake and put the first layer on the cake plate, with a few chunks falling from the bottom of the layer.
I managed to slice the other cake into two layers, choosing to not even attempt three layers. I began assembling the cake and topped the first cake with a thick layer of the ganache. I waited just a hare too long to follow up with the next cake layer though, and when I returned to the kitchen, the ganache had fully hardened. By this time, I was ready to accept that my Father’s Day cake wasn’t going to be like Evil Shenanigans’ beautiful cake and just rolled with it. I topped the ganache with a layer of raspberry curd, added the next cake layer, more ganache (which I let harden), another layer of raspberry curd, then the top cake layer. It wasn’t pretty, but it was assembled. I wish I had taken a picture of the disaster.
The obvious solution to covering up the messy looking cake was to make extra icing. Believe me, my dad was in favor of that!
My cake decorating skills obviously need a lot of work too.
So it may not be the prettiest cake, and I may not have followed the recipe exactly, but I know some more things I need to work on. More importantly, my dad LOVED the cake and is looking forward to having a special dessert over the next several days. And on Father’s Day, what more can you ask for than making your dad happy?