Ever been inspired into action by something you’ve seen on Instagram? Well I have, more than once. This Birch Bark Cake is one of those things and the results of my efforts have me pretty impressed with myself. Ha! All the credit for inspiration and how to’s goes to The Cake Blog and Cakegirls but it all started with an instagram post.
I’m in love with all things birch bark and when I came across this @thecakeblog instagram post of a birch bark cake that linked to all the how-to’s, my destiny was set. This sheet cake girl was going to enter a whole new world of layer cakes. Go me. By the way, you bakers are awesome! This was hard work!! You’ve earned my respect.
This post for me is all about trying something new and testing my boundaries. These things keep my mind fresh. Cooking and baking are not my forte. However, there is a wannabe food extraordinaire lurking inside me. So for the DIY tutorials go over to the these folks links that I have provided, then, stick around to read along here about my fun in trying something new from random inspiration. Besides my love for birch bark I think the idea of painting with chocolate sealed the deal.
Birch Bark Cake
I basically used the Cakegirls featured post on The Cake Blog to make the cake because it linked to the gingerbread latte cake. Which was delicious!!! I made this cake for my sweet husband who has a January birthday. We might have gained a few pounds, but hey, we all make sacrifices. If you go to this link on the Cakegirls site they link you to some alternative cake combo’s like their Classic Chocolate Cake filled with Peppermint Icing or their Vanilla Cake layered with Gingerbread Ganache. Fantastic! I love options.
Rounding Up The Supplies
The adventure began with reading the tutorials, printing them off, more research on how exactly do you crumb a cake, purchasing 6″ cake rounds and a cake spinner (my affectionate name for it), ordering my cute little accessories for the top, and so much more. When you are reaching out of your element you need to really be double prepared. Ha Ha. At least that is how I think. The day of the event (that is what I call it) this is what the counter top looked like.
I had everything at my finger tips. Print outs, iPad (with any imaginable link I thought I would need pulled up and ready), tools, ingredients, stand mixer, cake plate, cake spinner. It’s all here. Let’s do this thang!
Gingerbread Latte Cake
Cake batter first. Mixing and measuring. Greasing and flouring pans. Dividing out the batter. Checking the doneness. Praying that they come out of the pan. Yes! And then slicing the top off each layer so it will be flat. Yes Yes Yes! Yea! Favorite part here was using our brand new Wusthof deli knife that hubby and I bought at Christmas as a gift-to-self present. (Oh, you know you do that too. We have so much fun on that one day of Christmas shopping that is filled with no agenda accept being together.) I am so thankful for the knowledgeable sales lady at the Extra Ingredient who helped us decide on our latest addition and shared that it was great for cutting baked goods. This knife is amazing.
Next, to the icing. Taste buds are expectantly going crazy just thinking about the expresso. Whisk eggs, place mixing bowl over saucepan with water creating a double boiler, (Wait. What? Yeah, I’m trying new things now.) whisk eggs while heating and checking the temperature with a candy thermometer, (I’m in the zone now.) back to my stand mixer to whisk away. ( Basically you whisk for 8 to 10 minutes, which in my mind, they just worked this step in so you could take a breather, not really.) I was amazed at this process and the beautiful iridescence of the icing. Then chop the butter into chunks, add it and other ingredients and carry on. When I got to the stage of crumb coating the cake this is the link I used.
The fun part came with the making of the statement birch bark for the sides of the cake. Obviously in the midst of all this brain stimulation the picture taking went right out the window. The picture below is from the post on The Cake Blog, not my hand. Go there and see the step-by-step process for making birch bark from chocolates. Interesting and creative.
With all that done it was time to assemble the components: crumbed cake, icing, birch bark, and finishing details. Mushrooms, evergreen trees and deer were purchased from Cakegirls through the tutorial.
Ta Da! and here we have it. I really was proud of my finished product. The results are a testament to how great their tutorials are so I will surely be trying another one in the future. The top is supposed to sort of look like the rings of the tree with those grooves.
Love my Birch Bark Cake. What ever inspires you, jump on it, and keep learning something new. You might just amaze yourself. I did. – Marianne