15 May 2012

Portal Cake!

Today I made a Portal cake but failed at making jelly. This is a very sad day.
My brother finished his AP exams today, and as he is going to college next year, this is a graduation/belated birthday/end-of-high-school/congrats on [college name]! cake. I wanted to make a Team Fortress 2 cake but I couldn't figure out what object to make. Pyro? Sandvich (in other news, I got a Dalokohs bar yesterday!)? Natascha?
So, I stuck with Portal's black forest cake, even though none of us like fake cherry flavouring or maraschino cherries. My brother likes orange juice though, so there's orange juice in the cake and jelly. He also likes coconut, so the whole cake is covered in chocolate coconut ganache.

Unfortunately, he has not eaten the cake (and I don't think he will) because he had a bad day with bad news and dinner was ruined.

On the bright side, this means that the cake is now mine. Look at the lush back yard. It's been barely a week and the lawn needs mowing again.

The cake recipe is from here.
Changes I made:
1. I substituted 100 g flour with whole wheat flour, and 15 g with wheat germ. No one will notice!
2. Instead of 240 ml of milk, I used 120 ml milk + 120 ml orange (put in LAST--acidic, reacts with baking soda).
3. I used 1 tsp baking soda instead of 1/2 tsp.
4. Less sugar! ~250 g instead of 400 g.

I made three layers because I only have 17-cm diameter cake pans (6.69-inch, as opposed to 9-inch). Later, I realised that the Portal cake only has two layers!! Boo. I used all three layers in the end though. My cakes weren't flat, so I shaved off the cake tops until they were parallel to the bottom of the cake, meaning that each layer was thinner.

The first and only "black forest cake" I've ever had was on my 10th (or 11th?) birthday. We bought it from ParknShop, and although it was labelled as "black forest cake", it was actually a chocolate swiss roll with jelly and cream filling. I wanted to emulate that, so I made cherry orange jelly for the filling of the Portal cake. However, although the jelly set, it was extremely watery and had the consistency of thick jam. A lot of it oozed out so I ate it. I'll just pretend it's chocolate cake "infused" with cherry orange flavouring...

The chocolate ganache recipe is from here, although I changed it up a lot.
All you have to do is simmer the heavy cream and throw in all the chocolate, and then all the coconut.

100 ml heavy cream (but maybe fatty milk will suffice?)
150 g dark chocolate chips
150 g shredded coconut (sweetened...but you should use unsweetened)

You MUST wait for this to cool down as much as possible before you spread it on the cake or else it's just going to drip/fall off. As it was super sticky, I couldn't figure out how to ice the cake with it. It turns out that you can scoop some ganache onto the back of your giant spoon, and spread it UPWARDS onto the sides of the cake. After an hour or so, the ganache will be solid enough that when you poke it, only some oily substance gets onto your finger (as opposed to a glob of ganache).

This coconut ganache gives a great "Portal"-esque texture to the cake. Initially, I was going to make a zillion chocolate shavings to press onto the cake. I am EXTREMELY glad I didn't have to endure that tedious task.

The white icing is fat free yogurt + powdered sugar + coconut, in a ratio of 1:6:6. You only need a tiny bit. The red blobs, which are supposed to be maraschino cherries, are actually gum balls that we are never going to eat. We only had 7, so I cut one in half (to make two halves).
We don't have real candles so I used a peppermint stick thing taped to a paper flame that says "congratulations!" on it. I took a lot of pictures because this cake looks really pretty (and tastes good, according to me and my sister, who ate a lot of cake scraps and icing).

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mary! I forgot about blogger and now I remember why I need to go on it! This cake looks really wonderful. I thumbed through some of your recent blog pages and it's good to see you cookin up stuff still. I like when you are inventive with unusual ingredient substitutions.

    Its crazy that Pat's going to college! Did I tell you I ran into him at WashU when he was visiting? I was absolutely SHOCKED! Haha