Sunday, May 5, 2013

Baby Shower Cake

“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.” - Julia Child

Wise advice from the lady who, with her jolly demeanor and easygoing attitude, demystified French cuisine and made it accessible for American audiences.

Sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that there is a bigger reason behind things not going the way you planned them to. Take, for example, the cake that I made for my friend/co-worker's and his wife's baby shower two Fridays ago. It was supposed to be a blue-turning-white  ombré cake topped with a clothesline clipped with tiny baby clothes cut out from patterned paper. I forgot that if I used pure butter instead of crisco (ew, crisco, butter is so much better!) the icing would be off-white instead of white - adieu, ombré! Then when I started making the mini clothesline, I forgot to offset the weight of the mini clothespins, which made the paper baby clothes turn upside-down on the clothesline (or I should have used wire since it won't turn like string does)! I had no time to cry over these mistakes (by then it was already 1am) so I mulled over my options, looked at pictures on google for inspiration, and came up with these changes:
1. Instead of making an ombré cake, I used my star tip to cover the entire cake with star-shaped frosting. Only problem was I ran out of frosting (whoops!) so I was only able to cover the top of the cake. Good thing that happened, because I used the leftover chocolate frosting from the middle layer to cover the sides, and it turns out that that frosting was everyone's favorite part of the cake.
2. I changed the mini clothes into a banner saying "Baby Boy." Lesson learned: do a test run! If I had done that, I would have made a cleaner-looking banner.

I got hugs and thank yous from the parents-to-be plus a lot of compliments for my made-from-scratch cake which helped me get through my running-on-two-hours-of-sleep day. After work, I went home to take an hour of nap, then headed off to DC to eat dinner with some friends at Hot N Juicy (couldn't eat any seafood as I was allergic to them, but the wings I got were good albeit spicy <for me, that is, since I don't eat spicy food often enough to build tolerance to them>). More on that in another post, but first, here's the cake:

Speaking of banners on cakes, if you want to spend hours looking at gorgeous/adorable ones, head over to Pinterest! I'll make it easier for you by putting this link lol
Hopefully they will inspire you to make your own version someday ;)

Here are my favorite ones:


From Once Upon Chic Boutique


From pertyfultings at
On to the recipe! I googled "best chocolate cake recipe" and clicked on the first result. The pictures on there definitely sold me on it. Espresso to bring out the chocolate flavor? Yes, please! This cake is definitely for chocolate lovers out there who crave for the decadent, rich taste of cocoa - not for the faint of heart!

I mean, just look at this slice:
Image from
Head on over to for the full recipe! (Since I made 10-inch cakes instead of 9-inch cakes, I multiplied all the ingredients by 1.5) For the frosting, add milk in small increments - I splashed too much in mine, which made it a little runnier than it should have been. Otherwise, it really is as delish is at claims to be. I admit that I did a lot of taste tests (with fresh teaspoons, of course!) here and there while making the frosting hahaha :) That's all for now! Have a great day, everyone.


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