So my plan was to use my friend L's chocolate cake recipes to make a birthday cake for S. Just as well I hadn't told her of my plans . . . I'd hate to disappoint a newly 8-year old, especially on her birthday.
L had written out the recipe for me along with a few tips and warnings. She said it was "easy" with a few quirks because of the high sugar content. The good news is that I managed to avoid all the anticipated difficulties for this particular recipe--thanks L for the warnings! The not so good news is that I managed to develop some new difficulties. The main one being that the cake rose over the sides of the cake pan. I caught this problem early and popped a lamington tray in the bottom of the oven to catch the drips. As time went on the drips turned into blobs--to be honest they closely resembled very dark cow pats. I still hoped to redeem the cake. It was not to be. When I went to turn it out, the sides remained stubbornly attached to the cake tin, despite my attempts to loosen the edges with a knife. The bottom of the cake came out ok.
I don't give up easily. After some phone consultation with L, I mixed up a large quantity of butter cream icing and tried to cut and paste the odd shaped cake pieces into some sort of regular shape. What can I say . . . I'm not very experienced with icing. I did stick the cake pieces together, but the result was still quite bumpy and every now and then a blob of cake would succumb to the forces of gravity--what with the weight of all that icing--and split off to land back on the plate. After the second chocolate landslide, I decided to call it a day. I was out of time. Another phone consultation assured me that there are some lovely ice-cream cakes in the freezer section at the local shops.
I quickly cleaned up the various wrecks of chocolate and stashed them in the fridge. Off to pick up uncle R and explain the situation while we drove to the shops. Then to S's house to present her with a pretty pink icecream cake with muti-coloured sprinkles on top. She loved it.
I took this photo of the chocolate remnants this morning. It's out of focus. I think that's appropriate! I've googled "chocolate trifle" and added custard and cherries in syrup to my shopping list. I already have dark chocolate and cream for the icing that was supposed to go on this cake. There's a delicious choc-cherry trifle somewhere in my future. And I had chocolate crumbs with my coffee for breakfast. When it comes to chocolate, there's always some good news.