Planning a perfect cake

October it’s almost over. October is, for me, the one month of the year that it’s almost nonexistent. It goes by so fast that I just can’t feel it. Even my vacations seem to last more than October .

Why? Because much of this month is spent organizing Novermber birthday parties! Two birthday parties four days apart, plus family and friends. Usually it is a marathon! Last year I baked four birthday cakes in less than 7 days, plus the rest of the party food! It was hard work!

This year, because I’m home with my baby I want to take things slowly and simultaneously want to enjoy all the joys of baking, something that I usually don’t have time to do. So I’m looking for new things to bake, cake batters different than those I normally bake but still compatible with our taste and the cake design they want.

My girls are already used to having a mother who does everything, including the best birthday cakes they have ever seen. It is even without modesty! Of course there are better cakes than mine but they haven’t seen them yet! Mine, for now, are still on the top of the list !

And so I have been thinking about cakes, building the concept of each one, to make what they asked and still be able to surprise them.

So, how to bake the (almost) perfect cake? Well, the first step to a (almost) perfect cake is… Draw it!

Does it seem strange? Drawing the cake lets you get a sense of the amount of cake you’ll need. I like cakes with 3 levels, but I don’t want to end up with an infinite amount of cake, so I chose to buy smaller cake pans, so I can stack the some number of levels, but with smaller cakes.

It also gives you an idea of the materials you’ll need to buy. If you have ever entered a cake design supplies store you know how it’s hard, almost impossible, to leave the store without beeing completely broke! There are so much cute and usefull things, and a millions of possibilities … Knowling exactly what you’ll nedd will help you keep your mind focused on the essentials letting aside the accessory.

Draw a cake also helps you understand the kind of cake batter you’ll have to use. Why? Light and fluffy cake batter, like sponge cake, is not suitable for stacking. The weight of the layers would be sufficient to squash the bottom layers, plus the weight of the sugar paste! Therefore this cake batter should only be used in single layer cakes.

The cakes with several levels should be made with a more compact batter, it does not have to be a brownie! Them you just have to choose the flavor. Now here is mostly a matter of personal taste.

I’m on this demand for new delicious cake recipes and by that I’m also saying that there have been a lot of cake arround here!

In this phase of recipe testing you should have a way to drain the excess of cakes… I’m no longer pregnant so I do not have the excuse to eat cakes that many cakes! So today the lucky winners of my testing cakes were the girls teachers!

The cakes were decorated by them, to their taste. I did the finishing touches, and you know what? Decorating cakes is a good activity to do with them: they are entertained, develop fine motor skills and cordenation, they shake the dust is their creativity and we get to spend quality time together!

And waht about you? What are your tricks for baking perfect cakes ?