Learning 2 Bake from Scratch – XXXI.75

Oreo Cake

As you can see, I did it. I’m very pleased with the result. Why is this better?

This is my first recipe by weight with a scale. I have to think that’s a factor.

There’s a big height difference between an eight-inch and a nine-inch pan. My cake is shorter than the video cake – but it looks more like a cookie, so mine’s better! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. If you really insist, my eight-inch pans are in a box, in the garage. There is no way I just poured in the batter without checking.

My oven sucks. Hopefully, the new one will be better – the instruction manual shows how to bake four cakes at once. Anyway, I baked the two chocolate layers, first. They cooled down very heavy, almost brownies. An additional ten minutes of baking probably would have been better. On the bright side, it’s an Oreo, of course the outside layers and the inner layer have different textures. The inner cake came out perfectly.

The lazy-susan-as-cake-turntable ROCKS. It’s that green swirled thing in the picture. It’s a large microwave plate that’s been artistically lazy-susan-ed. We bought it at an art fair down the street.

Combine that with the magic of an offset spatula and WOW. I’d never used either before. Putting on an even coat of frosting was so easy! I’m not sure it was worth $400, but the spatula, itself, was only $9.99 and worth at least $10.

Top-flattening works just how Bake It Up a Notch (no idea which episode, so no link, but on Food52) described: Using the turntable while holding the long, serrated knife steady, score a shallow line all the way around. Press a bit harder, but don’t saw; let the table rotation cut through. On the first chocolate layer, I sawed and the non-structural-integrous cake cracked and split (I just slid the pieces together and frosted over it). I did the white cake next because it was so obvious where it needed to be cut. That one worked like a charm. Having gained experience (!?!), I did a much better job on the second chocolate layer – do not saw and don’t force it, just rotate with some pressure.

I was a bit worried about the ganache, never having used it before. Piece of cake if one follows the directions (of course I did). Chill the cake, melt the chocolate into the cream, drizzle it around the edges to get controlled drips, then slowly pour (or scrape out with rubber spatula) the rest in the middle. Smooth off the top and put the cake back in the refrigerator. No problems at all.

I didn’t pipe the festive swirls. I just piped a bit out the cut-off-corner of a ZipLock bag – because my piping bag and tips are – wait for it – in a box, in the garage. Since I was squashing an Oreo into each dollop, I figured that was good enough (and looks much better than a spooned dollop).

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