Baking

Valentine’s Day Mini Cake #4: A Cake to Die For

This one goes out to all you Valentine’s Day haters out there. I’m not talking single people. There are plenty of single people out there who still enjoy Valentine’s Day. I was one of them when I was single. Valentine’s Day is all inclusive in my book. Not just romantic love, but filial love and platonic love too. However, I know there are people out there who just aren’t fans. So, this one’s for you guys.

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My anti-Valentine’s day cake was inspired by the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. A little dark, I know, but hey, sometimes you need a little bitter to balance out the sweet. I didn’t want to go too gory, though, so I used some movie posters and DVD covers for inspiration. The cake is an American mud cake by Cake Paper Party. I loved this recipe, so chocolatey delicious. I filled the cake with another Cake Paper Party recipe, the Easy Foolproof Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and just for fun, some massacred Valentine’s day chocolates. Then I covered the outside with a black American buttercream frosting by Chelsweets. This recipe uses black cocoa for most of the color, which allows you to use less food coloring. It worked really well, but it does have a distinctive Oreo-ish flavor, so I’m not sure it would pair well with everything. I wasn’t sure how the chopped up chocolates would work inside the cake, as far as texture or flavor, but I thought it was very good, and very decadent. My only regret was including the maple cream chocolates. But they weren’t terrible with it.

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Once I had a good coat of the black buttercream frosting on the cake, I used a Russian piping tip to pipe red roses onto the cake in a heart shape. I wanted the heart to look rough and like it had bullet holes in it,  which was good since it was my first time, in a long time, working with Russian tips. My prior experience did not go well. This time I used a very stiff version of Life, Love and Sugar’s American buttercream, but with extra powdered sugar and less milk. I think it was actually a little too stiff. As I said in my previous post, some of the flowers did not want to adhere and ended up with no centers, and some of the petals ended up tearing off when I released pressure. But since I was trying to make it look like it had been shot up anyway, I went with it. After letting the whole thing firm up in the fridge again, I used a palette knife to break off more of the roses and gouge out some more bullet holes.

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Technically, this cake was pretty simple. After frosting and piping the heart, the only thing left to add was the newspaper headline. I used wafer paper for this, and hand-painted the lettering with Sweet Sticks edible art paint in black and a very fine brush. I used an image from a movie poster I found online for reference. It ended up a little bit longer than I had intended, so it was a tad over-sized on the cake, but as long as it wasn’t completely hanging off the sides of the cake, I was happy.

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When I went to attach the headline to the cake, however, I had a bit of trouble. The buttercream roses had already set, so the wafer paper wouldn’t adhere to the frosting. I grabbed the only frosting I still had in a piping bag and piped two more dollops of frosting onto the heart and stuck my headline on. And then immediately realized the the pink frosting I had used clearly showed through the wafer paper. I scraped it off as best I could, found some white frosting and tried that instead. It worked much better.

I think this mini cake was probably the most fun for me to create. It was nice to do something a little bit dark and a little bit tongue-in-cheek. And it gave me an excuse to order some wafer paper which I’d been dying to try!

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