If you need to be thanked in the acknowledgments for Emerald Blaze, please email me. I’ve got the Chinese and Hong Kong readers, the Italian reader, the legal reader, and I can’t remember who I am missing.
If you beta read this book, please email me, because I can’t be trusted. We are trying to finish the copy edit, get the web designer all the stuff, answer some professional questions, all at the same time, and I don’t know which way is up.
Yesterday, I made my husband a chocolate cake. I can do many things. Decorating cakes is not one of them. My cakes taste good. They do not look good. This particular cake took 4 hours. It has three layers of chocolate cake, strawberry filling, and Swiss meringue chocolate buttercream. It looks like so. It barely fit under the cake hood and needed dowels for structural integrity, just in case.
Yeah. So I presented this cake to my husband. Later on I see him returning from the kitchen with a little bowl of cake and ice cream.
Me: Decided to try the cake?
He: Not exactly. There was some cake pieces on the side, so I took that.
He: Why let it go to waste?
He found the bits I cut off the cake to level it and ate that instead. O_o
He did have some this morning and profanity was used in describing the deliciousness of the cake, so I consider this to be a home run. 🙂
Got to go. Email me.
aww always nice hear little stuff like this!!!!!
Oh, I don’t care that the cake doesn’t look professional. It looks soooooo damn good an my diabetic self would have put myself into a sugar coma because I have no self control with sweets.
I find that you can have a perfect looking cake or a perfect tasting cake, but never both. I will always go for taste!
The cake look great! Lots of frosting is always a good thing. 😉
I’d rather have a cake that tastes amazing and looks a little “rustic” than one that looks amazing and tastes “meh”. The true magic of the professional cake maker is a cake that looks amazing and tastes better. But some of us have other work to do….
Rustic! I am so stealing that!
Ha! I always remember one of the ‘celebrity’ Great British Bake-Offs, where Mary Berry described a disastrous cake decoration as ‘rather informal’ ????????
You are such a delight! I really enjoy the reality, humor and creativeness .Thank you!
This looks delicious! I am jealous
Looks yummy and sounds scrumptious to me. I tried writing Happy Birthday In icing once and it looked like a 5 yr old did it. In fact a 5 yr old probably could have done better. Obviously Gordon knows never to let good chocolate cake go to waste! All hail chocolate ???? ????????
Go Gordon! A former coworker did a lot of wedding cakes as a hobby. She would bring in the “scraps” to work and they vanaished in a heartbeat. We considered it our emvironmental duty to keep them out of landfill 😉
I don’t see any issues with it. The important thing is that it tastes good! And I will say that it looks delicious. I wish you could transport a piece to me (she says as she looks for a sugar free treat that tastes good)
Love the cake! Like with all important things in life, what it looks like is not what matters (most) 🙂
Alex R. says
Gordon for the win!
My husband would do the same thing. So cute.
I think it looks fabulous!!
Homemade cake is the best!!
(Reminds me of the cake I always asked for on my birthday when I was a kid – chocolate cake with peppermint frosting. The frosting had to be made in a double boiler on the stove, and you had to beat it with a hand-held electric beater for seven minutes. Only a mom would love a kid that much!!)
Donna A says
My cakes either taste good and look average or look great and taste average. Apart from my annual family Christmas cakes (which I loathe), that take ages even aside from the months of fruit soaking, the decorating goes across three days minimum, I don’t even like them but which everyone insists I make every year. And occasionally I make flapjacks, they look burnt, they smell burnt, but suddenly they taste like magic drugs you have to eat all in one go and then feel sick from. But that was my big failure and you can’t buy light brown sugar anywhere in London at the moment so I won’t be able to try that again anyway.
If you can get molasses and caster sugar, you can make brown sugar of the shade of you preference.
Looking at it made me a little hungry and wanting to order some sweet bakery at 2am in the morning????
Natasha Johnson says
I feel your pain on cake decorating, I even have all the tips and everything but it never turns out the way I imagine it in my head not even close!!
Glad Gordon loved it though that always warms your heart when they really like something you have made for them!
Here is a picture of one of our kittens hopefully she will make you smile!
Looks like it tastes yummy – that’s what counts.
barbie doll says
My cakes look awful but taste good. I guess I prefer that to looks good to tastes awful. Worst part is the clean up.
I stick to 13 x 9 pans and sometimes I don’t use frosting. i’m better with cookies. and I have a killer pudding/brownie/cool whip bowl thing and a two ton (two tone, but it’s very rich) dessert thing that I get raves about, but will only make if lots of people are around to eat it because it’s very rich and not healthy for you.
The cake look so good! If you have any other cake or ice cream pics or the same cake but in cross section (if there is anything left) it would be much appreciated! I love cake 🙂
I once was tasked with producing a cake for a friend’s birthday camping/rock climbing trip. Half of the cake disintegrated when I started trying to frost it. I stuck it all back together with frosting and drew stick-figure rock climbers on the resulting embankment. Bam. Themed cake. Anybody who comments on how ugly it is, doesn’t need sugar today.
Also your cake looks delicious! The frosting looks all fluffy and whipped.
I love you guys so much. Your blog always makes me smile and laugh out loud. Thank you!????
Katie R says
I think that cake looks delicious and that’s all that matters. I never mastered decorating either. Watched plenty of videos, but they don’t seem to stick.
As my grandmother used to say, it all looks the same in the end.
Good tasting cake will always win over good-looking cake!! From another person who’s cakes taste better than they will ever look.
It looks so yummy!!
How can we beta read? I’m dying to read Emerald Blaze
Are you kidding? That cake look AMAZING!!
Amanda P says
Haha looks lovely
I even made choc chip muffins today. Hubby and son loved them.
The cake looks delicious!
You need to watch a baking show on Netflix called Nailed It if you think your cake looks bad. Really tasty is best.
Rae Macleod says
The cut off bits are the best bits.
From age 3 I’ve helped my grandma bake her cakes (the best chocolate cake ever made) and she always makes at least 2 layers.
So there’s two cut off bits. They get homemade strawberry jam and her chocolate icing on them and we ate them as snacks while we did the clean up.
It’s the thing I miss most since being diagnosed with Coeliac. I still help her bake but it’s just not the same.
Regardless, that looks delicious! Would you mind sharing the recipe?
Pamela Kulczyk says
My hubby also likes to eat the trimmings before the actual cake 🙂 Your cake looks very yummy. You can stabilize the filling by adding some gelatin to it.
OMG, that cake looks sooo good!
Congrats on making an amazing cake!
Your cake looks delicious! You can tell it tastes great from the picture. My daughter ate her cake scraps recently for her 7th birthday cake and called them ‘cake peels’, so henceforth, they’re always cake peels to me.
Happy baking is tasty baking.
That cake looks AMAZING!! And everyone knows the most important part of a cake is that it tastes good. XD
this is so cute! Important to make time for stuff like this:)
I looked at that photo and all I thought was “I need a piece of that cake”. Looks amazing. I love fluffy glossy icing. I am now inspired to once again try to replicate the chocolate cake with fluffy white icing that I found in a little bakery in Pt Townsend, WA about 18 years ago.
Jessa N. says
Cake scraps are the best! They’re the bonus for the baker & family. We love to scrape the fudgy bits of cake from the parchment liners. Absolute heaven! No cake should go to waste.
Chris T. says
The test is in the taste! Personally, I think it even looks yummy & decadent. Glad it inspired profanity!
It’s not bad, it’s cute and sounds amazing! I act like the strawberry boner I mean accent in the center. My husband says some of my ugliest concoctions are the most delicious! I’ve made some beautiful food that tastes like garbage so I take imperfect looking food any day!
Geez that was supposed to say ACTUALLY like
Shannon from Texas says
I have the same issues and now so does my 13 yr old. Her plan is to sign up for Nailed it on Netflix and win because he cakes, pastries and cookies taste amazing but she cant decorate to save her life ????????. I think its a sound plan and will encourage it if they ever do a nailed it kids.
Funnily enough hubby can barely boil water but he can decorate like a pro. So the kids bday cakes look and taste great with us as a team.
You are not alone in the frosting skills department. Behold, my attempt at blackberry gin cupcakes! Delicious… and awful looking.
And you bake too? You are f###ing awesome!!!!!
It will always look worse in your stomach! But so delicious going down.
Cherylanne Farley says
So third job retraining after another business shut down was Culinary School. Graduated certified chef but wanted to work the line but sexism pushed me to garde manger basically the cold side and bakery. Signature cake was complex one blk and white called tuxedo cake. 3 layers blk wht special frosting. Then all three layer German chocolate cakes lemon meringue pies all from scratch dozen at a time. What finally pushed me into job retraining number FOUR was making whisky bread pudding croissant base with golden raisins and whisky caramel sauce. For 1500. Really truly thought I was going to die right there in bake shop, this pro chef opinion on your cake. Magnificent. Made with live is THE BEST.
Cherylanne Farley says
That would be LOVE stupid auto correct
Colleen Whitley says
I visit the website http://www.cakewrecks.com when I am feeling down. I also bake good cakes from scratch but frosting them; not so good. When only a bit of icing is scraped into the compost it is a win regardless of what the cake looked like. I still keep trying and my family appreciates it so that is what counts.
Erica Rogers says
He wanted to enjoy your creation as a whole, while still eating. . I guess he figured out how to have his cake and eat it too!!! Hee Hee
Amanda Carter says
That buttercream looks delicious!!
Aleea Brewer says
A beautiful cake, no scraps and a happy husband, what’s not to like. Good for you both.
Laura the Librarian says
Now I want cake.
Maria (BearMountainBooks) says
There is nothing wrong with that cake. Well, to be completely sure, you’d have to send me two big pieces to taste. 🙂 Happy Birthday, Gordon. If it isn’t your birthday, just move it to fit in with the cake. No need to stand on ceremony or keep birthdays to just one day.
Good looking cakes may get you more “likes”, but delicious cakes will win you hearts.
Living in the US, the hardest thing to balance is the amount of sugar that goes into a cake. To my Asian taste buds, less sugar is almost always a win, but to my rest of the world friends, more sugar is usually the safer option. So whenever I bake I always have to consider my options.
Here are two examples, Strawberry Mousse Cake, lighter, less sweet, Asian favorite. And Death by Chocolate cake, for the rest of the folks.
We lived in Japan for 9 yrs. My kids tasted buds adjusted to less sugar and we always bought from the fresh bakeries in the neighborhood. When they got home to the US it took them a while to adjust, but I still hear complaints about American cakes being too sweet.
I’m a professional baker and you did great!!! Swiss Meringue Buttercream is high level baking!!! I WISH I HAD A PIECE!!!
Helen’s eyes lit up. “What kind of cake?”
“The delicious kind.”
Cherylanne Farley says
Yaaasss!! Deep dish cheers!.,
Oh… that is a Good one!
Amy R says
+1… with a little drooling because I want a piece of that delicious cake!
That cake sounded delicious. Want to share the recipe?????????. But yes y’all deserve the little treats in life. I know y’all work so hard and long to bring us joy in your writings. I await eagerly and cheers to y’all.
Michele G says
Great looking Cake. And it’s Chocolate & Strawberry Cake. How can that EVER be bad. My mouth is watering just lookimg at it. Well done.
At some point can we have the recipe?
The only thing that would be better would be chocolate and raspberry;) My mom used to make me a particular kind of cake for my birthday when I was a kid, it was chocolate layered with pastel tinted whipped cream-YUM!
I have exactly the same issue with my cakes, and please can we have the recipe?
Lynn Thompson says
Ha ha ha, Ilona Andrews. Loved your post. My co workers were and friends as well as family are of the opinion that it may look like manure but tastes fantastic. Gold star for Gordon. In my house what falls to the side or the floor is manna from Heaven. Other houses have a 3 second rule but not in my house.
So be happy. Every human has a talent and I prefer to cook well not picture perfect which can be really gross sometimes.
My cousin makes “kitty litter” for the annual family reunion and every year there is a fight over the last spoonful. No kitty litter is not given name but it’s what cousin’s brother said first time she brought it. It has chocolate and whipped cream etc in it. Very decadent and rich. But looks like cat litter. So laugh and enjoy.
Yummmm. After seeing the cake and reading about its wonderful layers I had to get chocolate ASAP! So I had to hunt up some, the cupboards are almost bare but I found some brownies in the freezer from long ago. A quick thaw in the microwave and the craving was conquered. So thankful I don’t have a scale to weigh myself during this stay at home period of time. ????
My husband is a cake NUT! When I make one, I take the extra I cut off to level it and place it in a zip bag…He calls this my “Decoy Cake” , that keeps him from diving into the actual item before it’s time.
You can cut off the top to level it?
Huh. Who knew? Smart. 🙂
Here I was, artfully arranging icing on top … lots of icing …
Yes, we do “decoy cake” too: usually, it’s the burnt or misshapen edges.
Michelle M says
Its chocolate, who cares how it looks. Its made from scratch, another bonus, cut yourself some slack you are way ahead of the game. I have not baked anything that requires I have to cream butter and sugar in years. Cakes and cookies baked from the box for me, it tastes the same every time but it does lack the decadent flavor that made from scratch baked goods have.
Lora Tyler says
You are amazing. I baked cupcakes last night. Didn’t get to put any frosting on them. Not that I like that much frosting anyway, but it was my son’s birthday. They were gone along with the pizza I bought for the party. Kids disappeared as well. Feeling deflated, I cooked myself a steak and that was all folks. LOL
IT looks divine. Glad Gordon enjoyed it, lol…. I love all your food posts!!
I made a cake this week. My usual icing is too runny so I put in in the frig. Still tastes great. My secret is Mexican vanilla.
I can’t count how many times I’ve taken a bite of a beautiful cake that looks gorgeous and costs $$$ and been disappointed. Taste wins for me every time!
Fan in California says
What she said! Sound like it’d make your eyes roll back in your head. Forget purty.
Eu ia escrever em inglês mas fiquei com medo de soar irônico ou errado. (Incrível como eu consigo ler as coisas mas morro pra escrever).
O bolo parece delicioso. Me deu vontade de ir no mercado e comprar uma fatia mas, no momento, é melhor ficar em casa, infelizmente.
Chocolate cake is not my go to, but that sounds delicious! Now I wish I had a slice
Inga Abel says
It looks soooo tasty! Now I am craving chocolate-cake ????♀️! Bad! Bad! Bad! I already gained 2kg because of corona-stay-at-home-selfmade-cookies! Its going to rain for the next days! Desaster in my figure-future! Enjoy your cake! Recipe pretty please?!?
Greets from switzerland!
Can’t bake. First time I baked I decided to cut the amount of sugar , it seemed too much. They looked ok, but were tasteless.
Plus I have very old oven, so either the cookies burn or are runny.
I can make Irish soda bread in a toaster oven.
So I think you are a baking genius.
It looks scrumptious.
I envy anyone who can create such wonderful desserts.
Can’t knit, can’t bake, but i can cook, love making soup . And I am an expert at reading. And shopping for anything ????. I can find a bargain or the hidden gem fast. Plus pets love me at first sight. Dogs who bark at everyone, come over to me and wag their tail.
And I always remember the pets name, maybe not the owner but the pet. Weird memory for almost anything . I hear it , see it or read it and it sticks in my head.
Thank you for sharing all your culinary skills.
It looks delicious and now I’m craving some cake.
I might try baking some tomorrow 😀
Claire M says
Taste is wwaaaaaayy more important than looks! And it looks tasty!! Personally I think super fancy cakes are over rated 😉 now I wanna go make chocolate cake…mmmm
Shannon from Texas says
With tons of respect and care, may I please say – you’re too hard on yourself, Ilona. That cake is gorgeous. Homemade cakes aren’t supposed to look like professionally made ones – that’s like calling an apple ugly because it doesn’t look like a banana. Cake decorators typically use royal icing on the outside because buttercream isn’t stiff enough. But buttercream tastes better – any chance you could share your recipe? It looks silky, fluffy and scrumptious!
Personally, I think it looks fabulous! You took the time to make it, and if it tastes good, that’s all that matters. ANd I’m sure Gordon loves it! Home run!! Go you!
That cake looks wonderful!
Now I’m hungry.
No cake at home, but there are mango mochi in the freezer. NOT the same, alas.
If one of MY cakes looked that good, I’d be proud. And yes, I agree – “rustic” is definitely an enviable decor skill. Your cake is beautiful, the frosting looks to die for. Feel free to post a short video of Gordon cutting into the cake so that we can see the inside. He can even swear when he takes a bite….
Jenn Hayes says
I enjoy you guys so much. From cake carnage to your hubby being awesome and threatening to put his foot down because he’s worried about you. You guys are amazing and I see your personalities in your characters more and more with these posts. Thanks for the laughs and all y’all do. Your books, especially the KD series always cheer me up and bring me a sense of comfort during stressful times.
Thank you so much for the giggle over the cake. Last week I would have paid quite a bit for that cake. It was my youngest child’s birthday and I didn’t have the ingredients or the pans to make her cake. Her birthday is very close to my dad’s, so my mom always made the cake and we celebrated them both at the same time. I live in the Detroit tri-county area, so there is no seeing any family any time soon, and you never know what food you will find at the store. Today they had toilet paper, but no meat to speak of. No flour either.
The cake looks yummy, can’t go wrong with chocolate and strawberries 😀
I have the same problem, they taste good but look horrible. It’s especially embarrassing if the cake’s supposed to be sold at some village fair.
A conversation with one of the old village ladies (whose cake ofc looked gorgeous…) cheered me back up then, it went something like this:
Me: This cake looks ridiculously ugly!
Old lady: Did you put anything bad into it?
M: of course not!
OL: then it can’t taste bad. If you only put in good ingredients, it has to be tasty.
Sounds better in German dialect, but this amounts to a rough translation 😀
Enjoy the cake!
Would love that cake recipe myself lol
Eh I’ve never even tried icing a cake with homemade frosting. I’m impressed. And as my mother used to say, “It all looks the same once it gets in your stomach.” I’m with Gordon, though- I wouldn’t of those cake bits go to waste either!
Cheers and thanks for sharing!
Janet Snyder says
I was watching Chef’s Table on Netflix and they had the Chef from Milk Bar in New York I can’t remember her name. She does not frost the sides of the cake as she thinks people should be able to see the inside after all the work you do. It’s more important to her that it tastes good and you see the work you put on the inside than a perfectly frosted cake. I thought it was a great way to look at things.
Christina Tosi. That is worth watching just to make one feel happy. She has an indomitable spirit and kinda defines “impish”. She has stuff like crack pie and cereal milk desserts. I thought of her immediately when frosting came up. Was in NYC just before all the shutdowns started and went into one the Milkbars. OMG.
I am now dying to go down to NYC and to milk bar
Kelly M says
So many “professionally decorated” cakes taste like absolute crap because they use frosting (or worse, fondant) designed to hold a shape and/or look pretty instead of a frosting chosen for taste. It’s like flawless, tasteless grocery store tomatoes versus a slightly blotchy heirloom tomato from a local farmer – one taste is all it takes to know the pitted, lumpy heirloom is WHERE IT’S AT. I see a cake like yours, with delightfully gloopy droopy bits, and my brain instantly assumes it tastes AMAZING.
Is there a recipe you can share for this delectable confection or can you point us to the book(s) or blog(s) where we might find it?!
I’m right there with you. I can bake and make it taste good, but my decor skills just aren’t there. My hats off to anyone who possesses both skills. I do still think it looks pretty good and it’s making me want cake. ????
Patricia Sparrazza says
Hey, at least you were able to find flour to bake with! Win/win!The fact that it’s delicious entirely negates how it looks. No one cares when the plate’s empty what it looked like!
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and cheesecake is the only kind of cake he likes. So, for the first time ever, I made a cheesecake from scratch in a springform pan. Despite the fact the I double wrapped the pan in heavy duty aluminum foil with no seams, a little bit of water still leaked into my crust. He scraped off just the outside section of the crust and said that the rest was amazing so I’m taking it!! Generally I’m a really good cook but not much of a baker because I hate having to measure everything but I’ve been baking a lot since we’ve been under quarantine and I’m finding that since I have the time, I really enjoy it even though it often looks a little sketchy ????
If you have an instant pot, you should try cooking the ‘this old gal’ cheesecake. Best basic cheesecake I have ever made or tasted. Also, because it is done in a small space, the cake is small – which is great if you are cooking for 2 or 3…
Lynne B says
I think it looks great !! and delicious !! and time consuming to make!! …………………………………………… Wish I had some !!!
Thanks for sharing !!
Mmmm, looks good. Now I want to bake. I am not a cake person but I am tempted to make one. Maybe cookies
You can bake a cake for my family. We would eat your messy cut off pieces AND the decorated cake in one swoop!! It looks amazing.
It looks (and sounds) yummy! Gordon sounds like my dad haha
My family loves German Chocolate Cake, the reason is for the icing made from scratch which is technically a filling. If you eat coconut butter-pecan frosting from a can you are doing it wrong. I decided once when I was in a baking mood that not only would I make the icing from scratch, I’d do the cake as well. So I decided to experiment with my mother’s work (who will eat ANYTHING) before my family. First go, total success. Then I got cocky. I was making the second cake for my family and for some reason decided I remembered the oven temp didn’t double check. So I’m watching this cake bake EXTREMELY fast and oh dear lord I had the oven set 100 too high (big whoops). Yeah, that was bad, turned it down and the inside of the cake was fine, the outside not so much. I cut off the burned parts and my aunt (the one who ABSOLUTELY LOVES this cake) said don’t throw it away. I ended up having a bowl of ‘burnt ends’ that I dumped the extra icing on (I don’t believe in using part of a can of condensed milk so I over make the batch every time). My aunt and cousin were literally fighting over that bowl ignoring the ‘real’ cake. Honestly in my family the cake is just a vessel for distribution of the icing anyway.
You had me at chocolate and strawberries ????????
Not just Swiss meringue buttercream, but chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream! I’m a fair home baker, but Swiss buttercream eludes me. Utterly. That cake made me drool. forget worrying about how a cake looks. I’ve been served ‘way too many lovely cardboard cakes. Go for the gusto, and you nailed it. I want some. Now. I’ll have to settle for layers of coffee and vanilla ice cream layered with orange ice and drizzled with fudge sauce. All homemade. Gotta go with what I got. Nope. Still want some of that cake.
99% of the really pretty insanely expensive wedding I have tried tasted about like what you’d expect the box it came in to taste like. YOUR cake looks like it tastes great.
In one of my culinary academy classes we were shown a book cook cover for a wedding cake cook. The cake was several layers and had a lean comparable to the Tower of Pisa. The white frosting looked nasty and appeared to have been applied with a small trowel. Your cake puts that other cake to shame. No lie. The other cake was gracing the cover of a Martha Stewart book. The chef wanted us to know how NOT to do it.
If you wish to practice, mix cheapo margarine and sugar into a “buttercream” and practice with that. Use can reuse it quite a few times. Don’t, of course, use for eating, just for practicing technique.
So, your frosting has feathers. Play to your strengths, Play with those feathers, make them all go in one direction around the cake, or that sore of thing. And if you really want a more “pro” look, get a frosting turntable. Put on the cake, and frost and then turn while holding spatula. Learned that in basic pastry. And it makes a huge difference.
I’ll be waiting for a piece of that very tempting looking cake in the mail.
Pretty is in the eye of the beholder and never lasts – when you cut, grab and eat, it stops looking pretty.
Tasting good lasts. And taste memory can take us everywhere.
So good for you for Taste Memory and don’t beat yourself up too much for Pretty.
(At least that’s how I deal with it, being a Bad Baker since I don’t even wait for the baking but attack at the dough stage. Sigh)
I’m sorry but I have to side with your husband on the leftover pieces, leave nothing to waste and you will be well rewarded. As to the cake itself it looks way better than what I could do. You are too much of a self critic if you think this is not one of your skills. And if it tastes even a little bit as good as your writing talents then it is probably a masterpiece.
Yummy! I love a little bit of cake with my frosting…lol. The cake looks like love to me and that’s the most important thing of all.
Hilarious… And your cake looks way better than any of mine!
(Also, I got so giddy just reading about the people you need to thank because it made it seem as if the release date was closer than ever- I can’t wait!)
Karen the Griffmom says
I just want to dig my fingers into the floopy frosting in the side . . .
Jessica A says
Hey, I’ve seen, and done, a hell of a lot worse than that. Doing buttercream with a ziplock bag is a talent on its own – last time I tried that, I may have said bad words. Many, many bad words. It’s also important to remember that if a thing is made of delicious, it really doesn’t matter what it looks like. Nothing invalidates delicious. Especially profanity level delicious. God, I really want chocolate cake now. lol
It looks fine! Google image search ”baking fails”, if you really want to see things that probably tasted good but looked different than expected!
I just picked up one of your books not too long ago and found myself consuming it at warp speed. I have now devoured everything I could get my grubby little fingers on that was created by Ilona Andrews. *Burp* I am pleasantly satiated at the moment and have you both to thank for it.
Meandered onto your blog and I have to say I so appreciate your posts. Thanks for keeping it real and thanks for throwing out those little crumbs (aka: snacks) that you guys have been working on.
Ilona- Swiss meringue buttercream is my favorite. Not very easy to work with, but slap that stuff on a cake and you will make just about any mouth happy. I had to laugh at Gordon eating the shavings first. My husband calls them “cake rinds”. Your confectionary creation is lovely. I’d eat a piece for sure. At least your dowels did their job, unlike the time I had an incident with dowels(or a lack thereof), the trunk of a car, and an explosion of cake innards…
Hey that cake don’t look bad to me. More important than how it looks is always how does it taste because I have seen some beautiful looking cakes that you couldn’t pay me to eat cause they tasted so nasty. Love that even amongst the crazy business that is your lives as some of the most wonderful authors I have had the joy to read you still find a way to let us into the simple ordinary everyday of your lives and make us feel as if we are a part of it.
I can’t decorate either. That looks tasty, which is all I really care about. I’m kinda like Gordon in that I would probably have nibbled cake first. Your combination sounds inspired.
I did that this weekend, only it was sauce and lasagna. I got my grandmothers sauce recipe, and my mom’s lasagna recipe and made it for the first time. My husband hovered all over the kitchen, “Why are you putting that in it? Are you sure it needs to cook for this long? Is that going to all fit in there?” etc. Until, when it was done, and he tried the sauce and ate a meatball. He also used profanity to describe its deliciousness. He couldn’t believe how good the homemade sauce was compared to canned from the store.
Now I want cake. Damnit.
RIGHT? It looks absolutely scrumptious to me. I caught sight of the cake photo and the new Ryder snippet at the same time and had a hard time dragging myself away from the cake photo. I started drooling darn it and I HAVE NO CAKE IN THE HOUSE! Chocolate and strawberry are so perfect together.
OMG thats CAKE not just cake! I’ve never iced anything but that looked pretty darn good. I can only imagine what Swiss meringue chocolate buttercream is but wooohooo, sounds amazing. Is strawberry filling a common combination with chocolate cake in the US? Here in the UK I’d guess we’d use strawberry with vanilla sponge and chocolate or plain buttercream icing or cream with chocolate sponge- not sure if thats too boring or not!?
I don’t usually bake but as we’re in lockdown I used the last of my self-raising flour to make a rhubard and custard cake for the hubby’s birthday as a friend had dropped off a kg of homegrown forced rhubard. I added 100 g of extra fruit and used the juices to glaze it but next time I’ll blob or add an extra layer of custard as well as adding it to the cake mix. Both tart and sweetly custardy and squidgy, it was delicious, but didn’t last long! Its basicially the on-line BBC good food receipe if anyone wants to try it.
Enjoy your cake and thanks too for the Julie updates and future serial- thats like having my cake and eating it too 🙂
Usually it’s cherry, but I had 4 lbs of frozen strawberries. 😀 I like the sour note of it, because everything else was sweet.
Cake is beautiful!
Dowels are smart: I must try that.
Rhubarb & custard: ahh, childhood memories … another favourite in Atlantic Canada is strawberry & rhubarb in a pie.
I have Devon custard in a tin as “strategic reserve”.
Oooh, it is taking such self-control to not go & eat it right now …
I wish I had time to make custard from scratch … but we also don’t have good old Bird’s custard powder.
That’s the problem with being all virtuous at the store: you get home and … 🙂
Strawberry rhubarb pie is also popular in the US Midwest. ????
I like using raspberries with chocolate.
Love the word “squidgy”!!
That cake looks amazing! The description indicates that it’s doubly delicious too which is even more important :). The crumb thing is what my husband would do too, I don’t know why but he seems to feel hesitant to hemp himself to any dessert that I spend a lot of time on, especially if it’s delicious. Like he’s saving it for me even if I made it mostly for him :).
Not hemp, help, sorry ????
Help not hemp, sorry ????
It was edible. That’s leaps and bounds ahead of what I can do. Cookies, cookies I can make but cakes…..well, if you’ve ever seen the Sleeping Beauty scene where the witches are trying to make the surprise for Rose……about sums it up. For cooking, sewing, and cleaning lol
+ 1 one of my favourite scenes in a childhood movie …
And when the candles are sliding down the broom,
and she keeps moving them back … comedic!
They are good fairies, BTW.
Flora, Fauna & Merryweather. 🙂
Right you are and that’s my favorite of the Disney movies too. I have been re-reading Anne Bishop’s Black Jewel series so magic=jewels; women who do magic=witches; and my cursing usually involves the words ‘mother night’. For some reason every time I read or watch things I start to use stuff from the stories. It’s totally weird but apparently how I roll.
Kat M says
Honestly, you can tell it’s delicious by how it’s askew. Like, my mouth is watering just looking at it.
Yvonne A says
The cake look deligous,
Ever since I learned to make it in school, Swiss buttercream has been my favorite to make!! (None of this American buttercream nonsense ????????♀️)
If decorating the side of a cake is a challenge, you can cheat and pack on chopped nuts, jazzed up cereal, or sprinkles. Sure, we eat with our eyes, but at the end of the day, taste is all that matters. I wish I could try the cake! Gordon is a lucky man!
OMG…I googled Swiss buttercream because, you know, I’d only ever assumed there was one type of buttercream (and usually Betty Crocker makes it and puts it in a tub for me!). However, I’ve found out about the Swiss (fiddly) and what appears to be the even fiddlier Italian. It’s a whole new world!
I give you a 10 out of 10.
Looks delicious, sounds amazing. Don’t fall down the trap of comparing yourself to others who have all the stuff.
Ellen D says
The cake looks yummy. I made triple chocolate banana bread. Hubby just grins and waffles his eyebrows. Its nice when our efforts are appreciated.
Diane D says
trailing wife says
I miss having the energy for serious baking. That cake looks delicious — and decorated to show the contents, no less — a beautiful glazed strawberry, chocolate chips, and something else that looks interesting. I had no idea real people did glazed strawberries, that’s something for me to aspire to — and Swiss meringue frosting instead of plain buttercream? Gordon must feel very loved.
In the photo it looks like the frosting was just a tad too soft to hold the shape when you piped it on, so I checked CooksIllustrated.com, which addressed the issue, suggesting to me it’s a common problem:
“Cool the chocolate to between 85 and 100 degrees before adding it to the frosting. If the frosting seems too soft after adding the chocolate, chill it briefly in the refrigerator and then rewhip it until creamy.”
Chilling it did not occur to me as a fix — my instinct would have been just to whip it more, like whipped cream or meringue at the soft peak stage, which shows how useless my instincts are in this case.
Amanda in Austin says
Ahhh that looks stunning. Who cares if it’s not professional or YouTuber-professional in appearance? I still think it’s gorgeous and if it tasted great, home-freakin’-run. Next up, recipe? You know so us complete amateurs can butcher it… 🙂
Hot diggity! That cake belongs out there for all to see it! It is awesome!
Thank you so much for sharing!
Patricia Schlorke says
So long as the cake is edible, who cares what it looks like on the outside? I gave up on layer cakes a long time ago. I just make the 13×9 version from a box mix. 🙂 One thing I do to make the box mix taste like homemade is to put in either pure vanilla extract or orange extract. Yum!
April White says
I speak as someone who describes incredible food with swears. It is beyond a home run. That’s something I’d request as my last meal option.
It’s the bad looking cakes that taste the best. Ppl who worry what it looks like sacrifice on flavor. As my mom always says “never trust a skinny chef” ????
Hey taste is all that matters and if the flavor was that good he swore, goal achieved.
Ι need to be thanked in the acknowledgments for Emerald Blaze like this:
-A big thanks to Katerina for suppressing the urge to spam-mail us confessing her eternal love for us and our work.
Chocolate cakes are both my greatest love and failure. They’re my fave cake, especially with ganache, but every time I’ve tried to make them myself they end up tasting either metallic or acidic or just not chocolatey at all ????????♀️
Yours might not be pintrest perfect, but it looks yummy and the description alone is ????
Patricia Schlorke says
Sometimes it is the cocoa you are using that’s causing the cake to taste acidic and/or metallic. My recommendation is to taste a tiny bit of cocoa on your finger before using. If it tastes acidic or metallic, then don’t use. Dutch processed cocoa is the best for making cakes.
Sarah M says
Picture perfect cake usually doesn’t get eaten because people don’t want to ruin the picture. I’ll take lovingly decorated scrumptiousness anyday! And I’m with you both, I’d eat the actual cake and the leftover bits, because no cake should be wasted!
Dowels! tears of laughter……yes yes yes, because many of us aced food deliciousness and floundered in the presentation quiz,
Valerie in CA says
Him eating the pieces you cut off: must not be a guy who wastes anything. His twin from another mother and father lives in California. Who saved the plastic bags from veggies you get at the grocery store? Magically I know where a drawer of them are hiding. I’m case anyone is wondering.
Reaction to the actual cake: I think I have a glimpse of why you two are married. Good guy
My Latest show addiction The Great British Bake Off.
Ok, confession time. For the last 6-8 weeks I’ve been binging on Lemon cake with crushed strawberry filling with lemon cream cheese icing. The cakes have all looked Gastly, but they taste sooooo good. It’s like I hv a citrus deficiency. I just can’t get enough of the lemon/strawberry combo. Three layers, three cake dowels for stabilization. It’s the best.
Poops, that’s Ghastly, with a “gh”.
(Hate autocorrect). That’s Oops, not the other. Le Sigh.
Needs ice cream says
I want ice cream. I keep opening my freezer, hoping it will magically appear. So far, it hasn’t . I am sad.
Anything made with love and a giving heart is beautiful. Other aesthetic are unimportant. Although, I think it looked quite delicious. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Honestly, cake decorating is black magic. I tried…on my Mom’s birthday cake several years ago. We both began having a bunch of food allergies, and so I decided to make a special “this won’t trigger any problems” cake. It was supremely ugly. But it tasted good!
Your cake looked delicious. I’m envious of people who make cakes. I have a daughter-in-law who makes awesome cakes and decorations. Which is why I stick to cupcakes. And pies. Love the thought of strawberry and chocolate. Your husband is blessed in many ways.
Karen Kalthoff says
What is zip lock bag frosting? It looks very creamy. I am enjoying the Ryder snippets very much. Thank you both.
Instead of using a piping bag with a structured tip, you put the icing in a ziplock bag, twist the bag into a cone shape, snip off one corner and apply the icing…
See, I think the Great British Bakeoff created so many unrealistic expectations. I think any cake that doesn’t slide sideways is a win.
Exactly Gilly! How it tastes is the truest measure! Have had exquisite looking cakes that were very dry or squiggie-bland which ruins the whole thing IMO.
Roger that!! I can’t bake any cake wo using cake dowels.
Yum! I wish I could do a dessert exchange with you – we just make dog cookies that can be eaten by humans (banana, peanut butter, oats). No comparison.
Love the side frosting look, so fluffy and you could sneak a finger taste and not get caught!
That is a bloody good looking cake.
I’m sorry, but I have to say this is a terrible, terrible post. There’s no recipe T_T ;p I wanna go make a cake now, it would go nice with the strawberries I just grabbed from the yard.
I stole a tip from my friend who does cake decorating professionally and use a credit card blank (the kind they send to try and get you to sign up for their account) that I sanitized to make a nice smooth look. Ziploc bagging it totally works, too. I had to stop using them as piping bags once I squeezed a little too much and then it exploded on me. XD
I love cake! Yours looks very pretty.
Kim and Keera mentioned it already; if you would like some nonsense to distract you, “Nailed It” is perfect. They have international versions, too. Some episodes have made my mom and I cry laughing.
Now to figure out if getting a Kievsky cake from Karina’s Cakehouse is an essential need…
I would totally eat that cake. Now I feel like cake. Mmmm cake
I was a part-time cake decorator at a busy grocery store a LONG time ago. It is very much different to decorate cakes at home versus a bakery-like setup.
My favorite cake is Buttermilk Chocolate Sheet Cake, which my family has been making since the 60s.
After the decorating job, it’s hard for me to eat cake and I never eat cake mix cake. Hazard of the job, I guess. I did pay for a trip to Disney for my kiddo tho ????
Stephanie L Craddick says
It looks great to me.
Karen Kalthoff says
Thanks for clearing up the zip lock question folks. I have never piped frosting onto a cake. I just glob it on and spread it all over the cake.
That looks amazing! Any chance you would be willing to share the cake and frosting recipes? Also thank you so much for the sanity-snippets!
Taryn Rivers says
That cake looks delicious! I make a triple chocolate torte that my family raves about and insists on for every birthday. It never looks quite right either, as it has a whipped cream finish that never seems to pipe right. But like your family, they don’t care, its all about the taste. I envy you the swiss buttercream, but I’m allergic to eggs so if I want to be able to eat it, I have to make do with American buttercream or other types of eggless frostings. It’s all good though, gives me a reason to get creative.
Oh my. This cake looks deleeshus… mainly because it’s covered in chocolate and has a strawberry on top. I almost drooled at your description.
Cake admiration aside, I wanted to let you know your books are awesome! Many hours have been spent literally squeeing while I read your books. Thank you for being the source of so much enjoyment.
Dang! That cake looks and, from Gordon’s reaction, is decadent.
I like chocolate and strawberries, though the best cake I ever had was a Black Forest cake. It was just tart cherries, fudge icing and dark chocolate cake – no whipped cream or anything. I’m still wishing I had the recipe, though I’d probably never make it. It’s bad for me and I’d be throwing cake away because I couldn’t finish it before it died of old age.
I never tried dowels, but I’ve used a lot of toothpicks over the years. I usually make the plainest of cakes when I bake now. I make a 9 X 13 chocolate cake and ice it while it’s still hot. The icing is smooth when it cools – absolutely plain. It is also quite tasty and I can easily send pieces home with friends and family.
Now I want cake.
I have chocolate mousse cake in the freezer…
The cakes looks yummy! I will vicariously through the picture and use my imagination about eating it. I already feel the weight go on. I really should have shared.
My mother told me when I was very young, as her mother had told her, to be prepared because the women in our family can make cakes that look good or taste good, possibly neither, but never both. Then she told me that, although she’d know my dad since grade school, the first time she realized he was special, was when they were dating in college. She made one of the best tasting cakes of her life to take to a party, and apologized to him for how bad it looked. He said, “It’s a college party. Nobody will care.” She had put it in a cake box to hold it together, and on his way through the door my dad “tripped” over the threshold and dropped the box, proclaiming loudly, “Oh no Mary! I’ve ruined your beautiful cake!” Everybody loved the cake and blamed my dad for how it looked.
oh my! He sounds like a keeper, for sure
Ashleigh Kuhns says
I decorate cakes as part of my job and I think you did an awesome job. Whenever I decorate a cake if any mistake is made or the icing doesn’t cooperate and stay the way I want it to, I think what I did looks hideous but when others look at it, they think it looks beautiful. Your design is cool and turned out great.
Eating the cut off hump is an excellent idea. I actually purchased two humps from a fancy bakery in Houston as an early Mother’s Day present. They are selling them as a survival kit 🙂 They just need a better name to catch up. Hump is not appealing but then again cake balls took off .
Gotta say yours with strawberries and the buttercream sound amazing!!
“Profanitily Good” should be the new catchphrase. Lol! Now I’ve got to go bake some %*#@(! brownies!
The outside doesn’t matter in most things… cake is one of these for me… if the inside is delicious the decoration doesn’t matter.. kind of like Kate’s Apple pies 🙂
And I LOL with the eating of the pieces you cut off… 🙂
As i always say “Cake is a vehicle for icing” and Yours looks delicious!
Rest up and stay safe x
Lovely idea to bake him a cake . Can we see a picture of the inside when Gordon has succumbed to taking a slice of it please.
Men will be men. My ex-boyfriend often took me to his parents’ house, his mom was always there and she always fed us. Then one day just before Easter, nobody was home and he took it upon himself to be a good host. He served me an uncooked soup (Polish Zurek which takes several hours to be make) and for desert he cut me pieces of ‘each cake -vanilla and chocolate’. When i saw it I cracked up. It wasn’t cake. It was the two layers. His mom run out of ingredients so she left to get them and mean time he spoiled her unfinished cake :’). Poor woman. I told him to put them back there, so she could decorate and stick them together with some filling but the damage was done – he already had some. It tasted weird but he didn’t care. Bonus – the cat run away when I offered her a bit of sausage from the soup before I ate it. It didn’t look right to me and I was right :D. I loved that cat.
Love your posts Ilona, they brighten my day every single time 🙂
As an avid baker (who is quite good at cakes), the only thing that really matters is how good it tastes. Appearances are for magazines.
Cakes are good — especially when it calls for stout and chocolate
My husband since I’m not allowed to bake for a few weeks since I made a few dozen corona cookies (chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip) and corona cake (Kentucky butter cake with a bourbon glaze. Gotta work out hard for a week then I can make corona breads and cinnamon rolls
Oh man butter and bourbon, sign me up, that sounds amazing. Working that off would definitely be worth it
Kristin S says
Marry me? Can I have cake then?
Cakeeeee. Yeah I suck at decorating them too. But as Long as they taste good. If you wish to comment on how it looks, stay away from my yummy cake.
Oh. I miss cake. Time to start baking…
Glad your efforts are (were?) profanity-worthy. My decorating skills suck to the point that I almost never make a layer cake, so good on ya for that. The best I can do is a flat 9”x13”. Whatev. It’s the taste that counts. ????????♀️????
I hear you, I can bake as many layers you want me, but it’s like I get suddenly tired and out of patience when I need to decorate it. I love Swiss meringue chocolate buttercream.
Kate T. says
???? Good job on the cake. I am the same. I spent a, year cooking ať a Youth center and my, rule was just that – my cooking tastes good, but Not looks good. Even if I try it has this ‘Child-like quality’ to it… ????????♀️
Lizz D. says
I’m a carb-free, low-fat, sugar free person (I had gastric bypass in 2017), and I’m 36 weeks pregnant and craving sweets. Your cake looks like heaven, and I hate you for it. Just a little. Not really. But please, tell him to eat some for me and the one in my belly who has been trying to kill me this whole pregnancy (carbs, sweets, everything I can’t have is what I’m craving…).
I’m with you as far as low carbs and sugar free foods but my diet change was caused by diabetes. Sometimes it just stinks but that’s why there’s sugar free chocolate pudding, heh. Occasionally when I crave sweets I’ll eat a favorite salty or savory treat and the change of taste helps lessen the craving. I always have a can of black olives on hand just for that reason. Take care and best of luck. It sounds like you’ve taken charge of things.
Lizz D. says
I have found some creative ways to get my sweet fix too. Fruit, and I have a brownie recipe I make using Powdered Peanut Butter (PB2/PB Fit), Splenda, Cocoa Powder, water, and some SF Chocolate chips, or a few Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips. You just pop it in the microwave, and it comes out fantastic. 🙂
Debi Majo says
Swiss buttercream is HARD! But absolutely delightful! I think it looks fabulous! I would love it!!! You are AWESOME!
Looks amazing better than any of mine anyway take care and stay safe ❤️????????
That looks delicious; thanks for posting it. It cheered me up a lot yesterday; thank you!
Bill G says
Looks great to me!
It’s a cake made with love. There is no better cake than that. And frankly, it looks delicious. I’m not a baker, and I’m sure a cake I made would be leaning and groaning as it tried to stay together. You more than accomplished that.
Thank you for the Ryder novella/book. I really love seeing Julie’s transformation to a very competent and powerful adult. House Andrews stories are the best!
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Peace and blessings to both of you and kid1 and 2.
Looks pretty amazing to me..in be very happy if someone made me a cake like that.
Books also are awesome and the Ryder series is a fabulous treat..thank you.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
You’re looking at this wrong. It’s an artistic hand made and decorated cake. Chocolate sprinkles everywhere and you’re set. Trust me, I bake cake and sell them at the farmers market. I’m crap for decorating but boy do they taste good. I use Swiss buttercream or glaze.
Tiffany Crystal says
Tag yourself…I’m Gordon, lmao. I do the same thing when my roommate makes a cake. So good….????????????
Your cake looks better than anything I could do, go girl!
OMG that looks amazing!
It sounds delicious so I would be happy to comsume any leftovers. ????
I think your cake looks amazing and delicious!
I love baking and my cakes usually taste delicious but I also struggle with the decorating. I can never manage to make them look pretty but I figure as long as they taste good that’s the important thing. Your cake looks and sounds delicious though. I wish it was possible to pull a slice through my phone screen!
Gordon sounds like my Dad, he can never let any food go to waste. I remember when we were kids he’d finish off every plate round the table when my brother and I didn’t eat our whole meals. I’ll happily let someone else eat the leftover healthy foods but no way I can leave cake uneaten ????
Johanna J says
I’m just impressed when anyone actually bakes anymore. I usually take a lazy route (buying one). That said, looks good to me. 🙂
Your cake looks absolutely delicious. It is homemade with love and looks it. I would eat it just based on the looks potential. (Luscious)
The description nailed it.
Your cake looks fabulous! I am not a great baker and really appreciate those who can. My friend who lives up the street has been a lifesaver- she has dropped off various baked treats during the lock down so we are not deprived of sweets! Your husband is a lucky guy. Thanks for everything you do!
That sounds so delicious! Who cares what it looks like.
D Hart says
Ok. I tried attaching a pic of my Christmas cake that I dropped in the container (thank goodness) walking into my girls night out party. Let’s note, I work a lot of big hours for my job, I have 2 teenage active sons. I don’t have time to bake a cake, but I love Ian Garten’s chocolate cake so I made time. I decorated (sorta). And I dropped it – so it looked like steps to chocolate cake. But it was still a great cake. Even spring baking championship will pass a good tasting cake over a not so perfect design.
I made your pork carnitas recipe last night from a blog or 12 back. Thank you, family loved it.
If that cake were in my house I’d dive face first into it and slash anyone that got in my way. Looks divine to me and love all those flavors! ????
Swiss meringue buttercream is bomb. I just made a similar cake for my nephews’ birthday but it was marble cake instead of chocolate.
OMG, that cake looks and sounds so delicious. I want some so badly.
Judy Schultheis says
I don’t eat cake very often – but I have a carrot cake recipe that I make occasionally.
It doesn’t require pineapple (which doesn’t go with carrot for my taste) or nuts, and it is so delicious it doesn’t even need frosting. Although the cream cheese frosting usually used for carrot cake is one of the few I can stand, and the frosting recipe that was included is quite good.
Recipes or it didn’t happen! ????
Ugly cake tops are the best. I save them for myself when I bake. There was a bakery in Houston that used to sell them. They would sandwich with some icing. It was the perfect snack sized piece of cake, imo.
Wendy S says
You must really be feeling better. You have energy! Yummy looking cake. Too bad we can’t taste as well as see it!
That looks like a cake worthy of dropping your head in the middle and eating your way out to the sides. Enjoy!
Lauren Owen says
taste is everything – and I say death by chocolate it looks awesome wish I could taste
Ann M says
Your taste buds can’t see the cake. The only thing that counts is the taste.
Um, might I have the recipe?
When I was a child with older siblings still single and living at home, the sister born just before me used to bake cakes. They all looked like a child had slapped them together, and I used to laugh about how odd they looked. When I got a little older and was permitted to try my hand at it, my cakes looked gorgeous. All layers even, frosting evenly distributed, smooth and picture perfect. Trouble was, my cakes tasted like the dog had licked them while hers were gobbled up so fast that they never had time to go under a cover to stay fresh! The only thing that slowed down the eating of her cakes was making sure you were not stuck with one of the many toothpicks holding them together. I have switched to cupcakes only, because you don’t need to decorate them at all. I have the tips, I have the bag, but what I don’t have is steady hands to squeeze evenly and I have blobbed up frosting on every cake I tried to make “pretty”. Sheet cakes are also good for me. I was told that when making a layer cake, you put what was the tops of the layers together and kind of smash them flat to make the top and bottom even so it won’t tip. Yeah, it only kind of works. Then I was told to gently bump the bottoms of the pans to make the air bubbles come to the top and pop before baking. That works, also only “kind of”. It does at least make the tops flatter. Just like any other skill, it all takes practice, and I never got it completely right. But cake is cake, and there’s no doubt that those of us who know what and how to eat manage to make them all disappear. When profanity is involved in expressing how good it takes, you can be assured that you have done it right.
The main thing about you having made this cake is that you are actually feeling alive again and doing things that make joy. Welcome back.
I can decorate cakes, but I can’t knit. No one is good at everything. The cake tasting great is a win.
If you don’t want to decorate the cake, make it into a trifle! Layers of cake, filling and/or fruit, and frosting in a glass dish and you have a beautiful “fancy” dessert. ????
It looks delicious to me! How does one get to be one of your Beta readers? That would be an awesome job!
Since I don’t bake beyond a batch of cookies once a decade or so, it looks great to me. I do make bread on occasion, does that count ? And sometimes they’re pretty and sometimes they aren’t. LOL.
I’m the same way with decorating – my baked goods are generally delicious, but I lack the time/skill for fancy, pretty decorating. That sounds fabulous, though!
Peggy Berg says
I just want a slice.
When profanity is needed to emphasize the deliciousness of something, you are a definite winner! Now I’m totally craving cake. Thanks alot! 🙂
This is so much better than anything I could do. My Southern grandmother was renowned far and wide for her cakes. I can barely make a pound cake come out even. Layers? Forget about it.
Ann Boggs says
Oohh, yum. Please tell me you have the recipe posted on the blog? Some day when we are allowed out of the house again I want to be able to make that cake. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and delicious cakes are ALWAYS beautiful.
I think it looks great! I just rediscovered my love of baking and nothing I make looks appetizing, but they taste good so I consider that a win! Taste always outweighs looks!
OMG that cake looks luscious!!! I think you did a fabulous job of baking and decorating it!! I am sure it was yummy, and with the curse words it sounds like it was! You are way too hard on yourself Ilona! You are so good at so many different things.
I have tried to bake things, and it is only by pure luck that occassionally one thing I bake at least tastes fairly good. Usually my baked goods taste as bad as they look. I wanted to do something a little extra special for my sister for her 55th birthday, so decided to bake her a birthday cake. She is a good baker, and always makes the birthday cakes for our family. Usually we buy her cake, but this one time I wanted to have it be home made. I decided to make her a Lemon layer cake, with raspberry filing, and a Lemon Chiffon icing. The cake layers came out looking and smelling wonderful! I let the layers cool for as long as my patience would allow (I’m not that patient!), then I filled the top of each layer (except the top layer) with raspberry filing and Lemon Chiffon icing on top of that. The top layer and sides of the cake were just Lemon Chiffon. I had to use the ziplock bag method too, and was pleasantly surprised at the final result. I thought for once I had pulled it off! A beautiful cake that was going to be delicious as well!! The next day I went to get my cake container with the cake in it to bring to the birthday celebration. It seemed like something was wrong, so I lifted the lid to check it out. The cake had separated in the middle, and the four resulting parts had just sort of deflated away from the center and smooshed outwards. What a frightful looking mess!! I just sat down and cried. My sister came to see what was taking so long, and in her usual kind way, made a big fuss about how thrilled she was that I had even attempted a cake for her. She said she knew I struggled with baking, and the fact that I had tried to make her a cake which had her favorite flavors was the best gift of all. She insisted that we eat the cake, which we did with each person getting a big gloppy blob put on their plate, and it surprisingly had a really good flavor. YES!!! Success, limited though it was. So, if I had made a cake that looked like yours did Ilona, I would be taking multiple pictures of it, and showing those off to everyone I know!!
I am sure the cake meant a lot to Gordon, and tasted as good or better than it looked!! To me, your cake looked delicious!!!
Oh my, you had me at chocolate but the Swiss meringue chocolate buttercream, oh my…it looks so good. I’ve got sugar free chocolate pudding in my fridge and there’s not enough imagination in the world to pretend that’s as good as your cake. I’m off to google sugar free Swiss meringue chocolate buttercream. Perhaps the recipe for that exists. Yum, yum
Netflix has a new show for cooking and baking fast hacks featuring Nadie from the Vreat British Bake Off. I forget the season that she was a winner. But it is SUCH A GOOD SHOW and I really like her – she’s fun. She has a short cut for chocolate mousse (15 mins) and other goodies too.
Carol, thank you for sharing the show! I love Nadiya, and I’ll definitely be checking it out now. It looks like it’s called Nadiya’s Time to Eat . 🙂
Ann Chenault says
I am impressed with your Ziplock bag decorating. I have had to do that a few times when I ran out of pastry bags. Not so easy!
Glad Gordon enjoyed your efforts 🙂
I didn’t even know piping frosting was a thing until my very creative daughter became obsessed with Cake Boss! Growing up frosting was spread with a knife out of the silverware drawer and crumbs from a too warm cake just meant a ‘textured look’ & ‘cake-to-eat’ that much faster 😛 The cake is beautiful!
P.S. which means I am awed by all of you who even think to frost decoratively & creatively with a piping bag, let alone McGyver it with a Ziplock bag!
Well, you’re a 100% better cake decorator than me! I do not have enough patience to apply that much detail to something that smells that good. Ah, drooling! The cake at my house can barely make it off the cooling rack untouched! 😉
That cake sounds absolutely delicious! I’ve had my own struggles decorating cakes (haven’t we all), but watching a few YouTube videos to learn some tricks has really helped. And if you don’t have an offset spatula, using a (well cleaned!) paint scraper helps get the sides and top nice and even. Total lifesaver. Here’s a cake I spent like 30 minutes decorating, but man did the scraper and spatula help.
Happy Birthday Gordon, and belated to Kid 2!
Photo of the side. It was a 3 layer cake with cranberries inside and orange cream cheese frosting on top.
Yummy ????!! Beautiful!
Looks pretty fricken good to me! Your husband cracks me up 🙂
Okay, never do any of you get to see my cakes. Ugly is a nice description for them. I am diabetic so they are usually sugar free, but I barely frost because I think sugar free confectioners is yuck. They look bad and only taste good if you haven’t had cake in years. Still…. Cake is cake yummy.
LOL! You are correct, cake decorating is not one of your skills. However the fact that it tastes great and profanity was used to express how good it was far more important. It sounded very yummy. Gotta love Gordon!
Thank you as usual as your blog is a bright spot in a dark time.
Martina D. says
I totally agree.
I hate decorating. For me it’s much more important which ingredients are used and that it tastes good. How often does it happen that something looks pretty but taste horrible ?!
Danny Lim says
Looking at that chocolate cake makes my teeth hurt…but in a good way. ????
Pat O'Toole says
Wow! looks delicious.
d lm a says
YAY for cake ….
Ooh ooh I know
Yellow cake with lemon meringue & white creamy frosting
Yummy looking cake! Just finished re-reading SAPPHIRE FLAMES! Wow! It was soooo …… good ! Better the 2nd or 3rd time around. I know he doesn’t fit the written description of Linus Duncan but I always see Morgan Freeman in my head when I’m reading him.Thank you both for many , many hours of reading pleasure . I’ve probably read them all at least 3 times each and some more than that.
So it sounds like you need to go on Nailed It!, haha.
Michele Myers says
Beautiful! Like a gorgeous flowing dress.
My sister used to be a professional cake decorator. Sigh… her cakes are like magic. My cakes don’t look great but they do taste yummy. So I say “whoot, whoot” to your three layered tower of chocolatey deliciousness.
The cake photo says, “This is what love looks like, baby!”
I don’t think it looks bad! That spikey stucco-like look is actually a thing. Just hold your head up and proudly say, “That’s the look I was going for!” All great art techniques are looked down on when they first come out. You are a trend setter. Own it, hun!
Or eat the evidence. Either way, you win.
Ohhhhh gawd! That cake sounds SO delicious. My birthday is coming up and I may steal the concept. I’m not the best artist when it comes to cake presentation, though I’ve gotten better over the years. Kind of ironic when you consider that I am a fine artist in oils. Guess it just doesn’t translate to cake sculpture, LOL!
That cake looks so yummy! I do have a picture somewhere of a cake I made for my son when he was 4 or so – your’s looks like a masterpiece for sure!
When there are bake sales in my home town the “ugly” cakes always sale first. They are the ones that taste the best, and are made with love.
I remember a line from a Robin McKinley book – something to the effect that “life is too short for cake decorating.” From SUNSHINE
P.S. which means I am awed by all of you who even think to frost decoratively & creatively with a piping bag, let alone McGyver it with a Ziplock bag!
That’s better than my cakes look. I’d totally chomp down on that. It looks delicious.
I hope you are all safe, healthy and happy. Even though I know you are stressed with the book release up and coming.
Ahhhh! All yall’s cakes are killing me because I have no ability in that area. I see them and want to eat them. End of story. It’s almost primal at this point.
That is an awesome cake
Joan Abbott says
Your cake is beautiful and sounds delicious. Now I want cake.
Mattie k. says
I love the look of the cake. I have a saying in my house. As long as it taste good going in, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. It will all come out the same way ????. You to hard on yourself. I have no baking skills. Your cake LOOOK BEAUTIFUL!
Anne-Marie McRoberts says
You left the bits you cut off to level the cake??? Those are the cook’s treat, and all the calories leak out of the cut edges so they are sin free! But the cake looked as though it would taste wonderful, often the really beautiful ones taste of very little. That looked like a luxury version of what my family calls chocolate with glop cake. It’s a favourite.