Despite the fact that it was Easter, I can safely say that our family just experienced the Weekend of Cake.
We had this strawberry cream cheese cake on Sunday afternoon.
And while Jeff was making it Sunday morning, he and I ate leftovers of his birthday cake from the night before.
Which was homemade Boston cream pie (it does say 'pie' in there, but trust me, it's cake) and Jeff actually made it for himself for his own birthday. Ya, I know, I probably suck. But you should believe me when I tell you that both of us are much happier when Jeff is the one who does the baking.
In my defense, he didn't assemble the whole thing, but made the spongecake, pastry cream and ganche and I put it all together. (Which now that I think about it, is even nicer of him. He did all the hard work, but gave me the satisfaction of putting it together. )
As wonderful as this tasted, it's awesomeness may have had as much to do with how it was decorated as what it tasted like.
Kenzie (17) and Randa (15) spent an hour or so on Saturday making their dad's face in chocolate. Actually two faces because we couldn't decide which picture to use.
I realize that for those of you who've never met Jeff in real life, you may not appreciate how amazing this is, but these look EXACTLY like him.
I showed the girls this fantastic tutorial by Jojo over at Eye Candy of how to make a portrait out of chocolate. Though we did make a few changes. Instead of just using a plastic bag, I gave them actual pastry tips to apply the melted chocolate.
We also found that it worked much better using my light box.
Without it you couldn't really tell the difference between black and gray, which, apparently, made a big difference, as evidenced by Kenzie's first attempt below. We also found out that it's best if the chocolate isn't too melted as it's more difficult to control.
Here's what it looked like on the back, using the white chocolate to fill in.
When he saw the decorated cake (along with the extra portrait of himself), he didn't stop grinning for quite some time.
In fact, he pretty much looked just like that one there on the right.
The girls enjoyed making these so much that they've decided that every single dessert from now on needs to have someone's face on it.
And I concur.
*Alternate title: Dad is Great; He Bakes Us Chocolate Cake.
Added Note- In case you're interested, these two recipes are from Cook's Illustrated, available both online and in print.
Strawberry Cream Cake (which also can be found in their magazine on Entertaining)
Boston Cream Pie (also can be found in their fantastic cookbook Baking Illustrated)
Their website does have a yearly fee to access the recipes, but they've also got a free 14 day trial you can sign up for.