Sunday, July 4, 2010

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presenting...

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BERRY PATCH NARUTO BIRTHDAY CAKE

4 layers of: fudge cake, choco-raspberry-orange cheesecake, more fudge cake, and white raspberry swirl cheesecake. hugged by a chocolate wall, topped with dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate fondant naruto figure, and fresh raspberries.

this cake took a good 2 days! since i had to bake without a springform pan i created a "foil sling" for my regular 8 in cake pan... 2 pieces of foil perpendicular to one another molded to the shape of the pan, with lots of grease and a round of wax paper to prevent sticking

i poured the pan less than half full of cake batter.. baked at 350 for 10 min or until the top was dry to the touch. a good thing to remember is that brownies rise, and cheesecake does not! so plan accordingly when combining rising pastries with heavier items from the custard family.

while letting the cake crust cool, i swirled homemade raspberry dessert sauce with the master cheesecake recipe to create the top layers. baked for well over an hour at a low temp, til just barely set. after letting that cool, i did the same thing but this time with the choco-raspberry-orange cheesecake layer... made by adding melted dark ghirardelli chunks, raspberry dessert sauce, and some orange zest/juice to the master recipe batter. no swirls this time, i wanted the rich chocolate flavor to be uniformly masked by the fruity notes.

i also prepared the chocolate fondants to let them set overnight along with the cake. the next day, i first stacked the cakes on top of another, and covered the top in dark chocolate ganache. i love ganache... how tasty and versatile it is. it is so easy to customize the texture and consistency of your product. plus, who can go wrong with heavy cream and chocolate? the ganache hardened nicely, giving the top a neat appearance.

then came the hard part!!

i had such problems with both the fondant and the chocolate wall because yesterday's weather was SO HOT and my apartment gets even hotter. think... the tropical rainforest exhibit at the botanic gardens... and it's only a slight exaggeration. a pencil thin line of chocolate took FIVE HOURS to harden even slightly. this put a serious kink in my plans as far as timing is concerned. which is why i was up so late to finish this cake in a somewhat timely fashion.

anyway, a little bit about the star of the cake. in case you don't know what naruto is... it's sumeet's favorite anime/manga. it's kinda fun to watch, though since i haven't watched many consecutive episodes i'm a bit confused. my personal favorite character is kisame. and i love how all the characters are styled. here are some of the main personalities from the show:


naruto episodes have typical "anime-style" clouds... i read that clouds are an important symbolic aspect of any japanese art. i drew some japanesque clouds onto the pattern for my chocolate wall, which i assembled in two parts. next time i will be sure to invest in acetate sheets or any study plastic transfer sheets instead of relying on wax paper, since this was responsible for the "rippled" texture of the wall. (but in this case, i think the uneven texture worked in my favor because it nicely supplmented the "cloud" idea of the wall. so, not bad.)

working with white chocolate fondant is much like working with play-doh... except the hot weather made it more of a gooey, oily mess :( the colors blended beautifully with the original white, but i swear i made the naruto figure at least 10 times. i ended up standing in front of the freezer, door open with a plate, and worked with them there. it was the only way to keep the fondant at a proper consistency. phew.


the raspberries that were leftover from the dessert sauce were used to top the cake... and voila.
naruto berry patch birthday cake....

happy birthday, sumeet!

now, i'll go enjoy this cake today and report back about how i liked the flavor. i hope it's tasty!!



report! : the cake was a hit... people loved it, but definitely said it was very rich. don't say i didn't warn you! while only 8 in round and a few inches high, i baked this cake hoping to serve many people. the best way to accomplish this is....well, pack as much sugar, fat, chocolate, cream, etc etc HEAVY THINGS in there as possible. success! i thoroughly enjoyed this as well. pat on the back.