Critique this propsed Chocolate Cake for Halloween, please.
Here's the plan:
Martha Stewart's Devils Food cake, 3 9" layers.
Mango "Buttercream" found on Chowhound:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mango puree
Zest and juice of 1 lime (well, in this case, I'll just sub 2 tbsp of OJ)
2 tablespoons honey (any mild-flavored honey will do)
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add mango puree, zest and juice (or OJ) and honey. Mix well. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until desired spreading consistency is reached.
I may replace the mago puree w/ frozen OJ concentrate, or passionfruit puree if I can find it. (anybody know if Whole Foods has such?) Depending on the outcome, I may tint it slightly more orange with *gasp* food coloring. It is Halloween, you know.
I'll ice and fill the whole cake (does that recipe appear sufficient?)
Then, I will make the ganache (cream version) glaze from the Cake Bible, pour over the top, and allow to run down randomly on the sides, not covering up much of the orange (I hope).
How does this sound? What should I look out for? Am I going to screw it up with the glaze business? Do you think the fruit/chocolate combo will be good? I really am not "professional" enough to keep making up my own cakes...but I do it anyway. TIA!
Chill the frosted cake for 15 or 20 minutes before pouring the warm glaze on, so the frosting is set firm enough not to melt. Likewise, the glaze should be warm enough to run over the chilled cake, but not really hot. Don't be timid with the glaze. Go ahead and pour enough on to cover the top and drip down the sides, it will look better if you get enough on with the first try than if the first pour sets (which it will) and you try to put more on but get gloppy layers.
I once went to a cooking class run by a brilliant local chef. She gave me the best advice EVER. Very simply "Never announce in advance the name or nature of any dish you haven't served before...if it goes wrong, no one, but you, will ever know."
In the case of your very adventurous dessert, it sounds imaginative and delicious. So what if it doesn't come out exactly as you envision? Your ingredients are wonderful and will stand up for themselves regardless. If it doesn;t "look" the way you think it should, turn the whole thing into a pretty glass bowl, pour the ganache on top and call it Ghoulish Glory!
It seems that the flavors should pair well. Chocolate and tropical fruit is always a good combination, but I have reservations about putting a soft chocolate ganache over a mango icing.
Would it be possible to use the mango icing just between the layers and to coat the cake with a chocolate panache? You can split each layer into half, so you have 3 thinner
layers of mango flavoring.
If you want more autumnal color you can use a orange candies/sprinkle in the wet panache for a Halloween color. I might use a piping bag or fondant for more color, but I don't know if that is something that you would want to attempt.
Please keep trying new flavor, texture and color combinations and don't worry about failure. I have made some disasters, but as long as your learn from them, it is not a waste.
Prostibaker and flourchild are also bakers, and they might be able to add more insight.