What can I do to save my cake?
It's a birthday cake for a kids party so it doesn't have to be a gourmet experience. But there will be adults there too and I'd like the cake to be nice at least.
I don't have much experience with layer cakes. Here's where I am.
I've baked 2 yellow cakes using a recipe from smittenkitchen. I now have four layers for my layer cake. The cakes came out just ok - they seem moist and soft, but they smelt and tasted quite floury and underbaked. I baked them long enough though, any more and they'd have been too dry. They also have brown spots in them, i don't know why - but I posted separately about that.
So I'm wondering:
- should up pep up the cakes with a syrup? Will this help with the underbaked taste/smell? Any suggestions for flavouring the syrup?
- what should I fill them/cover them with? Preferably something chocolate - frosting or ganache. I've never done frosting before and am nervous. Also I often find frosting is just too sugary. Any good recipes to recommend?
Before trying to "pep up" the cakes, I would try some (a small bit from the interior) to make sure they are edible. If the cake is not good, no amount of simple syrup or frosting will change that. If it is good, I would do a either a vanilla bean or cocoa syrup to make it kid friendly. If you like chocolate, the easiest way to go is a ganache. It should be sweet enough to be kid friendly, so don't go too dark on the chocolate. If you beat it after it sets up, it loses its sheen and becomes more frosting like.
I bet that once you have chocolate frosting on the cakes, they'll really be just fine. I would make a nice chocolate ganache, which is the easiest frosting to make, let it get thick enough, and then fill and frost the cake. I'd use a not-too-bitter chocolate, to make sure sure it's kid friendly.
I didn't have cake flour, so I substituted with all purpose mixed with corn starch. Now you mention it, maybe that is the problem...
Anyway, I'm going to keep the yellow sponges for a trifle like evilbanana11 suggested. And I'm going to try something else: a chocolate genoise with ganache filling.
My new question is: do you think iI can make it today for tomorrow midday and keep it in the refrigerator, or will it dry out?
I'm with Barb, I just remove 2 T. all purpose flour rather than substituting cornstarch. If you are still inclined to use the yellow layers, perhaps layer with whipped cream, fresh fruit and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. My kids loved it when they were little. Still do. If you decide to make chocolate cake today, it will definetely keep until tomorrow. Short of a cake keeper, lots of foil and toothpicks (to prevent sticking to cake) has works well enough to keep your cake fresh. Good luck