Happy 15th Birthday to Kassidy!

Hi,

Our granddaughter had a birthday this week and, as usual, I was elected to bake the cake.  Kassidy has been in a s’mores phase for quite a while now, so she wanted a s’mores cake.  I never!  Daughter, Angie, found a recipe online, and I followed the directions.  It turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

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To see the recipe for this graham cracker cake and the instructions to make it, go to https://livforcake.com/smores-cake/Olivia, the pastry chef, will answer your questions.  Thank you, Olivia, for this lovely cake recipe.  Oh, by the way, Olivia’s cake was four 6″ layers.  My cake was four 9″ layers, so I doubled the cake, chocolate ganache and marshmallow fluff recipes.

I don’t remember ever making chocolate ganache.  I do love it, so it was fun to give making it a try.  The ganache went between this 4-layer cake, but not on the top or the sides.  To my disappointment, when the cake was served, the ganache was hardened between the layers.  However, the chocolate still complimented the graham cracker cake and marshmallow fluff.  I was supposed to use milk chocolate pieces, but I got mixed up and used semi-sweet.

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I’m sure you notice the chocolate ganache blob in the second layer of cake.  That’s where it was filled with ganache because I removed a spoonful of cake after I baked it to make sure it tasted right.  I never serve anything I haven’t first tasted.

It was scary to make the marshmallow fluff, another new experience for me, I THINK.  Hmm, I KNOW that many years ago I made cake frosting that was comprised of melted and boiling granulated sugar, water and light corn syrup, poured into beaten egg whites and with cream of tartar and continued beating.  Yes, it was in my Betty Crocker Cook Book and was called White Mountain Frosting!  Wow, I had forgotten about that until just now.  Anyway, here’s Olivia’s recipe for marshmallow fluff:  https://livforcake.com/homemade-marshmallow-fluff/  .  And here’s the recipe for Betty Crocker’s White Mountain Frosting:  https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/white-mountain-frosting/df4dde06-abf9-4af8-9400-7e419564c50f#!

I will say that it took a long time to make this cake.  If I made it again right away, it, of course, would go faster.  I only have two 9″ pans, so I made two separate cake recipes in order to get four layers.  I did measure out the dry ingredients for both cakes at the same time and saved the bowl of dry goods for the next bake, which helped a lot.

I placed a cake layer that had completely cooled on a Wilton 10″ cardboard circle and used a glass cake plate underneath it for support.  I put strips of wax paper under the bottom edges of the cake to keep the marshmallow fluff off the cardboard underneath the cake.  After I alternated layers of cake and chocolate ganache, I set about putting the fluff on the outside of the cake.  This worked beautifully.  The fluff did not run or drip.  It was so cooperative and made such pretty swirls.

I’ve had a Culinary Crème Brulee Torch for years and had never used it (because my life took a turn).  We located the torch, my husband, Jan, bought a small can of butane, and it was ready to use.  I got him to “torch” the marshmallow fluff for me.  That was so fun to watch.  IMG_2663     Because the flame shot out in a straight line, the torch had to be twirled in a circular motion so it wouldn’t burn the area that was being toasted.  He DID catch it on fire three times!  Wooooo!  He was quick, though, and blew out the flames.  To me, that would be the best part – scorched marshmallow – but it wouldn’t look so good on a cake.

Jan’s job was not over.  Angie wanted the cake to look rustic and requested it be placed on a slice of a log.  So Dad set about sawing off a slice of stump and sanding it to be even.  What he does for that girl!  This took a long time.  In the process of sawing, the bark fell off the slice.  At first, we thought it was a bummer, but in the end, it helped make the cake look perfect.  After this task was completed, I asked Jan to get me two 12″ long twigs.  Not knowing what I had in mind, he brought me these two “twigs.”  IMG_E2745

I just about fell over!  Ha!  “These are branches, not twigs!”  I laughed.  Heehee!  So after an explanation, he brought me twigs that would work.  What this man does for ME!  I think I’ll keep him.  To get the twigs ready, I washed them and laid them out to dry.  Afterwards, I wrapped clear Duck’s Postage Tape around the bottom of the twigs that would touch the cake.

To make the Happy Birthday banner, I used PENNANT ALPHABET (CLEAR STAMPS) and a dies in the set, PENNANT ROW DIES, from Our Daily Bread Designs.

https://ourdailybreaddesigns.com/gcs24-pennant-alphabet-clear-stamps.html

https://ourdailybreaddesigns.com/csbd61-pennant-row-die.html

Ordinary twine and Tombow Adhesive Dots Tape Runner were used to hang the banners on the twigs.  I cut a piece of wide burlap ribbon in half to stick them on the twigs.  This was set aside to carry to Angie’s house apart from the cake.

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The 15 minute trip to Kassidy’s house was worse than Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!  Usually, my husband has a plan for carrying created items in the car.  He is a #1 packer.  Therefore,  we didn’t talk about it, and he didn’t have a plan.  As we were getting ready to leave, and of course, as always, it was a time-crunch, I asked, “Do you have a cardboard box to transport the cake?”  Well, no, he hadn’t thought about it.  Jan said, “I thought you would just hold it.”  Me?!  Hold a 4-layer cake with marshmallow fluff frosting?  We didn’t have time to make any other arrangement, so what else could I do?  I got in the car, laid a towel over myself, then Jan handed me the cake.  Before we got out of the driveway, the cake slid on the glass plate and hit the dashboard!  Oh, Lord!  I was taking the leftover marshmallow fluff to Kassidy, but I didn’t even bother taking the torch with us.  I had to sit with my right foot up on the hump under my seat, so my knee could balance the cake.  Both hands were required to steady the cake, so I was squnched up and couldn’t breathe.  My hands hurt.  Several times, going around curves, I almost lost the cake altogether.  

After we got to our daughter’s house, Jan carried the cake in and I followed close behind.  That marshmallow fluff sure is sticky.  I took a knife and was able to fix the fluff that hit the dashboard without getting into the jar of fluff I brought to Kass.  What was supposed to be the front of the cake was now the side of the cake.  It didn’t look bad though. 

I stuck the twigs into the top of the cake toward the back to set up the Happy Birthday pennants.  The gold number candles were placed in front, away from the pennants.  That’s all we would need, for the pennants to catch on fire!!!  Troy, our son-in-law, purchased the gold numbers online.  If you want to know where, leave me a comment and I will find out for you.  Then I put leaves and berry clusters by Prima Marketing (A Victorian Christmas – Red Stockings) around the base of the cake.  I added a flower on both sides of the cake, also from Prima Marketing (Allure – Reina).  

After it was decorated in the kitchen, Jan lifted the cake off the glass cake plate and carried it to the table Angie had decorated for the party.  Here, he set the cake on the piece of log.  Angie had gold square paper plates, napkins with wide gold and white stripes and gold plastic forks.  It all looked so pretty.  Everyone “awed” over the cake. 

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On the day of Kassidy turned 15, her mom took her to take her learner’s driving permit test!  She passed.  Yi!  Our baby – driving!  Now she will take driver’s education in school.

Here’s Kassidy with her cake.     IMG_2747  She had a great birthday!

Thank you for sharing in this adventure,

Tricia

 

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