I'm a relatively decent baker and one of my friends asked me to do cakes for his wedding. It will be ~80 people and the decorating will be relatively straight forward, so in all, this project shouldn't be too over my head. I'll be doing 3 separate cakes, so there won't be any tiering, which makes my blood pressure a bit lower. I'm excited, but a bit intimidated, especially after some preliminary recipe testing. We did some test cakes over New Year's, with mixed results. For each test cake, I did 2 9" round x 2" layers, all from recipes in the Cake Bible.
The unqualified success:
1. White velvet butter cake soaked with lemon syrup with lemon mousseline buttercream frosting and winter blueberry filling. Everyone loved this...texture and flavors were perfect. Definitely a keeper.
The mixed results:
2. Perfect all-American chocolate butter cake with raspberry sauce and ganache. They wanted a chocolate raspberry cake, so this is what I came up with on first pass. Unfortunately, I realized after the grocery store trip that I didn't have enough natural cocoa powder, so I had to do substitutions with melted chocolate (using conversions from the book). The cake came out dry and crumbly, which might entirely be my fault, but I'm wondering if there might be a better recipe for a rich, moist, chocolate cake out there before I test this one again. I also wasn't a huge fan of the raspberry sauce, so I'm thinking some raspberry preserves might be better. Finally, I suspected the ganache would be a pain to work with (which it was), so I need a good, rich chocolate frosting. Cake Bible or non-Cake Bible suggestions would be great :) So, in summary I still need a rich chocolate cake recipe, advice for raspberry filling, and a chocolate frosting recipe.
3. All-occasion downy yellow butter cake with coffee neo-classic buttercream and Kahlua syrup. They wanted a espresso-y cake, and I was thoroughly unimpressed with this one. The groom didn't much like the neo-classic buttercream (not sweet enough, too buttery), and somehow the flavors just didn't come together. I like the yellow butter cake, but not in this context. I'm hoping to start from scratch with this, but I'm kind of stumped for how to pull this one off. I'm definitely not attached to a butter cake, so if a genoise or biscuit would make more sense, I'd be more than happy to give those a go.
Any ideas/recipes before I do another test round?