baking cake with mommy brain

gingerchocolatecake1_ptc

Blame in on the hormones, or “mommy brain”. In our childbirth prep class last year, we learned it’s partly the pregnancy hormones that can cause women to be a bit, well…”clumsier”. I used to pride myself in my technical precision and fine motor skills, skills which have escaped me to a lesser degree lately. I was, after all, able to trim and paint three rooms without getting a single drop of paint on my hands and clothes. But as I get back into the swing of things, I found myself stumbling with this cake. Maybe it didn’t help that I came up with this one on the fly, the day before it was to be served, but I managed to dump a can of sugar, spill the flour, overbake, etc. Oh well.

This was a cake for my dad. A dense, rich chocolate almond sponge cake soaked with ginger syrup, layered with ginger buttercream and ganache. The top is decorated with homemade crystallized ginger nuggets that I remembered watching Alton Brown making, recipe here. The ginger syrup was inspired by this recipe, except I omitted the vanilla bean and added some Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur after the syrup had cooled. Incidentally, the ginger used to infuse the syrup did not go to waste – I used it to make the crystallized ginger. The cake is loosely inspired by both the “Alhambra” and “Opera” cakes. As I mentioned, the process was pretty much spontaneous as I made up the components as I went along, modifying recipes here and there. Normally I wouldn’t work this way, and have everything planned and organized with recipes pre-determined. Having a baby has forced me to shift the way I work and has definitely given “multi-tasking” a new meaning, as I was making buttercream with one hand, baby in the other.

gingerchocolatecake2_ptc

I do not have a recipe for this one, because 1) I made things up as I went along and 2) I would do things differently the next time. Perhaps my baking is shifting more towards “process” than product. They say baking is a science, an exact art. True that while I am not without my digital scale and laser thermometer, I value my intuition far more…

2 Responses to “baking cake with mommy brain”

  1. Rose Says:

    Looks beautiful! I love the simple bottom ring of nuts!

  2. hong Says:

    Give me warm feelings at seeing this nice cake. Your dad must have a satisfied smile while enjoying your creation.