Last week, while leisurely decorating some miniature cakes, it occurred to me that they were ugly. I keep decorating cakes in the style I was taught in school—buttercream roses, piped borders, swags, etc...—only to repeatedly find myself displeased with the results.
I can't deny that this is, in part, due to my novice piping skills, but more importantly...I just don't like that style of decoration. I worry this is a defensive mechanism to console my cake decorating ego, but as I browsed my Cake Design & Piping board, I realized buttercream roses and shell borders just aren't my aesthetic. With a few exceptions, I gravitate toward simple, rustic cake designs.
Now, about the actual cake. I used a basic chocolate genoise recipe, baked in an 8" cake pan and cut in three. Using a pastry brush, I soaked each layer in a simple sugar syrup, in which a bit of homemade sponge toffee was dissolved. Next, I spread raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream. I iced the cake in vanilla buttercream and textured it using an offset spatula. Blackberries decorated the top. Why the discrepancy between filling and topping? Well, that's what happens when one already has raspberry jam in the fridge, but raspberries are twice the price of blackberries at the store. Also, it was made for fun and given away to a friend.