Friday, October 9, 2009

14 layer cake

oh, the coveting.
oh, the drooling.

i regularly click in to several different food blogs to see what's cooking in others' kitchens. and oh, did this one catch my eye.

14 layers of vanilla cake,
draped in chocolate ganache.

14 layers!
i had to try it.
i had to go on this quest,
learning the joy (or pain?) of making such a masterpiece.

it was glorious! and so imposing, with its drizzly goodness i had to invite eight people over to help eat it. not only did we all enjoy a healthy slice, everyone got one to-go as well.

oh the humanity! the purchase of individual cakepans saved much hand-washing of my two cake pans between layers--and let's face it, i despise the hand-washing of dishes!

the layers in the foreground represent the moment i realized that four cooling racks for fourteen layers may present a problem. but these layers are so thin, the cooling ones are cooled by the time the resting ones are ready to cool. it worked out great! bakes for 12 minutes, then rests in the pan for a few minutes before being turned out to cool completely.

now, i love a new kitchen gadget as much, or even more, than the next fanatical baker. but grease & flour in a can?!? you've got to be kidding me! i never wanted to "waste" my money on something that was sure to clog the spray and render itself useless. oh my, was i soooo wrong! especially with the crinkly sides of aluminum cake pans, this stuff was priceless! i still use it for things like bundt pans (which are oh-so-tough to really get good and grease/floured). it's kind-of spendy to use for simple things, but it is so worth it when those more intricate pans need a good grease/flour.

ooh. as the last layers were cooling, i began the ganaching process. the cardboard cake round makes this so easy to prop up on a cooking rack in a baking sheet to catch the extra drizzles (which may or may not been swiped by a finger every so often--i'm just saying).

the fully ganached beauty. the cardboard round, cut to just a smidge wider than the cake, made for moving the fully ganached cake from the drizzle-catching set up.... its final presentation spot atop great-grandma josie's cake plate.

and just to remind you of the final, magnificent product:

this recipe was designed for 12 layers, but the previous blogger's 14 looked more manageable (i know, i don't understand why either). the pictures reflect using 14 layers. the pans i used were 8.5" aluminum pans (which i washed and re-use for other things).

by Art Smith

click on recipe title to go to the original recipe.


  1. we were impressed that you bought all those pans! hurrah for your blog.

  2. haha, OK, that is an enormous Cake. Did you use a convection oven for that?

    -Adam Vrankulj

  3. kathy, my disdain for handwashing dishes over-rode my cheap side :).

    adam, used a traditional gas oven--was able to fit three in at a time, all on the same rack. between the timing of the actual baking, then resting, then cooling, they rotated through each stage quite nicely.