I had the opportunity to make a red velvet naked cake for a longtime childhood acquaintance and I thought I would write about my whole process behind it.
The naked cake was pretty simple, and surprisingly the first naked cake I’ve ever made. My main goal was to make sure that some layers would still be visible though the masking of cream cheese frosting, all while being able to avoid the cake drying out. A precaution I took in order to avoid that, was to liberally brush simple syrup on each layer. I also cut the layers thinner than I normally would, in order to ensure each layer was evenly soaked in syrup and had a nice amount of cream cheese frosting to balance out the textures and flavours.
Once that part was over with, it was time to get to work on the ganache drips. My house was super cold, so my ganache kept setting up really fast. Anytime I needed to use the ganache, or if I hadn’t touched it for a while, I would just place it on top of a small saucepan with an inch of simmering water for a few seconds to soften it slightly. When doing this, you want to be careful you don’t keep it on the water bath for too long or else you run the risk of putting your ganache out of temper — basically, your ganache won’t set up properly.
In previous cakes, I noticed that white chocolate ganache drips didn’t stand out as strongly against a cake as a dark chocolate ganache would. This is due to the translucency of the melted white chocolate. I did a little research on that and I found that if I added a few drops of white cocoa butter to my ganache, it would be enough to make the ganache drips more opaque, et voilà, the drips came out fantastic.
My next challenge was working with fresh strawberries on the cake. I tempered about 200g of white chocolate and that was enough to dip about a pound of strawberries, or maybe less, since I only drizzled chocolate on some of the strawberries, rather than dipped them whole. This whole process went by pretty smoothly.
I decided to make some buttercream flowers to go on top of the cake, and I realized that cream cheese frosting is so much more difficult to work with than my trusty Italian meringue buttercream. So a tip I would give when working with cream cheese frosting flowers, is to clean your petal tip between each use, by simply wiping it before piping (hehe that rhymed). When placing your flowers, it’s probably better if they’re frozen. I found that mine softened too fast for me to place all of my flowers so it’s better to work with them frozen solid.
That is all!! Hopefully I gave out some cool tips and tricks that I learned from my experience that will benefit you.
Check out my whole process of making it on my Youtube channel!