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The Making of the Pencil Cake: Part Three

January 11, 2011

Hello Hello,

I was blessed unexpectedly today by the gift of more time.  Whooopeeeee!  More time meaning ALL DAY!

If you read my previous post, you know I had mapped out the days for what elements of the Pencil Cake to complete each day.  The problem was that each “day’s assignment” was being forcibly being squeezed into the evening portion of each day…  starting around five thirty.  Yesterday (Sunday) it was wonderfully relaxing to bake the three cakes I had assigned myself and be done by five!

Well today I was even luckier!

Mother Nature saw fit to dump a little gift on Little Rock last night.  First snow of the year!  And quite a generous dusting I’d say 🙂

(You might be wondering WHY I posted this rather horrendous picture of us on here.  Yes, I can see that I’m wearing no makeup and that my vampire tooth is poised for the attack.  And my sweet husband is rocking the “I’m-trying-to-pull-off-looking-natural-even-though-I’m-straining-to-hold-this-I-phone-far-enough-away” face.  Well the reason I’m posting it is to show you that A) We took a lovely walk to Kroger in the snow and held hands… and B) We’re modeling the new matching earmuffs my mother-in-law got us for Christmas.  So there you go!


Needless to say, the baking today was infinitely easier and more relaxing.  Perhaps it was the quiet the surrounded our cozy little home in its blanket of snow… perhaps it was the absence of gruesome alien death noises (my husband graciously played his videogame with his headphones on so I wouldn’t have to hear it.)  Whatever the reason for the calm… I’m so pleased to say it was quite calm indeed.

I thought I’d share with you a few snapshots from my relaxing few days of baking.  I’ve now made SIX of these cake rolls and can do it from memory!  (Seven if you count the practice cake.)  So call me if you ever need cake roll advice.


We had such a beautiful morning outside.

And I made sure I was stocked up with freshly laundered towels, ready to be sprinkled with powdered sugar and have cake rolled up in them to cool!


Lots of chocolate for ganache?  Check.


Fabulous dark cocoa ready and waiting?  Check.


I’ve done a little research on cake rolls in the past few days and apparently my complaints about the lack of butter were uninformed.  It turns out most cake rolls are made as a traditional “sponge cake” which contains very little fat.  The idea is to keep the cake light and airy (rather than butter-laden and heavy) so that you can easily work with it and roll it.

You get that texture from separating eggs and whipping the whites with sugar until they are quadrupled in size and glossy.



Then you combine them with the chocolatey batter and voila!


When the cakes have baked… they are quickly turned out onto a towel and rolled up to cool.

Here are the first three patiently waiting for the buttercream to soften.


Then its time to fill and roll…

Mmmmm, this Creme de Menthe really was a great choice.  It was so tempting not to just eat a big spoonfull!



I’ve decided to wait on coating them with ganache until closer to Saturday because the ganache on the pencil tip has developed tiny cracks.  (I’m hoping that they’ll smooth out when the pencil is out at room temperature.  If not… oh well!)

So for now they wait… wrapped in plastic wrap and in the refrigerator.

And construction of the main pencil will continue on Thursday!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    January 11, 2011 3:50 am

    I have to wait till Thursday for more?? DAH!! Great posts, cuz.

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