I can take 0 credit for this post title because my friend Aneri themes her birthday based off of all the puns she can make with her own name. This year with all the ruckus that ever entertaining Donald Trump has caused, it only felt right to have her birthday be "Make Anerica Great Again." PSA: Please do your research before this election season :)
Also... I HAD to include the video for this song because 1) Katrina Kaif looks gorgeous and 2) it's so damn catchy that it's become my new obsession.
For this birthday cake, I thought it'd be fun to embody one of a classic drink in the form of a cake.
An Old Fashioned Cake
Not to toot my own horn, but I think this cake may have been the greatest one I've made so far. To be fair... I didn't make the actual cake from scratch. I had initially and then had a few friends taste it because I was unsure. That batch was probably the worst cakes I have ever made in my entire life.... There was absolutely no way I could bring that to my friend's birthday celebration. At that point, I was running short on time so I bought some standard Duncan Hines chocolate cake mixes and made 2 small round cakes according to package instructions.
Here's where the fun and experimentation started!
An old fashioned is a fairly simple drink according to Esquire Magazine:
1 Sugar Cube
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1 L Club Soda
2 oz. Rye Whiskey
Some people tend to garnish their drinks with orange peels and cherries to add some flair to their drink. The hard core Don Drapers will stick to their stiff drinks... but this is a cake so I had some fun with it.
I decided there would be 3 components to this cake outside the base chocolate cake layers and the frosting on top.
Whiskey Soaked Cherries
This is the easiest part of the entire cake. Just stick a bunch of cherries in a jar and fill it with the whiskey/bourbon/etc of your choice. I used Jack Daniels for everything in this cake because that's what we had at home. By the time you're done with the rest of the cake, these cherries will be nice and boozy to stick on garnish the top!
Candied Orange Peels
This part I wasn't really creative on. I followed the instructions in this recipe! It's actually fairly painless and you can do it while you're doing the rest of the cake prep and ganache prep.
Nutella Whiskey Ganache Filling
My ganache filling ended up being a hodge podge of a few recipes I've both made before and found on the internets.
Nutella Whiskey Ganache
Combine the ingredients on the stove on low heat until well mixed. Feel free to add as much whiskey as you want based on how boozy you want the ganache to be. Allow the ganache to cool. If the ganache is still too thin, add some confectioner's sugar until it thickens.
Assembling this cake was pretty easy. Place a layer of cake on the plate and poke holes in it with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour ganache over until the holes are filled and a layer of ganache exists over the cake. Stack the other layer of cake on top and also poke holes in this layer. Pour just enough ganache over this layer to fill the holes. Cover the cake with your favorite vanilla/plain frosting. I prefer Duncan Hines Cream Cheese frosting but that's up to you what kind of frosting you want! Top the cake with some whiskey cherries, candied orange peels, and even some chocolate or orange peel shavings if you want.