How to Be a Pastry Queen

Recently I got my hands on an advance copy of Rebecca Rather's forthcoming cookbook, Pastry Queen Christmas (due out in October), which is full of fun holiday recipes. One, called Earthquake Cake, offers a brilliant idea for covering up a potential baking disaster. First, Rather bakes three layers of moist chocolate cake. She stacks and frosts two of the layers like you would any ordinary cake; but then she cuts the third layer into pieces of varying shapes and sizes and presses them into the frosting all over the outside of the cake. The result is a quirky-looking chocolate masterpiece. I thought using the cake pieces on the outside of the cake would be a great idea if you are ever in a bind and have a broken layer of cake (or one that has stuck to the pan). Instead of throwing the broken bits away (or snacking on them), you can use them to make fun decorations for your cake.

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