Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TWD: Berry Surprise Cake

Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen laid down the berry gauntlet ("berried" the gauntlet??) for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie assignment, and we had to answer. We fought long and we fought hard, and I hear that a bunch of our cakes sunk, but we bakers are nothing if not resourceful and thankfully we had a decadent cream cheese filling with which to disguise any disappointing cake foundations.

The base of this recipe is a fairly simple mixture of the usual suspects of flour, eggs, sugar and a couple sidekicks, but oh the fuss that had to be made over those eggs! Dorie actually encourages the baker to treat the eggs "like the divas they are", and she is not exaggerating. First there was the warming of the eggs and sugar over simmering water, then the mixing for a very long time and sifting and folding in some things and then melting and folding in other things...it was a good thing I started the whole process the day before I actually meant to serve the cake.

You see here my short, bronzed cake. I don't have the 8 inch pan called for, only a 9 inch pan, and I forgot to cut down the cooking time to accommodate for the thinner final product. As a result the cake was a tad dry, but the syrup brushed over it, the cream cheese filling piled into it and the whipped cream topping slathered on the outside made up for all that. My cake did sink some and the top layer was really just the top ring of the outer 2 inches of cake that were tall enough to cut. I was able to cut out 1/4 inch or so depth of the inside of the cake to make the well for the fililngs.

I used Grand Marnier as I couldn't get my hands on any of the other liquers suggested in time and it worked just fine. I used frozen berries, so by the next morning there were little pink tear drop trails running here and there down the sides.

Hello, breakfast. The light sweetness of the filling and the topping was tempered by a tart zing of raspberry every now and then, and the spongy texture of the cake set off the creamy filling very nicely. It was quite tasty!
It was SO much work that unless I knew of someone who was wild about berries I'm not sure I would want to do it all again. The cake recipe was the most tedious to make of all the parts, and I could see myself using the filling for something else...homemade danish or some other filled cake perhaps...or just in my bowl. I'm glad I went through the whole process at least once.