Sunday, March 30, 2008
A Tale of Two Cakes; Daring Bakers CELEBRATE!
This truly, is a PERFECT cake. As I have mentioned before, lemon deserts are not my favorites, but OOOooohhh-BOY! This cake may have finally won me over to the dark, lemony side!!! Although, as the title indicates, this perfect cake was ever so delicious, I did have to go two rounds with baking this layered delight. First let me tell you what this cake is all about...
This month's DARING BAKERS challenge comes to us from MORVEN. She made a FABULOUS pick and for our March 2008 challenge, she brought us, "Perfect Party Cake" from Baking: From My Home to Yours, By: Dorie Greenspan. WOOOO-HOOOO! I am familiar with this FANTASTIC book, from my participation in another amazing group, Tuesday's With Dorie. Dorie's recipes, details and writing style make this cookbook a pure delight and an absolute must-own for anyone who finds baking an essential joy of life.
So, that brings us to MY Perfect Party Cake. I made this the Saturday before Easter to take to our family feast. Well, actually what I did was go out to an incredible dinner with Nate on Saturday night. Then I came home and passed out on the couch and if it was not for Nate waking me up and reminding me I was going to be SUPER stressed if I had to do the whole thing before we left to head to our Easter celebration. Begrudgingly, I got up and started making the cake; TAKE ONE.
Fortunately as I mentioned above, I love this book. I find Dorie's recipes, and more importantly they way she words everything makes the instructions easy to follow. I love it, no matter how obvious it may seem, when a recipe will TELL ME HOW LONG TO WHISK THIS THING!! So I stared in on the 2 cake layers. I had heard about other DB'er having trouble with their cake rising. Dorie had suggested it was the TYPE of cake four and recommends if you have a problem with the rising, to substitute the All Purpose Flour/Cake Flour substitute. "1 cup cake flour= 1 cup all purpose flour minus 2 T."
The cake recipe was a breeze and in no time I was pulling them out of the oven. They weren't super-flat, but they weren't risen completely either. But, now it was late, I was sleepy, and I wrapped the 2 cooled layers up and decided I'd "make it work" on Sunday morning before we left.
TAKE TWO: I woke up early enough, and this cake was not 22-steps of crazy to make, so I gave it another go, but using organic cake flour this time (why not, right?)...well, the only difference there, was part of the allure of this PERFECT Party Cake is the beautiful snowy-white cake, frosting and coconut, offset by the yummy bright raspberry filling between layers. What I ended up doing was using two layers of the four-layer cake from the first batch, and two from the second. There was some sticking during the cooling process, and some rough roads during the slicing the layers in half...**I have since learned a slicing layers in half trick that I am looking forward to trying!** This time I used the toothpicks-all-the-way around and a big super-sharp serrated knife. When I got to Easter and was telling the tale of my baking adventure, Mom and Nana said to use dental floss to divide cake layers. Very interesting!!
This was the first recipe I've made where a layer of cake is cut in half to create a beautiful four-layer cake. I only had raspberry preserves that did contain seeds, so I used those, and the buttercream came together beautifully. This buttercream frosting recipe is AWESOME, I think it was some of the best frosting I've ever made!
I didn't run into any problems assembling or decorating this Perfect Party Cake, and even with tons of candy, and a table full of other cakes and deserts, this one still got eaten up!! As Dorie suggests in the forward to this recipe, I will be putting a marker on that page and coming back to Perfect Party Cake time and time again!!
For the Recipe visit
Morven's Blog and if you haven't already, and you love to bake, get this book!
Baking ~ from My Home to Yours By: Dorie Greenspan.