Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TWD: Perfect Party Cake

Ever since I got my copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, I look for an opportunity to try something new. Lately, I've been handing the book over to birthday boys and girls so that they can choose their birthday goodie. I haven't been able to get to everyone (because I'm at the busiest time of year with my new job), but if I missed your big day, you'll get a turn. Half birthdays always need to be celebrated! Anyway, last Wednesday was David's birthday. When I gave him the book, he stopped on the Perfect Party Cake and didn't go any further. He had no idea that it was my "assignment" for this week! I told him that I wouldn't be able to make it in time for his mid-week actual birthday (the 24th, which was a Wednesday), but I promised to make it for him on the weekend. I was off work last Friday, so I got to work making the cake. It took some time and attention, but it really wasn't difficult.
The pictures of the cake in the book looked delicious, but I wasn't sure I'd really like a lemon cake filled with raspberry preserves and topped with lemon buttercream. That just seemed like a lot of flavors, and a lot of lemon. But oh, was I ever pleasantly surprised! The cakes baked up beautifully, but didn't bake up as tall as I had hoped. That's partly my fault, though. The recipe says the cakes should be baked in two 9-inch round pans. I only have two 8-inch round pans, so I didn't use all the batter. I didn't want to have to clean up a big mess in the oven. But I could have used all the batter, and I think my layers would have been higher. Oh, well. I enjoyed eating the batter, anyway! You live and you learn...next time I'll use it all in the 8-inch pans.
I was also a little nervous about making the frosting, as well. I'd never made a hot-meringue frosting, but it was super simple. It was much easier than the frosting for the Devil's Food White Out cake. I would definitely make the frosting again, even though it does use three sticks of butter. Did Paula Deen help Dorie with this recipe?!
The only real problem I had with this cake was layering the raspberry preserves and the buttercream for the filling. Instead of being two distinct layers, mine kind of muddled together. It didn't look as pretty, but it tasted great! If I had been able to think outside the box, like other TWDers, I would have done as they did and layered buttercream, chilled it, then slathered on the raspberry preserves. I'll try that next time. And there will be a next time. This was just too good to make only once. If you've got a celebration of any kind coming up soon, make this cake. It's absolutely delicious! Thanks to Carol at mix, mix...stir, stir for picking a winner!

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