Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Berry Surprise Cake (TWD)

This week's summery Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is definitely a tribute to Southern California's unseasonably warm weather. Selected by MaryAnn of Meet Me In The Kitchen, Berry Surprise Cake is composed of a hollowed out genoise cake filled with berries and a cream/cream cheese mixture, and topped with a whipped cream frosting.


Dorie Greenspan described this cake as "reminiscent of the spirit of a charlotte russe". I'm embarassed to admit this, but I thought charlotte russe was the name of a retail clothing chain...I had no idea that it was a dessert! Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest, moving on...
The instructions for this recipe were pretty lengthy, but logically broken down for each component of the dessert (cake, syrup, filling, topping). Here are my notes and adjustments:


Cake:
After recently learning all about genoise in a pastry class (I made a chocolate mousse cake which was recently posted), I was looking forward to practicing my acquired skills. With these adjustments, I had successful results with the cake:

- Instead of the whole immersing the bowl in a skillet step, I set up a bain marie.
- I reduced the butter to 1 Tbsp.
- To incorporate the dry ingredients without overmixing, I followed a pretty nifty technique my instructor shared --- Hold the kitchenaid bowl by the handle like you would hold a coffee mug. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Gently shake the bowl as you fold in the dry ingredients. The shaking will help distribute the flour with minimal mixing.
- Instead of a springform pan, I used a buttered/floured and parchment lined 8" cake pan.


Syrup:
I flavored the syrup with Chambord (yum!) and doubled the amount to 2 Tbsp.


Filling/Frosting:
Followed the recipe as stated. in hindsight would have added a little gelatin --- keep reading and you'll know why.


Assembly:
I decided to slice the cake lengthwise in half and make a layer cake --- BIG MISTAKE!! The filling wasn't thick enough to suspend the berries (a mixture of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) and to support the cake. It didn't take long for the cake to start to implode on itself. I refrigerated the cake for several hours, hoping that it would set up. A little gelatin would solved this problem --- actually, if I followed the instructions, I wouldn't be in this predicament!

Well, here is what I got when I cut a slice (I don't think Dorie intended the berry surprise to look like this):
Not the most attractive dessert, is it? The cake slice was no more appealing:
Even though my rendition of this dessert wasn't very visually appealing, it tasted delicious! Even with all of the cream and cream cheese, the filling and topping was light and it complemented the cake and berries perfectly. I'm definitely going to make a couple of adjustments to the filling and and assembly and give this recipe another go.

For the recipe, please visit MaryAnn's blog. I'm sure your eyes need to recover from my disaster, so go to the TWD blogroll to see what this cake should really look like. ;)

26 comments:

The Food Librarian said...

Looks so good! Love the assortment of berries - perfect for our summer weather! :)

chocolatechic said...

Looks fabulous.

Mine was a total flop.

vibi said...

Although I would never live in L.A. for I just couldn't stand the threat of earthquakes... I am jealous though, for how this cake looks so summery on that plate! Such a mix of berries are just not an intelligent thing to get in Siberia, this time of year! LOL
Beautifuly done, really amazing, Linda!

Rachelle said...

I think yours looks so beautiful! I love the mixed berries. I too chuckled at the clothing store name, lol.

farah said...

What a great job you did, your cake looks fantastic and really delicious (unlike mine and now very jealous). :-)

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I think your cake looks great and I'm sure it tasted even better...YUM!

karen said...

yours looks great, love all the different berries. i used blackberries and thought it was fabulous. i kind of agree, i thought mine was way more photogenic before it was cut into. :)

ecrunner said...

I thought it looked absolutely delicious!! These pictures are awesome and it definitely makes me want to grab a bite of the cake!! Great choice of berries!!

kim said...

wow, i love that first picture of the cake on the cake stand, it is so elegant! sorry you had issues with the construction, but your cake looks so perfect and the berries spilling everywhere just makes you want to dive right in :)

pinkstripes said...

OMG. I thought the same exact thing about charlotte russe too.

Your cake looks gorgeous! I love the mix of berries. Very pretty.

Nina Timm said...

Is there A Dorie recipe that is not lengthy???? Oh my word, I want some now!!!!

TeaLady said...

That cake looks fantastic!! Looks like you didn't have the problems others had. Great job.

Engineer Baker said...

Hehe - love the charlotte russe mixup - I almost thought that too :) And even if it isn't perfect, your cake looks positively droolworthy.

Carol Peterman said...

The abundance of berries is making my mouth water.

Amy said...

Beautiful cake! I will definatley have to make this again once berries are in season.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

the whole cake is so elegant with the mixed berries on top! and honestly, the cut slice looks soft and delicious!

Jodie said...

Great job! Haha- I thought that about the charlotte russe when I first heard it too.

Mary Jo said...

even with the messy middle, the cake looks so good. i could totally dig my fork into that slice of cake, yum!

Ingrid said...

LOL, I forgot there was a clothing store with that name!

I beg to differ but I found your photos very appealing!! The cake looked creamy and fresh, loved all the bright berry colors against the light color of the cream and cake! Very springish!
~ingrid

myfamousrecipe said...

Your finished cake looks so professional. And with that abundantly creamy filling, nobody, but nobody would turn down a slice of this cake!

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

Beautiful job!!! I'm so jealous!

Liz said...

Hubba hubba! Your berry medley looks amazing. And I like the pictures of the cake cut open, oozing berry and cream goodness. It seems to be screaming, "Surprise!"

Liz said...

Your berry medley looks delicious! And I love the picture of the cut-open cake. It just seems to scream, "Surprise!"

Julie said...

Just found your blog. Your creations look amazing, including this one. I love the berry mixture!

Small business web site design said...

its good

Jill said...

The cake looks delicious!

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