TWD: BERRY SURPRISE CAKE

TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2009

berrycake2

This is going to be another short and sweet one, folks. Coming off of a three day weekend of gorgeous weather, and looking forward to Inauguration Day, I haven’t felt much like holing up in the kitchen to bake. In fact, I’ve just finished baking this week’s TWD assignment this morning. I almost passed on this one, but Dorie’s Berry surprise Cake looked like such a fun idea, I decided to give it a try (despite the fact that raspberries this time of year cost almost as much as my car)!

Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen chose our recipe for this week. Berry Surprise Cake is composed of a spongy genoise cake, which is hollowed out and filled with a light cream cheese filling topped by fresh berries. Another piece of the cake is placed on top, as a sort of lid, and the whole thing is smothered in fresh whipped cream. The “surprise” is the filling inside the cake. The whole thing is like a big, fluffy gift package!

berrycake3

I must admit, after I read how much trouble many of my fellow bakers had with the genoise sinking, I was nervous. My fears turned out to be well-founded. Instead of one large cake, I baked four small ones in mini springform pans. My little cakes sank like battleships! Frankly, I was stunned. My eggs whipped up into voluminous clouds of pale yellow perfection. I folded my other ingredients into them with the gentlest hand I could muster. Still, they sank!

CRAP AND DOUBLE CRAP!!!

I ended up making only two small cakes and used the other two “Frisbees” to top them with.

I have to tell you that I really was pretty ticked off at that point. I gave those f#@&*% diva eggs more TLC than they deserved. What the hell did they want from me? Dinner and a movie? I’ve made plenty of genoise cakes before and this was the first time I ever had one flop. Sigh……. At least whipped cream can cover a multitude of sins!

Since I was using fresh berries, I decided to flavor my filling cream with lemon. To do this, I whipped about 1/4 cup of lemon curd into the cream cheese mixture. This part of the process went very well. The filling was light and creamy with a lovely, bright lemony flavor.

berrycake1

Filling and frosting the cakes was without incident. They actually looked pretty cute once they were finished. I’m just still annoyed that I only have two little cakes instead of four, since I was planning on giving them away.

Would I make this recipe again? Nope! I love the concept, but not the aggravation. I might try making a cake like this using a different genoise recipe – one that has worked for me before.

In any event, if you’d like to try this one at home, the recipe can be found in Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours or on Mary Ann’s site. Also, to see far better results than mine, visit the TWD blogroll.

43 responses to TWD: Berry Surprise Cake

  1. On January 20, 2009 at 1:49pm, Manggy said...

    Ouch! Sorry to hear about those darn eggs. The recipe sounds okay-ish, so I’m thinking maybe the time/warmth was insufficient to completely unravel the proteins in the whites. The cake does look beautiful, though. I look forward to seeing you take an egg to dinner and a movie, heh :)

  2. On January 20, 2009 at 1:54pm, Ingrid said...

    Yikes, I’ve read a lot of compliants about this cake. But each one looks so fresh and pretty! Sorry it didn’t go well for you.
    ~ingrid

  3. On January 20, 2009 at 2:20pm, Gabe's Girl said...

    Adorable and vibrant. LOVE IT!

  4. On January 20, 2009 at 2:58pm, Jennifer said...

    It looks lovely, though, mine wasn’t nearly as pretty. I also love your idea of lemon cream. I love lemon and berries.

  5. On January 20, 2009 at 3:58pm, chocolatechic said...

    I was saying the ‘c’ word too.

  6. On January 20, 2009 at 4:26pm, kim said...

    love the covering power of whipped cream!! :) good idea to use each cake as a layer, and the lemon curd sounds delicious in the filling. the finished cake looks adorable :)

  7. On January 20, 2009 at 4:38pm, pinkstripes said...

    Your cakes look gorgeous. I like that you flavored the cream with lemon curd. Too bad they were such a pain to make.

  8. On January 20, 2009 at 5:33pm, karen said...

    i totally took advantage of the whipped cream to hide everything. your cake looks very pretty. the cake acts bad but looks beautiful – a true “diva”, indeed. :)

  9. On January 20, 2009 at 5:35pm, noble pig said...

    Well you sure covered up the errors, it looks bu-tee-ful!

  10. On January 20, 2009 at 5:35pm, Jodie said...

    Ooh, yours looks great!

  11. On January 20, 2009 at 6:11pm, Fit Chick said...

    I love your pictures! But totally agree with you on this recipe, not one I would repeat.

  12. On January 20, 2009 at 6:31pm, Tangled Noodle said...

    I love the second picture – it looks as if it’s swooning, all soft and sweet.

  13. On January 20, 2009 at 6:52pm, duodishes said...

    All that red, white and blue. So perfect for today!

  14. On January 20, 2009 at 7:00pm, Engineer Baker said...

    Actually, I do believe that those eggs wanted dinner and a movie. Preferably some candlelight and Barry Manilow as well. Your cake looks fabulous though – I love the lemon curd add.

  15. On January 20, 2009 at 8:01pm, SiHaN said...

    well.. at least the cake did look pretty darn gorgeous! Maybe you should try a different recipe next time then.

  16. On January 20, 2009 at 8:08pm, Lisa magicsprinkles said...

    Who cares about cake sinkage? I want to sink my teeth into that frosting!

  17. On January 20, 2009 at 8:11pm, TeaLady said...

    Berries and frisbees. What a combination. They look great.

  18. On January 20, 2009 at 9:06pm, Claire said...

    Can I have a piece? This looks so good! Yum!

  19. On January 20, 2009 at 9:46pm, rainbowbrown said...

    Well the ones that came out are beautiful. Well done.

  20. On January 20, 2009 at 9:48pm, Katrina said...

    Yep, beastly little eggs! But, once again, you certainly made your cakes look beautiful!

  21. On January 21, 2009 at 1:47am, Farmer Jen said...

    Looks delicous!

  22. On January 21, 2009 at 9:12am, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    Looking yummy for my tummy!

  23. On January 21, 2009 at 9:41am, nicisme said...

    And eggs are sooo expensive too! I hate it when that happens. The one in the photo looks delicious.

  24. On January 21, 2009 at 10:37am, Sara@imafoodblog said...

    I also mixed some lemon curd into my filling…great minds :)
    Your cake looks pretty.

  25. On January 21, 2009 at 10:55am, Karen said...

    Sounds like everyone had problems with their genoise! Your little cakes look beautiful!

  26. On January 21, 2009 at 12:04pm, vibi said...

    Very pretty, Susan!
    It looks very summery and festive with the play of both alternating berries! Well done!

  27. On January 21, 2009 at 1:30pm, Snooky doodle said...

    this cake looks so so nice! I like whipped cream with summer fruits and if you didn t say that the cake sunk no one would have known since it looks perfect :)

  28. On January 21, 2009 at 4:33pm, Mercina said...

    I really enjoyed the humor in your post! Despite all the aggravation, the cake looks great!

  29. On January 21, 2009 at 6:57pm, J.Danger said...

    your baking storied always make me giggle! The cake looks fantastic!

  30. On January 21, 2009 at 8:40pm, Cynthia said...

    My first visit for the year! Happy New Year to you and the family.

  31. On January 21, 2009 at 9:06pm, The Food Librarian said...

    This looks so lovely!!

  32. On January 21, 2009 at 10:10pm, Cookie baker Lynn said...

    Those raspberries deserve so much better than a sunken cake. It looks delicious, but not worth the aggravation.

  33. On January 22, 2009 at 8:22am, Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

    You’d never know that you were the least bit aggravated! Your cake is beautiful!

  34. On January 22, 2009 at 8:45am, sunita said...

    What a beautiful cake :-)

  35. On January 22, 2009 at 1:28pm, myfamousrecipe said...

    Your cake looks great, especially the slice with the creamy filling pushing out the sides. Delicious!

  36. On January 22, 2009 at 4:37pm, Banjo said...

    Im so glad I skipped this one… I chickened out after reading the early comments! Regardless of your struggles, your cake looks just lovely!

  37. On January 22, 2009 at 6:04pm, RecipeGirl said...

    Oh YOU, it certainly LOOKS pretty. But I know what you mean about the frustrating moments in the middle of a big baking project for sure!

  38. On January 22, 2009 at 6:07pm, CookiePie said...

    It’s a bummer that you had trouble, but your end result is still beautiful!!

  39. On January 22, 2009 at 6:29pm, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    Big hugs. I hate it when things I made a hundred times before suddenly fail me. It makes me afraid to try them again no matter how successful I was in the past.

    This cake does look beautiful and tasty though.

    I’m envying you a weekend of nice warm weather. I can’t take another frigid day in NY (this cold snap is supposed to break tomorrow thank goodness).

  40. On January 23, 2009 at 4:05am, Lisa said...

    Susan your photos are just perfect…

  41. On January 23, 2009 at 9:10am, lisa said...

    What a lovely looking dessert! The berries and lemon cream sound wonderful in the northeast of America, where fresh berries are many months away.

  42. On January 23, 2009 at 10:46am, How To Eat A Cupcake said...

    Your lucky you can even find raspberries!! My boyfriend wants a lemon raspberry cake for his birthday next week. I told him the likelihood of me finding good raspberries in winter is about as good as finding a snowball in hell. Lend me some of your luck! ;)

  43. On January 28, 2009 at 12:41am, Donna said...

    Glad you liked them in the cake in the end, even though it was a pain the butt. It’s not you though. I’ve been a baker for many years, even had a bakery, and I never had trouble like I’ve had with some of Dorie’s recipes. And certainly never with genoise! Good thing God made whipped cream!

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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