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TWD: Berry Surprise Cake

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 [1] 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!

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!


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#@&*% [2] 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.

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 [3] or on Mary Ann’s site [4]. Also, to see far better results than mine, visit the TWD blogroll. [5]