about bliss

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

twd: berry surprise cake

Diva eggs--Dorie's words.

Diva eggs--the bane of many TWD bakers this week.

I *usually* have luck working with eggs, but I was scared. After an unfortunate incident with my renegade KA, I decided to coax my Diva eggs into fluffy volume using my KA hand mixer. THEY TOOK FOREVER to increase in volume and thicken, rather like a Diva preparing for a night out on the town, keeping everyone waiting while she primps and fusses until every hair is in place, the lipstick is glossy and thick, and the strappy sandals are fastened just so. (not that I have EVER kept anyone waiting in just such a matter. Just don't ask my brother:)

My patience was tested, and my instinct was honed--I watched, listened, and worried over my eggs, but I kept going until they were ready.

And, I'm pleased to say that my cakes turned out just lovely.

They sank a tad while cooling, but no serious craters formed.

I left the cakes overnight, and assembled the final piece de resistance today, with a few mishaps, brought on by a) drinking Pinot Noir and b) chatting with my friends B. and B. while I made the syrup, filling, and topping.

I used meyer lemon zest and a hint of juice to flavor my syrup, which came together quickly.

When I started making the filling, I skimmed over the directions, and decided, distractedly, to use half and half instead of whipping cream before realizing that the filling actually is a kind of whipped topping, and hence the heavy cream is necessary. Rookie mistake. I blame, again, the wine, and my friends, whose conversation ranges from stalkers, odd colloquialisms, and general cheerfulness.

So I started over after my friends left, and the filling was finished in a snap. I decided to use some of my strawberry jam rather than fresh fruit because my inner locavore balked at the thought of out of season berries, even if I did have a vision of creating the Obama logo in berries. Instead, I printed out a little Obama swag to celebrate the day.

As I watched the inaugural ball coverage this evening and rested after a long day of intense emotions, the cake has made a surprisingly good companion. I love the lightness and freshness, the promise of Spring, of hope and virtue, of better days ahead after these days of stark darkness.

Thanks to Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchenfor selecting this delightful recipe. Check out the other talented TWD bakers for more tales of Diva eggs and stately cakes:)


  1. Hee. Sorry about our contribution to the mishaps! Thanks for opening your home yet again..it is always such a warm and welcoming setting. :)

  2. Anonymous10:35 PM

    Your cake turned out wonderful! Love the Obama swag.

  3. Oh lovely! My egg divas also took forever to whip -- and then I over-worked them when folding and FLOP! But it was still pretty darn tasty!

  4. i had sinkage but still thought the cake was fabulous. great job on yours! :)

  5. that's one perfect cake! yours didn't sink at all, bravo! looks great, and sounds like it tasted fantastic too.

    gooooo obama! :)

  6. Your cake looks fantastic!

  7. Love Love the Obama cake! I made OOObama bars and cupcakes. Wasn't yesterday wonderful!?!??!

  8. Props to you for staying true to your locavore ways. I've been backsliding in the cold weather.

  9. Now THAT is a cake -- definitely one of the best, tallest and proudest I've seen. Yeah, the diva eggs were trouble from the beginning, but you knew just how to handle them. You're not a publicist by any chance, are you? Your cake is gorgeous, and your Obama swag just makes the whole scene perfect.