Yes, it's another Daring Bakers Challenge. This time we have Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Perfect Party Cake. I wondered if it would live up to it's name, and it most certainly did. I baked it for Easter dinner at my friend Nancy's house, and it was a huge success. It's always heart warming when people nearly give you a standing ovation. The cake was really a birthday cake for her mom, Katherine, and it cut beautifully and tasted...well, perfect. The recipe this month was chosen by the wonderful Morven, of Food Art and Random Thoughts, and I thank her very much for choosing it. I'll be making this cake a lot. I think it is, indeed, the perfect party cake.
The recipe was simple to make and, and it provided me with lots of yummy batter and frosting. Enough to "sample" before I baked the cake and frosted it. I love raw cake batter more than when it's cooked, and drove my mother crazy as a child, by standing at her arm, begging for it as she tried to fill her cake pans. I'm glad I showed restraint and baked my layers, resulting in tender, yet resilient layers that easily handled being split in half before being filled and frosted.
That part went OK, but, as usual, I had some problems.
I baked my cake layers the day before Easter and figured I'd have enough time to leisurely fill and frost the cake before going to Nancy's house. Well, if didn't work out that way. I ran out of frosting, with a third of the cake to go. That was entirely my fault, because I whipped the delicious frosting too long, and it wasn't as aerated as it should have been. Also, each layer included raspberry jam, the frosting, and fresh raspberries. The cake was a lot taller than I thought it would be. Also, note that I got carried away with the jam. The picture doesn't capture the crisis that occurred when I tried to pull out the wax paper strips placed under the cake, to keep the cake stand clean as I frosted it. As I gently pulled them off, part of the cake began to break away and slide as well. It happened with each strip. But, I was able to push the cake back together, and it didn't affect the cutting or appearance of the cake.
At this point everything became very helter skelter. I had to make more frosting (which turned out beautifully) to finish the cake, and suddenly realized I had to rush to get it done, in order to get myself ready for the dinner. I finished the cake 20 minutes before the party was to start, grabbed my camera and fired off pictures as quickly as possible. Then, I inadvertantly deleted most of them, and couldn't take more, because my camera battery went dead. Eventually, my husband was able to resurrect a few of the pictures.
My pictures don't do the cake justice. You should go to the other Daring Baker sites, which you can find on the Daring Baker Blogroll. I've seen some of the cakes and they're amazing. Next time you're thinking of making a party cake, give this a try. I certainly will.
Now go to Daring Baker Blogroll and prepare to be amazed. We have some true cake artists in our group.
I'm not one of them. But that's OK. Like I always say, I make great bagels.