Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday's with Dorie- Berry Surprise Cake- My Pick!

This week's Tuesday's with Dorie selection was brought to you by ME! That's right, it was my turn to choose and what a difficult task. When I joined TWD last March, I really never thought I would see the day that I would be able to choose the recipe, because there were so many members ahead of me.
Well, the day came! I was trying to decide if I should choose something decadent that I have never attempted before, like Chocolate Souffle or Pots de Creme or if I should go with a fabulous looking tart. I wanted to try one of the Bread Puddings, the Raspberry Blanc-Manger, or the most interesting looking dessert in the book in my opinion, Coconut-Roasted Pinapple Dacquoise.
But the one recipe that I kept coming back to was the Berry Surprise Cake. There wasn't a picture, which is a little bit interesting. Besides, I enjoy baking cake the most and this particular cake sounded light and airy, with a fabulous contrast coming from the berries, kind of like berries and cream.
My apologies about the berries- I know they are out of season and super expensive right now, but I figured this was my one chance to command about 400 other bakers and so, I chose the Berry Surprise Cake on pages 273-275 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours. (If you still do not own this book, get a copy of it!)

I made a full recipe in my 8-inch springform pan and was careful to follow Dories instructions. She gives great instructions, with very accurate times. I let my egg/sugar mixture get just warm, beat it into beautiful, pale fluff, folded everything very gently and put my batter in the oven. It was beautiful and when I checked through the window, it had great height. When I checked a few minutes later, it had fallen a little bit. It wasn't horrible, but I wanted the cake to be perfect-so I whipped up another half batch and made it in my new 4-inch mini springform pans. Same thing. except this time I watched. I sat by the oven and saw the beautiful height and then saw them fall. Yikes! I actually asked Dorie about it and she was kind enough to respond to me in an email. She said, "Genoise cakes can sometimes sink a bit in the center - not attractive,but not really a problem with this cake, since you'll be hollowing it out and covering the top. Usually, the culprit with this cake is the folding, but it sounds as though you were gentle with the ingredients. It could be that your eggs were too hot, but I doubt that, too. The cake always rises high in the oven early on in its bake and then sinks some as it continues to bake and, as I said, it can sometimes form a dip in the center." Hey, if it isn't a problem with Dorie, it isn't a problem with me.

I was relieved to find out a little sinkage was perfectly normal and decided since I had a large 8-inch and 2 small 4-inch cakes, that I would cut 2 4-inch rounds out of the large cake and use them to cover my small cakes. I sliced the 8-inch cake in half and then cut out some cute little tops. Cheating? maybe, but it worked!

My hollowed out mini cake, which was soaked in the yummy syrup
Thin layer of filling
A few raspberries
Covered with filling
Topped with my cut-out round from the larger cake and Ta-da! no one will ever know, except you all, because I told you. I thought the finished cake was delicious. I let it sit in the fridge overnight and the flavors were really great the next day. This would be the perfect cake to serve at party. Yum- great pick, if I do say so myself! I hope everyone else liked it- To see if they did, go check out the TWD Blogroll!


Berry Surprise Cake from Baking: from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 8 servings
Serving: Cut the cake at the table using a serrated knife. It can be served just as it is or you can drizzle a little Raspberry Coulis (page 467) over each slice.
Storing: While you can bake the cake up to 1 day ahead and keep it wrapped at room temperature (a day-old cake is a bit easier to cut than a fresh cake), or freeze it well wrapped for up to 2 months, once the cake is assembled, it is best to serve it the same day.
Playing Around: The filling is so good you might want to use it without the cake. If so, add sugar to it, or not, and splash the fruit with a little liqueur (eaux-de-vie, liqueurs such as Chambord or brandies like kirsch are freally good with soft fruits) if you'd like. Spoon the fruit into pretty bowls or glasses-everything looks good in champagne flutes- and top with the cream filling.
"One of the great pleasures of my New York City childhood was clutching a handful of coins, walking to the luncheonette about ten blocks from home and buying a charlotte russe. Charlotte russe, a sweet rarely seen these days, and certainly not at corner luncheonettes, was originally made of ladyfingers and custard, whipped cream, and perhaps some fruit. The charlotte russe of my youth was a mixture of sponge cake, fruit or jam, and gobs of whipped cream, topped by an unnaturally red cherry. But its real appeal was its packaging-the dessert came in a cardboard cylinder with a pointy rick-rack border. First you ate the swirls of whipped cream that extended at least a mile above the cardboard rim, then-and this was the best part-you pushed the round of cardboard on the bottom, and, in a feat of brilliant engineering, the cake rose up so you could eat every last bit of it. You could even lick the base, as I did, and so did everyone else I knew.
This cake doesn't have any moving parts, but the fact that it's made by hollowing out a place in the center of the baked cake for some cream and berries is reminiscent of the spirit of charlotte russe.
The container for this surprise is a sturdy genoise, a whole-egg sponge cake that will hold up when you cut out its center and excavate a cozy nest for the filling. The filling, a mixture of cream cheese and heavy cream, is very simple to make, but because of the tang of the cream cheese, it tastes complex and is awfully good with red berries. Most of the time I use raspberries as the surprise, but strawberries or a combination of berries is also fine. Naturally the cake is finished with whipped cream."
For the cake:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the syrup:
1/3 cup water
3 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls kirsch, Chambord, framboise, or raspberry syrup (I used 2 tsp. raspberry extract)
For the filling:
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbls sugar (I added an extra Tbls)
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract (I added an extra 1/2 tsp)
For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 Tbls confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 pints fresh raspberries, for filling and topping
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-inch-high 8-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom with parchment paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
To make the cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer of another large heatproof bowl and whisk to blend. Put the bowl in a skillet with an inch or two of simmering water and continue to whisk until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is just warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture almost triples in volume and forms a ribbon that holds it shape for about 10 seconds when the beater is lifted.
Switch to a large rubber spatula, sift over half the dry ingredients and fold them in gently- don't overmix, you'll have another chance to gather up any recalcitrant ingredients. Fold in the cooled, melted butter, then sift over the remaining dry ingredients and very gingerly fold them in. The beautifully beaten eggs are fragile and must be treated like the divas they are. Check that you don't have a puddle of melted butter at the bottom of the bowl-a frequent hazard- then scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan gently to even it.
Bake the cake for 30-33 minutes, or until the top is springy to the touch and the sides are starting to pull away from the pan. (A thin knife inserted into the center would come out clean, but it would also deflate the still-fragile cake a little.)
Transfer the cake to a rack and let it sit for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the pan and remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan and peel off the paper, then invert again and cool to room temperature right side up. ( When cool, the cake can be wrapped and kept at room temperature overnight- it will cut a little more easily if it rests- or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months)
To make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the liqueur and let the syrup come to room temperature.
To make the filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fit with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft, smooth and fluffy. While beating, gradually add 1/2 cup of the cream, the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream is absorbed and the cheese is smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Pour the remaining 2/3 cup cream into the bowl you beat the cream cheese in (there's no need to wash it) and, using the whisk attachment or the hand mixer, whip the cream until it holds firm peaks. Stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the rest. There's no need to wash the bowl-you'll be using it for the topping.
To make the topping: Just before you are ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream until it holds medium peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until the cream holds firm peaks. Cover the cream and refrigerate.
To assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, slice off the top 1/2 inch of the cake and set this layer aside. If it crumbles- that can happen to the best of us- just save the pieces. With the knife, sketch a circle on top of the cake that is 1/2 inch in from the edges of the cake. Cut down through the outline, stopping between 1/4 and 1/2 inch from the bottom. Using the knife and your fingers, carefully pull out the cake within this circle, leaving a little nest that will house your surprise. Transfer the cake nest to a platter or a cardboard round.
Brush the inside of the cake with some of the syrup, discarding what remains, and spoon a thin layer of the filling over the bottom. Toss in 1/2 pint of the berries-more if you'd like- and cover with the remaining filling. Lift the reserved top layer onto the cake and press it down gently to form the cake. If all you have are scraps, fret not; just arrange them over the top of the cake and press them gently to reconstruct a layer.
Using a long metal icing spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the topping. Finish with some raspberries, placing berries carefully around the top of the cake, or piling them up in the center. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or for up to 6 hours) before serving.

Up Next- The ABSOLUTE, BEST Dip EVER!

80 comments:

SiHaN said...

Thanks Mary ANn for the fabulous choice! I was equally as impressed as you about the cake flavors. the cream cheese filling worked perfectly with the entire fluffy concotion. Yumz.. Yours look lovely! And i must say you really are a perfectionist!

Rachelle said...

It's beautiful! I had a little trouble too, even baked 2 cakes. I thought it was great, loved the filling! Thanks for the challenge this week, I would have never picked this out to make myself, but I'm glad I made it with all the TWDers!

The Food Librarian said...

Beautiful and such a great pick!! It was yummy and fun!

Cristine said...

Your cake looks fantastic! Thanks for hosting this week!

Marthe said...

Your cakes look sooo cute!! I passed on baking TWD this week

n.o.e said...

Thanks for the challenge this week, Mary Ann! Mine didn't turn out (which was partly my fault for recklessly using gf flour) but I loved the technique. Yours turned out so well, and the step by step photos are great.
Nancy

Cakelaw said...

I love your minis - you can really see the nest in yor pics. The finished products look like 2 little perfect round houses covered in snow. Thanks for hosting this week.

Danielle said...

Great pick! Your cakes look geat good job!

Cathy said...

I knew your cakes would be perfect, Mary Ann! You pictures are gorgeous, and now I know what this cake is supposed to look like for the next time I make it -maybe ;) My cake did not turn out (as you know -- thanks for your help last week!!), but I had a ball trying. It was really fun to attempt a new technique. I think this was a great TWD pick -- thank you!

dorie said...

Mare, you're right -- if you hadn't told us, no one would ever imagine you had any kind of trouble this week. The cake looks GORGEOUS!

HappyTummy said...

your mini cakes look picture perfect. i want to reach into the screen and eat one :) beautiful job.

on another note, i totally agree with you on the Coconut-Roasted Pinapple Dacquoise. of all the recipes in the book, it's the one i keep flipping back to, because it looks like a tropical vacation and so darned tasty! since i'm up about five and a half years from now (hee hee), i hope someone else will pick this as their choice!

Amanda said...

Yours came out so lovely! There is actually a picture of this cake, but it's on the back cover of the book. I didn't discover it until I closed the book after making the recipe, and bam, there it was LOL! I didn't have as much luck with mine. If fell something awful and i really didn't like it, but dang it sure was pretty! ;) I have had some bad luck with the last couple of picks, so hopefully this next one will be better :)

Kimberly said...

What beautiful pictures! Congrats on a great pick! I've figured out that it will be approximately 5 years before its my turn to pick :D

LyB said...

Your cakes turned out perfect! I love the contrast between the vibrant red berries and the white whipped cream, it's beautiful. Great pick, Mary Ann, I can't wait to try it with fabulous Summer berries. :)

Jessica said...

Thanks for a great pick this week! It's just the perfect thing for a nice winter break. Yours is just beautiful -- now I have something to go by the next time that I make it.

I totally agree with you about the Coconut Pineapple Daquoise. I am dying to make this -- I have been since I got my copy of BFMHTY.

Joy said...

Your cakes are gorgeous! And I'm so impressed with the clean cut you got - beautiful! Thanks for the great pick!

Steph said...

Thanks for choosing this cake!! It was challenging, but a lot of fun. I can't stop looking for other chiffon recipes.

Prudy said...

Hooray! Loved your pick. Yours are adorable and you've got me waiting for that dip....

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

I want to thank you for choosing this cake. I had some trouble with it, but I always appreciate being able to learn/try new things. It's a fun experience!

You did an absolutely STUNNING job!

Anne said...

That is one beautiful cake! Great job Mare!

rainbowbrown said...

Wow, everything about your cake looks just like what I expected it to look like. Beautifully done and a wonderful choice.

Maria said...

Great pick! The cake is gorgeous! I love the berries!!

Karen said...

Beautiful! I am so glad that yours turned out so well! It would have a been a bummer if it hadn't. I will have to try again to make the cake but my trifle turned out just fine! :)

Flourchild said...

Your cake looks very good! I really enjoyed the taste of this one. I used raspberries too.

Audrey said...

You picked something so beautiful! I had a hard time imagining what this would look like just from the description in the book, but now I know...your cake(s) look wonderful. I'm sorry I didn't join in (just didn't have time), but I'll try to make this sometime soon. Congrats on a great selection...I hope I do as well three or four years from now, when it's my turn...
Audrey

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

I had to bow out this week, but from the amazing look of what you have done here, I will be making this VERY soon!!

Andrea said...

Thanks, Mary Ann! This was such a fun TWD pick, we loved it at our house! I can see making this again in the summer for sure :) Your little cakes are beautiful!

karen said...

thanks Mary Ann for such a great pick, i've always been interested in this recipe from the book. your cake looks beautiful.

farah said...

Yours look fantastic and i really wish mine turned out like yours.

Pollyanna said...

Thanks for choosing this. I am just making it now. I'm glad I'll get to make something I would not have choosen to make.

Yours looks beautiful!

Piggy said...

Thanks for the great pick, the cake was yummy indeed!

Sabrina said...

Im glad you picked this one because I got a little cocky thinking i wouldnt have trouble with it... and I failed! But im glad i tried!

Yours looks great!!!

vibi said...

Thank you for picking such a great recipe, Mary Ann! Contrary to many, I really enjoyed the flavors of this cake!
Yours is very nice looking, very dainty and precious with a perfect touch of mint leaves which adds great freshness!

Marie said...

Mary Ann thanks for a fabulous choice! I loved this cake. Yours looks wonderful! I know I will be making this again, and I can't wait to make it when raspberries are in season! It was fab with blueberries and lime!

Nichi said...

Great recipe choice! And yours turned out beautiful.

ecrunner said...

Great choice!! Your pictures look so scrumptious and I was so glad to see you pick this recipe!! Thank you!!

~Chris~ said...

Great choice, and such wonderful pictures!!

pinkstripes said...

Great job! thanks for picking this recipe. I love that you picked one without a picture, sometimes I feel like those are forgotten.

We loved this recipe and it was the first time I made a genoise. Thanks again!

(by the way, your pictures are gorgeous!)

Peggy said...

Even though I had some trouble with my "first" cake, the second one worked fine. I'm glad you chose this because it was something a little different to experience. Yours of course look PERFECT!!!

Emily Rose said...

Thanks for a great pick Mary Ann! Your cakes look so beautiful! I felt the same way about the genoise- who cares if it falls a little- it's going to be stuffed with cream cheese and berries!! Thanks again!

Katrina said...

GORGEOUS! So glad you liked your pick. I made the best of it and think I came up with a pretty good cake. It all got eaten up last night, so that's good! I splurged and bought fresh berries, which really made the cake! Thanks, Mary Ann!

Tammy said...

fantastic pick Mary Ann! ANd berries are in season here in NZ, so it was perfect timing for me!

Gabe's Girl said...

Absolutely lovely. They are perfect.

Cynthia said...

Your pictures are absolutely beautiful and I'm now kicking myself for not baking with the group this week. I was thrown off by the high cost of berries at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing your process. The cake looks incredible.

myfamousrecipe said...

Mary Ann,

Your cakes look gorgeous! It's so funny that you actually watched the cake deflate in the oven -- but you'd never know from the final result. Well done!

leanne said...

Wow your berry surprise looks so delicious. Mine fell too and after reading that so many fell, I didn't try again. I must try this one again

Em said...

Thanks for this week's pick! Totally fussy recipe but it was so tasty - I'll make it again :)

TeaLady said...

Beautiful. Glad you chose this one. Sorry to say I didn't get to make this one, but maybe on the rewind.

bakingwiththeboys said...

Great choice. I probably would have skipped past it on my own, thinking it was too much work. I did have some issues with the cake but I loved the taste of the final result.

J.Danger said...

looks so good!

Aggie said...

Oh I want some Berry Surprise cake!! Great choice!

Joelen said...

Beautiful job and great choice for this week!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

your genoise looks light and fully to me, and your little cakelets are super-cute! i really loved this cake--thanks for the pick!

chocolatechic said...

Thanks for a great tasting pick,

kim said...

your end result looks gorgeous!! good to know that the sinkage is normal (more or less :) ) i really enjoyed this cake, so thanks for a great pick!

Ivette said...

Even though I wish my cake would have come out better... I thought the taste was amazing!! Yours looks awesome.. nice pick!

Carol Peterman said...

Cakes are my favorite thing to make too! Thanks for the baking fun this week. Your cakes are so pretty.

Fit Chick said...

I loved your choice, challenging recipes make us better bakers. After everyone's comments I added 1/3 cup extra flour and my cakes barely sank. Fortunately there are frozen berries to be had at anytime of year. My fresh raspberrys were delicious and not that expensive. Thank you for a great pick!

Engineer Baker said...

Those have to be the cutest little cakes I've ever seen! Great pick, I think it really got a lot of us out of our comfort zones!

Gabrielle said...

I want to comment too! Such a pretty cake! We need that on out NEXT party night!

Carrian said...

That cake looks so light and delicious!!

Sweet as Coco said...

Holy Toledo!! WOW~ NOW Im bummed I wasnt able to participate this week....now I WILL be making this after the photo! I have a hard time 'picturing' the end product when there aren't photos in the cookbooks! GRREAT JOB!

mangomissives said...

Thank you for selecting this yummy cake! Yours look great. Mine kind of collapsed. Oops! I still plan on making it again!

rjv said...

Thank you, Mary Ann, for such a fun pick! Your cakes are absolutely beautiful!! This was a challenge for me, and I appreciate the prod to make a recipe which I might otherwise not have tried. Everyone loved this cake - it was a real winner!

margot said...

Thank you for picking such a delicious cake this week; I had a lot of fun making it. Yours looks beautiful!

Carla said...

I'll probably bake this cake when raspberries are in season haha Sorry to hear everyone had trouble, but judging by the pictures, the end result still looked yummy!

Jaime said...

thanks for this pick! my coworkers LOVED this cake (even though i wasn't so enamored by it). i learned a lot from this recipe :)

dharmagirl said...

such delightful cakes, mary ann! thank you for choosing this delicious and light cake--a lift in the middle of a cold winter:)

Rhiani said...

Mary Ann - thanks for hosting this week. I'm glad to hear your pick turned out so well for you! Unfortunately I'm not really much of a berry person - but my husband loved them so I can't complain :)

Liz said...

Great choice! It was worth the uber-expensive berries to have a bite of summer in January. Your mini cakes look adorable!

What's for Supper? said...

Your cakes look so AWESOME! Great job.

Jess said...

Your mini-cakes turned out beautifully - so glad you chose something that really appealed to you, as we only get one chance! Thanks for picking something that gave us a little skill building, too.

cakeflower said...

So very pretty! I just layered mine...it worked just fine!

~holly said...

Yummy!! I think it turned out really good. I love your blogs look!! :)

Pamela said...

Thanks for a great choice, Mare. I must admit that I probably would have been intimidated by the lengthy instructions and skipped this one, were it not for TWD and you! While it was a lot of work, it was tasty. Your photos are stunning and I LOVE the one of the mini cake, all hollowed out. Thanks again!

pigpigscorner said...

Looks amazing! Yummy!

angelnina said...

Oh wow! This looks --over the top- GOOD! Thanks for posting.

Debbie said...

You cakes look fabulous. I tried twice and didn't a cake I could fill, but I love these flavors and will keep trying. We are having the flat cake with all the layers piled on top and it taste great. I am going to keep trying to get this cake to turn out right.

Thanks for a great pick!!!

Audrey said...

That looks delicious!

disa said...
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