30 March 2008

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - DB March 2008

Well, this is my first Daring Bakers challenge. And yes, I did leave it to the last minute, but I've been busy with other things.

Finished cake

I didn't make the finals on Art You Eat either, but thanks to all other participants, I have plenty of new ideas that'll keep me going for a while. That was great and I'd like to try more of that.

But back to the cake and the Daring Bakers challenge. It certainly was a challenge for me - the cake batter is different to what I've done before and I'd never made butter cream before either. Also I haven't seen such a thing as cake flour in the UK, so I used plain flour and used Ulrike's metric conversion as a basis.



300 g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
300 ml full fat milk
4 large egg whites at room temperature
300 g granulated sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
115 g unsalted butter at room temperature
0.5 tsp lemon extract

Butter cream

200 g granulated sugar
4 large egg whites at room temperature
60 ml lemon juice
1.25 tsp liquid vanilla extract


120 g raspberry preserve
1 dl dessicated coconut
1 dl coconut flakes
200 g fresh raspberries
1 tsp lemon zest

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites enough to mix them together.
  3. In a third large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together. The sugar becomes moist and wonderfully fragrant.
  4. Add the butter to the sugar, a bit at a time and whisk it in with an electric whisk. There may be need to get your fingers dirty here too, my whisk wasn't very good at the start.
  5. Add the extract, then a third of the dry ingredients, whisking all the time.
  6. Then add half of the milk-egg white mixture, then another third of the dry ingredients.
  7. Finish with the last half of the milk-egg white mixture and the last of the dry ingredients and continue to whisk until the batter is smooth.
  8. Divide between two cake tins - 22.5 cm/9" diameter and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (gas mark 4). The sponges should take about 30 - 35 minutes. Leave to cool when ready.
  9. For the butter cream, make Swiss meringue with the sugar and egg whites, by whisking them together over a bain-marie until it's nice, firm and glossy.
  10. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until the meringue cools down. Then add the butter to it, a bit at a time, still whisking, until it's completely incorporated. Then continue whisking for about 10 minutes until the butter cream is smooth and thick.
  11. Add the lemon juice gradually and finally the vanilla extract.
  12. Slice the cake sponges so you have 4 cake layers. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam and a thin-ish layer of butter cream between each sponge layer, leaving about a quarter of the butter cream for decoration.
  13. Cover the assembled cake with the butter cream and decorate with the coconut, lemon zest and fresh raspberries.
On the whole, this was a very tasty cake, but with the butter cream it felt a bit rich. Also making it took most of yesterday, there are many turns to do for the butter cream and I'm not sure the 10 minutes of whisking made any difference.

And it didn't help that I didn't have 9" cake tins. I have one 7.5" and one 13" and I wasn't sure if I should use either of them. And because I didn't want to buy new cake tins, I bought cake liners at the right size. Unfortunately they didn't stay in shape too well and I ended up with two oval cake sponges and so my original design had to be drastically altered.



This was interesting, but I'm not sure it was worth all the effort it took. I'd never made sponge cake with egg whites only and also butter cream was a new thing too. Also I really liked rubbing the sugar and lemon zest together, the smell was so wonderful, and I have three new things I've learned from this challenge.


Gretchen Noelle said...

How wonderful that you were able to learn some new things through this challenge! The cake looks great and you did a good job working with what you had! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Caramella Mou said...

Thank you Gretchen, you're so sweet.

Sadly we don't have any celebrations coming up, so I suspect the poor thing will have to go in the bin. It's just too sweet and rich and big to eat.

Susan said...

Very creative way to adapt! The fresh raspberries look delicious and make the cake look so festive. Welcome to the DBs!

Caramella Mou said...

Thanks Susan, I was so disappointed at the way the sponges turned out, inspiration drained right out of me, but I managed to put it together somehow anyway.
Just spoke to my Dad on the phone - he thought the raspberries looked like a necklace around a lady's neck. I thought that was funny.

Lundulph said...

It is both sweet and rich - but it's also very tasty - so it won't go into the bin! We can freeze it in small portions and keep the Gaviscon on standby :-)

Claire said...

I, too, love rubbing the zest and the sugar together. It gives such a lovely aroma. Your cake is just beautiful! Im impressed! Maybe find someone to give it away to or take it to work or something like that!

Ritsumei said...

Your cake is so pretty! I must agree - the lemon-sugar thing was really wonderful.

Caramella Mou said...

Thanks for dropping by Claire and Ritsumei!

And as Lundulph insisted, the cake has now been duly maimed with the bread knife, fitted into plastic boxes and in the freezer for keeps.


Sheltie Girl said...

You did a fabulous job on your cake!

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

chou said...

Cool, I like using the cake liners instead of pans.

Deborah said...

Learning new things is what these challenges are all about! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

The smell was so good of the sugar and the lemon, I agree! Looks gorgeous, well done.

Caramella Mou said...

Wow, so many nice comments, I'm overwhelmed! Many thanks to Natalie, Christy, Deborah, Sathya and Elizabeth for your warm welcome to the Daring Bakers.

And shame on you for your wonderful blogs - I'm all drooly now ;-) So many good things to try out and eat...


Jenny said...

I love how you put the cake together, nice job.

creampuff said...

Very nicely done! I like your raspberry design!

Mrs. W said...

What a pretty cake!

Caramella Mou said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, Jenny, Creampuff and Mrs. W. I can't believe so many people have looked at my cake and I thought I'd failed my first challenge.


Big Boys Oven said...

such an indulge cake to look at! such make me salivating now!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks amazing! Sounds like a lot of hard work but I'm sure it was worth it. I'm too scared to do a DB challenge, you're very brave!

Lunch Buckets said...

I want to use that lemon sugar ON something! Just not sure what....maybe a spoon?