TWD #3: Berry Surprise Cake

Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day and, instead of marching in a parade, my dear friend Secret Server came over to our house to bake a cake. A “Berry Surprise Cake” picked by Mary Ann of “Meet Me in the Kitchen.”

(This reminds me of a Dr. MLK, Jr, Day in the past, when I took the kids bowling. The next day my composition teacher had everyone write an in-class essay about how we celebrated the holiday.)

“I have a dream of my two children, one day, being able to knock down pins without using bumper guards.”

Okay, back to baking, we whisked the flour with the baking powder and salt; whisked the warm eggs with sugar and then beat the egg mixture for five minutes. At this point our eggs should have been able to hold a ribbon for about ten seconds.

They (we?) failed.

So we beat them for a couple more minutes, then sifted half the flour mixture over the eggs, folded it in, added the melted butter, folded that in, sifted the remaining flour, folded it in, then added the cake batter to the pan.

We baked our cake in a nine inch springform pan (the recipe specified eight inch, but I was unable to find one) and estimated it would take about twenty-five minutes.

While the cake was baking we made the syrup, bringing sugar and water to a boil; we accidentally added the framboise a bit early, but it tasted fine.

After about twenty minutes I turned on the oven light and was surprised to see that our cake was dimplier than my thighs.

At twenty-five minutes we took it out. The appearance was, well, interesting. It also smelled a bit like vanillla-y scrambled eggs.

We set it aside to cool and made the filling, a delicious cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and whipped cream mixture.

Returning to our cake we decided not to follow the assembly directions due to its sunken mien. Instead we brushed the syrup on the top, followed by a thin layer of filling, sprinkled on blueberries and strawberries, covered the berries with more filling and whipped up the whipping cream and used it to frost the cake.

We decorated the top of the cake with diced strawberries and blueberries and put the cake in the fridge to sit for an hour.

While we waited we played Wii and danced to my new favorite tune, “The Naked Song.”

“We were naked in my bed
one swing, no strings
moving all around the room
chicka chicka boom boom
and then we did it on the floor, against the door
upon the sink where we did it some more
sun was hott but we were both burning red
we were naked in my bed”

Do you think the Bill Martin knows his famous children’s book title is being used in a teenage booty call song?

After embarrassing my daughter mightily with my singing (into a Wii remote, hair-brush style!) and dancing (Pee Wee Herman style), we headed back to the kitchen and made the rasberry coulis.

SS happily cut and plated the cake:

And we called the kids in, eagerly anticipating their comments.

“It’s chewy” was the predominant observation.

Extemporaneously explaining our Sponge Cake FAIL I said “Oh, it’s a sponge cake, it’s supposed to be chewy, you know, like a sponge.”

(I don’t think they believed me!)

SS and I sat down to partake in the cake, finish off the Framboise, and pose for pictures. Reagan, obligingly, took many a photo, due to my constant criticism (of my appearance, not of her photography skills!).

“Ugh, in this one I have rolls.”

My reminder of “good posture” lead to this lovely picture:

For some reason this brings to mind the old chant of “I must, I must, I must increase my bust!”

SS and her family had to head home, but later than evening Reagan and I made another go at Sponge Cake. Ours was slightly less chewy, but still not exactly right; I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’m going to spend some time reading other TWD posts and researching “chewy sponge cake” in an effort to pinpoint the problem.

I’m determined to make a tasty sponge cake. In fact:
“I have a dream that one day even my sponge cake, a cake smelling of scrambled eggs, with the scent of vanilla, suffering from a leathery texture, will be transformed into a masterpiece of airiness and wonder.”

13 Responses to “TWD #3: Berry Surprise Cake”

  1. lauren Says:

    welcome to TWD! I didn’t understand the whole ribbon instruction myself either. I just beat them for a while. oh well.

  2. pamela Says:

    I’ve never heard of that song, but now I want to hear it. The cake looks great!

  3. Laura Says:

    Gorgeous plate!

  4. peggy Says:

    I definitely think you AND I should try this one again. I can’t believe one could go to this much trouble and the cake not “taste” better than it did, so therefore I am on for the challenge of making it yet a third time. My first one was flat and tasted a little eggy. I did discover that you have to beat them on level 6 if you have a KA mixer, and in five minutes it will hold the “ribbon.” So at least I learned something!!

  5. Kimberly Says:

    Your cake is pretty! And as long as BFF was there who care’s about chewy cake?? 🙂

  6. chocolatechic Says:

    Way to go.

    It tastes wonderful.

  7. Spike Says:

    Sounds like a fun day of singing, wii, and chewy cake!

  8. Wendy Says:

    This was a tricky recipe, for sure. It looks like you had a blast anyway.

  9. Ivette Says:

    How cool that you had your BFF there to support you. I really fell in love with this cake.. hope you enjoyed it too!!

  10. Jennifer Says:

    I just ate a second piece of this cake, a day letter, and, oddly, it tastes better today. I say “oddly” because Dorie specifically mentions in the storage that it’s best eaten the day it’s assembled. Of course, her recommendation is for a “normal” cake, not a chewy one!

  11. Amy Says:

    I love the red, white, and blue — perfect for inauguration day!

  12. Cathy Says:

    Ha! I ALWAYS have to explain to people why they should really like my dessert (a la your “it’s supposed to be chewy” comment). Sometimes you just have to get people in the right mindset. It looks like you had fun with this anyway, and that’s really all that matters!

  13. Jennifer Says:

    Nicely done!

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