Sunday, February 14, 2010

Slice of Love: It's What's on the Inside That Counts

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(click here to see how I made the "love" sides)


(A Slice of Cocoa Crepe Cake!)

A cake unmolested can be a thing of beauty. But I prefer the view from the inside. I believe the point of baking is to watch someone you love savoring a morsel you made by hand. That’s right. I look in the mirror when I eat dessert.
Don't get me wrong, embellishing the exterior with bells and whistles is a hoot.
I’m all for bakers perfecting their piping and décor sides and fondant skills.
But in the end, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
The elements of the wonderful lemony blueberry cake at the very top are already on this site:
(1) The vanilla cake is jerryrigged by leaving out vanilla and replacing it with lemon extract and the zest of one lemon. After pouring the batter into the cake pan, push plump blueberries into the batter symmetrically. I have no problems with using frozen berries but don’t stir the frozen fruit into the batter because it will dye the batter, albeit with lovely berry hues but I’d rather the cake look lemony and not like a tighty whitey that’s just taken a trip through the washer with a bleeding red sweatshirt.
(2) Lemon curd. Make this ahead of time so it’s chilled when you assemble the cake. I use about ½ of it to add layer to the cake. One layer cake, place ¼ cup of the curd on the cake layer and spread the curd evenly over the cake. Then follow with a layer of sweetened whipped cream. Repeat. Cake. Curd. Cream.
(3) Whipped Cream. Easy. Heavy cream, about 2 cups. Whip with ¼ cup confectioners sugar, a heaping tablespoon of curd, a teaspoon of lemon extract and a heaping tablespoon of Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is optional but it adds a lovely tang.
With curds and whipped fillings, it’s so much easier to build the cake inside a cake ring so you have stable sides keeping all that potentially loose filling from taking the side exit right out of the cake. Freeze the cake for a few hours until it’s set and an hour before serving, let it hang out in the fridge.
And decorate the cake as you like...just do it with love and make sure it's what's inside that counts.
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