Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge- Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake

Well, here I am in the midst of the finishing stages of building our house and getting ready to move. Despite the level of chaos and disarray in my life at the moment I was determined to complete this month’s challenge. This recipe is a great example of why I was excited to join this group. I have always loved baking cakes, but this one will got me out of my comfort zone and using new techniques and ingredients. I knew I wanted to make the cake for Easter dinner with my family, but I also knew that the week leading up to Easter would be very hectic. So, I decided to make this cake a 2 day event and dual location event.

Day 1: Baking the Cakes (At the apartment)

Well, first off, I had never lined the bottom of a pan with buttered parchment paper before, but it seems like a simple task. However, I think this is the part that gave me the most difficulty! The batter came together nicely and was beautiful- very light and creamy.


As the cakes were baking they smelled delicious! At this point I was regretting my “bake now, eat later” plan! After baking for about 35 minutes the cakes were well risen, springy to the touch and golden along the edges.


I waited for the cakes to cool (okay, I went to bed and set my alarm for when I thought they would be cool- I really should have started this earlier in the evening!) and then wrapped them tightly with plastic wrap a sealed them in gallon freezer bags. Into the freezer until the weekend!

Day 2: Buttercream & Decorating (At the new house!)

This was my first experience making buttercream frosting and I was a little nervous. I was trying out some new kitchen equipment and was in the middle of unpacking chaos, but everything went fine. The meringue came together well and looked beautiful.


I was worried that my butter wasn’t truly room temperature because I didn’t leave it out for very long. It worked into the frosting easily and I didn’t have any trouble with curdling. For me the lemon flavoring was a little overpowering (I am not the biggest lemon fan in general), so next time I might use different flavoring. It is great to know how to make the decedent frosting for special occasions!


I tried to decorate the cake in an Easter basket style. I had a little trouble cutting the layers evenly. I didn’t have much time so my attempt at “basket weaving” on the sides didn’t come out that well. You get the idea though!


Overall this was a fun cake that was perfect for Easter dinner. My family thought it was delicious, but a little richer than what we are used to! Certainly a perfect party cake! Thanks for the fun!




Lis said...

Sara, you win the award for cutest cake EVER! I love the basket effect and think you did an EXCELLENT job!


L Vanel said...

Yes, I agree, the theme for your cake turned out simply beautiful. Congratulations!

Morven said...

I can't believe this - everytime I think I've seen it all someone else comes along and blows me away. What a great job you did on the cake. Well done.

Faery said...

beautiful beautiful beautiful

Angel said...

Your cake basket for Easter is absolutely darling. I love it. The layers look fantastic. Magnificent!