French Frdays with Dorie

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Egg Divas? Dorie calls them egg divas? She is so nice. I would call them something else, but I am going to pretend that my New Year's resolution was to clean-up my trash mouth - besides I have to eat with this mouth, so I don't want to sully it too much.

There they were pretending to be nice and airy - holding their ribbon shape - no pool of melted butter for me - no sirree Bob. Instead of melted butter, I had a nice, deep, hidden pocket of unfolded flour! As I am pouring the batter into the pan I see that my folding skills have atrophied and the batter is far from blended. I futilely tried to blend that pocket of flour into the batter remaining, but I knew my goose was cooked. I could see the batter deflating before my very eyes.

Teasingly it raised in the oven until the last ten minutes or so of cooking and then it collapsed into a pile of brown crud. Mind you some portions of the previously sky-high batter tenaciously clung to the sides of the pan to taunt me when I removed the cake from the oven. It isn't enough to suffer the indignity of being incapable of folding? The food has to taunt me from the counter top? Divas, who needs them? Well, of course, we do if we plan to make the berry surprise. Our mission - and I wasn't about to let it be an impossible one - was to make the Hidden Berry Surprise.

For comic relief - and to make those of you who think you are the only one whose cake fell feel better - I give you:

Exhibit A - a close up shot of the island of flour that remained unmixed in the cake and did not get absorbed during baking.

Exhibit B - a profile view of the ultra thin cake. Due to my lack of photographic skill you can't see the lovely - almost lace like - rim of somewhat charred cake that formed from the rise and fall of the cake in the pan. On the plus side, this cake was remarkably even. On the negative side, I have no current use for a doorstop - especially one that is prone to attracting rodents.

It was not my original game plan to make this cake all in one day. No, for once I was going to be organized. For once I was going to make the cake a day ahead and do the finishing the next day. I scoff at me! For here I sit at 12:45AM - it is now Wednesday - just finishing up.

Never let it be said that I am a quitter. I went back to the bowl and cajoled the new divas into formation. With great trepidation and even greater care I blended the flour into the eggs. The flour tried to hide in those pockets again, but I carefully and gently located them and removed them.

I finished incorporating the dry ingredients and then on tiptoes I placed the cake on the sheet pan and placed it in the oven. I crept out of the kitchen and stealthily back in every 15 minutes to check the progress.

Eureka! The divas were not entirely pleased with my performance, there was a slight collapse in the center of the cake, but I pretended not to notice this rude gesture and proceeded with the remaining steps of the recipe, which was selected by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen. See the recipe here or BUY the BOOK!

I loved the filling for this cake, though I used only about half of it to fill the cake. I fear that though this cake was much higher than my original attempt it still fell short of the height anticipated by this recipe.

I mixed the remainder with the cake I removed to make the cubby hole and ate it for an impromptu dessert. I thought the cake was a tad on the dry side and I cooked it for only 27 minutes. When eaten with a mouthful of filling it was very tasty so I have high hopes that it will not be found lacking by my tasters at work.

I'm not a huge fan of raspberries, but at this time of year, I was fairly certain they would be more tasty than the strawberries I saw for sale so I went with them despite my personal feelings. Besides that, I always figure whipped cream - which can hide a multitude of sins, you don't see any crater, do you?, can also offset them with flavor.

I'll update this post tomorrow after I find out how the cake is received by the hungry hordes at work.

Results update: The cake has been cut and slices have been delivered. Comments ranged from "this is your best effort to date" to "Oh my God, this is delicious!" I love it when a plan comes together! From my perspective it smells divine when you cut into those berries. They are incredibly tart which melds nicely with the filling and the whipped topping. Unlike many of the others I felt the filling was more than adequately sweetened. But, then again, I prefer my whipped cream with no sugar at all, so I have a low sensitivity to that.

I have this on my radar screen for the fall. I've made genoise before and haven't had as many problems as this. I think I may have gotten my eggs too hot - something I will have to be wary of the next time - but I will give it another go. If however, the divas are being divas, I'll just switch to the other genoise recipes I've used successfully and relegate this one to no man's land.


Anonymous said...

mine was fine until about the 15 minute mark and then... total sinkage. i made mini cakes though so it wasn't that big a deal, i just stuffed extra filling and then covered it all up with whipped cream. :)

Anonymous said...

Good for you for not giving in and trying again. Your finished cake looks tasty.

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

Your cake looks beautiful...leave it to the egg *bleeps* to mess us all up!