This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen. She chose Berry Surprise Cake for us to make. You're supposed to bake the cake (a thick layer of genoise), slice off the top, hollow out the middle, fill it with cream filling and berries, and put the top back on. This is a great pick for some of our southern hemisphere bakers, who should be able to find berries in season. But I knew I wouldn't be going with fresh berries for mine, since they'd be quite expensive if I could even find decent ones.
My first thought was to use frozen raspberries, and I did buy some. But I was afraid they'd be too juicy once thawed to work very well. Then I thought about just using them anyway, but cutting up my cake layer to make trifle with the cake, filling and berry sauce. From what I read on the P&Q this week, a lot of people had problems with their cakes sinking in the middle. I was not one of them, though. I made my cake this morning, and it turned out perfect. One thing that I think helped was how I folded everything together for the batter. I used my biggest balloon whisk. That's what I always use when making angel food cake from scratch, and it works great. My cake was beautifully even, and I just couldn't cut it up. So back to the drawing board...
Another idea that had been floating around in my brain was finding a way to use up the rest of the blood orange juice I bought for my sorbet. And citrus is a nice in-season flavor. I decided to make orange curd (thanks to LW for her comment on the P&Q that put the idea in my head). I knew that I couldn't just substitute orange juice for lemon in a lemon curd recipe, since oranges are less acidic. I ended up combining a couple recipes and using about 1/4 lemon juice and 3/4 orange juice. I would have added more lemon, but I only had one left. The curd turned out pretty good, though not as thick as I would have liked. I'll post the recipe when I have a bit more time.
I also used some of the blood orange juice to make the soaking syrup for the cake. I used 1/2 cup of juice and 1/4 cup of sugar and let it boil for a bit longer than a minute to reduce it somewhat. Then I added a tablespoon of Grand Marnier--not my favorite liqueur, but I thought it would be good with the orange. When making the cream filling, I also increased the sugar to 2 tablespoons, since a number of people said it wasn't sweet enough, and I agreed. After folding the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, I also folded in half a cup of my orange curd, stopping before it was completely mixed in.
For the cake assembly, I cut the top off my cake and hollowed out the middle. Then I brushed the inside of the cake with my orange syrup. I followed that with a thin layer of orange curd. I only had room for about half of the cream mixture, so after putting the top back on the cake, I spread the remaining cream on top of the cake and skipped the sweetened whipped cream that Dorie has in the recipe.
The verdict? We really enjoyed this one. I like the contrast between the firm cake and the soft filling. I'd like to try it again when fresh berries are in season. I'm picturing a sophisticated version of strawberry shortcake. =) Gillian liked it, once we convinced her to stop playing with the cake and eat it. Brianna thought the orange curd was too tart, so she might like it better with another flavor. Jamie liked what he could taste, though his allergies were making it difficult.
Be sure to head over to the Tuesdays with Dorie page for a list of the other bakers so you can see what they've come up with this week. And you can find the original recipe over at Mare's blog.