Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Berry and Cream cake.
Here is a very special cake. I did this for a big lunch with teenagers and twenty somethings at my neighbor's house last year. Let me get this out of the way right now. I OVER DO. If a recipe of frosting is perfect, I make a double or one and a half batch recipe. If a recipe asks for whipped cream, there will be mountains of it! It can be excessive, so be careful not to fall over the edge as I do.
I do not include a cake recipe here. Try one in the other posts on the sight, your favorite white cake recipe, or even the almond cake in the Amaretto Cake recipe posted here.
Split two standard round layer cakes horizontally so you end up with four layers. You can either saw around a few inches deep with a serrated knife, then go deeper on the second pass, or put a thread all the way around the cake, making a simple un-tightened knot, then pulling the ends to cut through the cake as you tighten the knot. Is that at all clear?
Place the first bottom layer on a nice cake plate or pedestal. Place a few small sheets of waxed paper on the plate under the edge of the cake to protect the plate.
Whip three pints(I do four, but that is my tendency to excess speaking) of whipping cream with powdered sugar and vanilla.
Toast one cup of slivered almonds on a cookie sheet or in a dry frying pan, just till golden.
Wash small containers of Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Strawberries, dry them and set aside. Do not sugar them.
OPTIONAL: Make a simple syrup flavored with an extract that goes well with berries like Almond, or flavor the syrup with a liqueur of your choice.
Soak the bottom layer with the simple syrup if desired. and frost it thinly with cream. cover the cream with a carpet of one of the berries and frost again to even the layer.
Add the second layer, cut side up. Repeat the process with different berries.
Do the same with the third layer.
Place the fourth layer on top with the cut side up again.(Or you can sprinkle the cake with syrup while in your hand, then invert on top of the cake with the baked surface up.) Sprinkle with syrup and frost the entire cake heavily with whipped cream, reserving a cup or two for decoration.
Top with the last variety of berries, and perhaps a mix of berries if any are left from the lower layers. Place them in a very decorative pattern, but keep them a bit away from the edge. Look your berries over before you begin. Use the smallest number of berries for the top, then you can mix the left over berries with them.
Pipe the rest of the cream decoratively around the cake at the plate edge, the rim of the cake and in rosettes or stars among the berries. Place any berries left over in the cream rosettes. You could do all of this with a knife if you do not have a pastry bag, or cut a hole in the corner of a plastic storage bag to make a makeshift pastry bag.
Sprinkle with almonds, which you could also do on every layer if you like.
Chill well till ready to serve.
This would work well with an angel cake cut into layers with mounds of berries and cream in the middle.
Use your own discretion on the berries. Just one variety will not be a betrayal, just make sure you have lots of them or the white cake with whipped cream will be rather BLAH!