Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen selected this week’s Tuesday with Dorie selection: Berry Surprise Cake. This is quite an interesting cake, and a challenging one on several levels. It requires that you make a genoise, which is an eggy, very delicate cake. You then slice off the top of the cake and hollow it out, so you can fill it with a cream/cream cheese mixture and fresh raspberries. You reassemble the whole thing and then top it with sweetened whipped cream. It sounds wonderful!
Well, I had my share of struggles making this, but I was in good company with many of the other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers. The least of my problems was finding fresh raspberries at the store (at a price that I was willing to pay). I used strawberries instead of raspberries and they worked great. You were also supposed to make simple syrup flavored with liquor to brush on the inside of the cake. I skipped this step and simply brushed the cake with orange liquor.
The genoise did not cooperate all that much, but I tried my best! You heat the eggs and sugar over simmering water, then beat with a mixer until super light and fluffy, then fold in some butter and flour. I’m not so skilled in folding in items. I think I did a fairly good job getting the eggs to the right stage, although maybe I didn’t beat them enough. I thought I folded the butter and flour in successfully, and they eggs were still really fluffy! But when I poured the batter into the pan to bake I realized that I hadn’t fully incorporated some of the flour which was hiding at the bottom of the mixing bowl. Oh well.
It baked ok, although it sunk in the middle somewhat. I figured that was ok, although I figured I would just fill the cake as is rather than hollowing it out. I didn’t think that my cake was tall enough to hollow out anyway. I made the cream cheese filling and it tasted pretty good. I did add more sugar than the recipe called for, since it seemed to need some more sweetness. I had also sprinkled the strawberries with a little sweetener, so that added a bit, too. I whipped the cream for the topping and that was good, too.
I assembled the cake and it came together fairly well. I think it was a little easier to assemble since I wasn’t filling it as the recipe called for. I filled the center of the cake with the strawberries and the cream cheese mixture and then topped the entire cake with the whipped cream. It was a little strange topping what basically looked like whipped cream with more whipped cream. This wouldn’t have been a problem if I had hollowed out the cake.
When it was all said and done, the cake looked nice. I didn’t think that it had very much flavor, which was disappointing. The strawberries had a good flavor, but all the other flavors were so subtle. It did taste a little bit like strawberry shortcake, but there was too much whipped cream altogether. I think I could try this recipe again, using a different cake recipe, and it would taste a lot different. I liked the idea of hollowing out the cake and filling it, but this one just wasn’t a big success for me.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 273