Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mom's Birthday Cake- Episode 3: Some Assembly Required

Saturday afternoon I got right back to work on the cake. Rather than making my old wonderful standby buttercream frosting, I chose to go with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It enabled me to use some of the leftover egg whites from making the curd, and try something new. I used the double boiler technique to cook the egg whites with the sugar and then whisked them in the mixer until they formed stiff peaks. Then I added lots of pieces of butter and some vanilla. I had halved the recipe because I didn’t think I needed a whole gob of frosting (turns out I could have used just a tiny bit extra.) Being a total sweet tooth, I prefer the smack-you-in-the-face sweetness of the traditional buttercream, but a lot of my family preferred the more subtle sweetness of this recipe.

Once the frosting was made, I had to begin the part I dreaded most…leveling and cutting the cakes into layers. I’ve leveled a cake before, that’s not so bad. Plus it gave us some cake scraps to nibble on until later. The cake was AMAZING. Lemony and moist, and delicious. Zac (my brother) thought it tasted like good ol’ fashioned animal crackers, but obviously not the same texture. It’s a good thing, when the best part of your cake is the cake! When it came time to cut the cake into layers I used the suggested strategy of putting toothpicks around the sides of the cake to lay your knife on as you slice. It was quite helpful. Even though it did not turn out perfect, I was just so happy that I didn’t break any layer in half. Pretty good for my first attempt.

Then I got out the lemon curd filling to start assembling the cake. This is when I realized that it had not set up properly and was, quite frankly, a runny mess. Still tasty, just the wrong consistency. As I started layering, I came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for me to pipe any sort of words or designs on the cake using the curd as I had intended to do.

This was disappointing at first, but Zac, Brett, and I brainstormed and decided to put lemon and strawberry slices on top to jazz things up. It didn’t look like a traditional “Kim cake” but it was pretty in it’s own right, and in the end I’m pleased with how it turned out. It tasted good…and that’s the most important part!

The cake recipe is definitely a keeper, but I think next time, I would not put the curd in it, or even frosting. The plain cake was incredible all by itself.

I love you Mom! Happy Birthday! (And thanks for letting me make a mess in your kitchen.)


moowiesqrd said...

Gorgeous! I love lemon, so this cake made me drool.

Lisa Conmara said...

oh that looks amazing! my mouth is watering! I love layer cake! fab stuff!