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Sunday, 30 March 2008

Daring Bakers – Doire Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake


This is my first challenge with the Daring Bakers and I had been pondering for many months to join this elite group of bakers. My only wish is that I should have joined them a long time ago! Why did I feel so nervous to take the plunge in the first place, I now ask myself? I wouldn’t class myself as a novice baker having been baking now for well over thirty years since an early age, but there is always something new to learn be it technique or a new ingredient etc.


This month’s challenge is hosted by Morven of Food Art and Random Thoughts


Morven allowed with this challenge to “play” around a little with colours and flavours, which gives one a clean palate to create a master piece of your own. This month I admit being my first challenge I stuck to the general recipe at hand and didn’t deviate from it very much. However, when a recipe calls for cake flour I have always been unsuccessful to find this in England and had to make adjustments, for every cup of plain flour required by this recipe, I removed 1 tablespoon of flour and added 1 tablespoon of cornflour. In my personnel opinion, different flours can tip the balance from a sponge being a success to an ultimate failure. Not being able to source the correct flour, I found the sponge mixture required more liquid and in this case it was buttermilk to ensure a light soft sponge. I would also like to state that I prefer to add flour by hand to my sponges, folding in gently with a large metal spoon, this makes for a much lighter sponge as the glutens in the flour are not over mixed, which if they are, can lead to a very heavy sponge. Having followed my instincts with Dorie’s recipe I was able to make two light airy sponges without any problems. Having let the sponges cool until completely cold I was able then to cut them both into two, making four sponges for the filling without any problems. I always use a breadknife when cutting any sponge in half and I find this method to be the best way for this task.



The next step was very delicate layering up with raspberry jam and buttercream, due to the sponges being very light and delicate. The buttercream I found very greasy, but again that is my personnel preference and nothing wrong with the recipe. On a positive note, had there been any gaps in the sponge the buttercream would have covered a multitude of sins. I placed a few strips of thick sweetened coconut on the top for decoration not feeling quite up to piping swirls of cream due my recent illness.



The outcome of Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake, having let the cake stand for the required time for setting, was a most wonderful light and airy cake, and I can fully understand why Dorie choose this for a “Perfect Party Cake”. The flavours mingled perfectly together and the family thought this was a stunning sponge cake and would be a great cake for serving for a dessert at any party too. The recipe can be found in Doire Greenspan’s - Baking From My Home To Yours.

Thank you Morven for hosting this month’s challenge and you can check out other DB creations on the Daring Bakers Blogroll.

64 comments:

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Cake looks great Rosie!

Gretchen Noelle said...

What a wonderful cake you baked! Great insight on the process. welcome to the Daring Bakers!

glamah16 said...

Im so glad you joined and are feeling better! Welocme to the DB'S. I llok forward to seeing more of your challenges Rosie!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Congrats on completing a GREAT first DB challenge Rosie. Am glad your sponges were light & airy; funnily enough mine weren't & the cake was quite sweet too. I enjoyed the challenge nevertheless. Sorry to hear you were unwell...hope you're doing better now. Take care my dear. Cheers

Rosie said...

Hi Judy,thank you so much for calling by lovely to *see* you here :)

Hi Gretchen, lovely to *see* you here and thank you for calling by my blog :)

Hi glamaha, awe thanks :)

Hi Deeba, thank you :)

All your cakes look amazing and I love the twists you have added to them - well done!!

Best wishes Rosie x

Pixie said...

Well done Rosie for your first challenge and I agree you should have joined ages ago!!!! Thanks again for your help and I will take your tips in for the next time I attempt the cake.

Rosie said...

Hi Pixie, awe thanks sweetie and I am be more than happy at anytime to help if I can :)

Best wishes Rosie x

RecipeGirl said...

Funny that your very first DB challenge was a cake! Not much of a challenge for you, huh? You did a great job as usual!!

Bellini Valli said...

Congratulations on your first DB challenge Rosie. Your cake looks like a beautiful little hatbox..LOVE it:D

Joy said...

What a fluffy looking cake - yum!

Margaret said...

You are obviously feeling a lot better Rosie!!
What a great first entry into the Daring Bakers. Well done to you.
The cake layers look very professional and if someone made that for me I would be very pleased.
When I make a sponge cake, as a rule of thumb, I always replace some of the flour with cornflour and this makes the sponge so much lighter. I'm pleased someone else does this too.
Did you have to convert your recipe from cups into our measurements or was this done for you! I always seem to get very nervous about cup measurements.

Ivy said...

Glad you're back. We missed you. This is a lovely cake. That's a nice tip adding some corn flour in the sponge cake. Shall try it the next time.

Rosie said...

Hi Recipegirl, yes it was nice to have a cake to bake for my first challenge and looking forward to the next month’s :D

Hi Val, awe thanks you are always so kind :D

Hi Joy, lovely to *see* you here and thanks for the lovely comment :D

Hi M, thanks I am feeling much better now than the last few weeks! Cornflour is great to add to a sponge I agree to make it lighter. I do use cups when a recipe calls for this type of measurement but I do prefer to use scales I must admit. I think that is because it was drilled into me to measure all ingredients when I was learning to bake as a child.

Hi Ivy, awe bless how sweet of you and I have so much missed my blog friends too! It’s great to be back and viewing everyone’s creations.
Thank you all so very much for your kind words!

Best wishes Rosie x

Donna said...

This looks Wonderful!!! And SO light! I'm So glad to see you back in the kitchen sweetheart...you must be feeling better!hughugs

Rosie said...

Hi Donna, ahhh thanks sweetie. It seems to have been ages since I last baked. Watch this space now I'm getting my mojo back heehee :)
Hugshugs to you also and I hope that grandson is much better soon bless him! Rosie x

White On Rice Couple said...

Rosie, this is really your first challenge? I always thought you were a Daring Baker member because your creations are so beautiful!
Well, this is an awesome first challenge and it's especially special to me because I looooove coconut! When I saw the coconut garnish on top, I knew that this cake was right up my alley!

Emiline said...

Lovely cake, Rosie! It turned out beautifully.
From what I'm reading, it sounds like the frosting was the problem in this challenge.

Jerry said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge, it looks lovely!

Kelly-Jane said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! You have made a beautiful cake for your first challenge, well done :)

Namratha said...

Looks great Rosie!! :)

Uma said...

The cake looks simply delicious, Rosie! Perfect.

Gloria said...

Really so beautiful Rosie, I like soooo! Looks nice!!xxxxxGloria

Megan said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers. What took you so long? :) This is right up your alley!

Cakespy said...

Sorry to hear you've been under the weather--but did you ever rally! This looks totally fantastic!

dabrah said...

Ooh! That cake looks simply scrumptious, and I love the way you decorated it.

Megan said...

Your cake looks nice.

Jerri said...

Rosie,
this looks wonderful. wish i had a slice!

HoneyB said...

Your cake looks lovely and scrumptious!

Lunch Buckets said...

Congratulations on your first DB success!

Jenny said...

Glad you have finally joined our group, what took you so long? ;)

Lovely job on the cake.

Becky said...

Your cake looks like it turned out delicious! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Take care!

Becky

Gigi said...

Congrats on your becoming a Daring Baker! Your cake turned out perfect!

Big Boys Oven said...

looks so nice!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Rosie, Congrats on conquering your first DB's challenge! Your cake looks lovely. We only recently became able to source cake flour in Oz, but I never use it - I am a plain and SR girl.

Dhanggit said...

i agree with you my dear.;you should have joined us long time ago and to share all your magnificent creations :-) this is one beautiful cake for a starter!! well done!! welcome to DB!! can i have two slices please :-)

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Rosie
Good that you made a cake for DB. Your cakes have depth and great insight into the art of making cakes. Thirty odd years of cake making is a strength on which i can always look upon you for advice.

Chris said...

I would have never thought this was your first challenge - well done!!!

ruthEbabes said...

Hey Rosie... it was so good reading what little changes you made to this. I wouldn't know what to look for as signs that it's going to work out well, but I've pisked up lots of tips reading that.

Great cake! love ya!

Ann said...

Your cake looks lovely! I wish I had folded the flour in by hand-- my layers were a bit dense. tasty, but dense. Welcome to DB!

Cooking and the City said...

Rosie its lovely to see your delicious baking again. the cake looks fabulous :-)

Saswati said...

hey rosie i hope you are feeling better now...and the cake as usual like all your other creations looks gr8 and thirty yrs of baking...OMG you must be a pro dear:)

The Caked Crusader said...

Lovely cake - I particularly like the handles on the top ensuring it can be carried anywhere that cake might be needed!

www.thecakedcrusader.blogspot.com

Rosie said...

Hi W on R, how sweet of you and yep I know I should have joined the DB many months ago! Why I delayed is beyond me? Coconut is lovely I so do agree :D

Hi Emiline, I think you may be right about the frosting but all is well that ends well as they say :D

Hi Jerry, thank you :D Had I been feeling much better I think I’d have ‘played’ around more with flavours and decorations.

Hi K J, lovely to *see* you hear and thank you for your kind words :D

Hi Namratha, thanks sweetie :D

Hi Uma, many thanks you are so kind :D

Best wishes Rosie x

Rosie said...

Hi Gloria, awe thank you how sweet of you :D

Hi Megan, I have to agree, why did I take so long to join DB? I should have joined ages ago!!

Hi cakespy, ahhh thanks and yes I’m up and running on the baking front again yeah.... :D

Hi dabrah, you are so sweet thank you :D My hubby really enjoyed eating slices of this cake lol

Hi Megan, awe thank you and lovely to *see* you here :D

Hi Jerry, awe thanks and I wish I could pass you a slice over too!

Best wishes Rosie x

Rosie said...

Hi HoneyB, I just love your name and thank you for calling by and also for your lovely comment too :D

Hi Lunch Buckets, thanks I really enjoyed my first challenge and thank you for calling by :D

Hi Jenny, gosh I really should have joined DB when I found out about this great group. Thank you for such a lovely welcome :D

Hi Becky, awe thanks sweetie and hubby really did enjoy this cake too :D

Hi Gigi, thank you and I am so proud to have joined you all at D.B. and looking forward to many more challenges :D

Hi Big Boys Oven , great to *see* you here and thank you :D

Best wishes Rosie x

Rosie said...

Hi Cakelaw, it would be great if the shops brought cake flour in here but I am pretty much the same as yourself plain and S/R girl lol :D

Hi Dhanggit, awe thanks for the warm welcome and you can have three slices *giggle * ;)

Hi Anamika, ahhh thank you this does mean so much coming from such a gifted person as yourself! :D

Hi Chris, thank you and also for calling by :D

Hi Ruth, yeah give me a high five!! Well done sweetie your cake looks stunning :D

Best wishes Rosie x

Rosie said...

Hi Ann, thank you and call me old fashioned but I always like to fold in flour by hand and not a mixer, but have to say your cake is stunning!! :D

Hi C & the C, awe thanks sweetie I am so glad to be back up and baking. I have so missed my baking and blogging! :D

Hi Saswati, I am feeling much better thanks sweetie for asking :D I am still learning never too old to stop learning when it comes to baking heehee....

Hi T C C, LOL just love it.....cake handles heehee oh I did laugh and yes you’re right they do look like cake handles *giggle* ....

Best wishes Rosie x

Deborah said...

Gorgeous cake! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Kevin said...

Your cake looks great!

The Bhandari's said...

It looks so yummmmmmmmmmmy :)

Antonia said...

Good to see you back up and baking with this gorgeous creation. It does look lovely and light. Interesting information about the substitution for the cake flour - thank you for sharing!

Maria said...

Rosie another magnificent bake by you, well done!

Maria
x

Dolores said...

Welcome to the madness that is the Daring Bakers; it's great to have you here. You did a fabulous job with this month's challenge... I love the things I learn from bakers around the world.

Rosie said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments - you really make my day :)

Best wishes Rosie x

Dhivya said...

wow!the cake looks out of thw world rosie:)love the color

Rosie said...

Awe thanks Dhivya, you are so sweet :)

Best wishes Rosie x

Indigo said...

Great looking cake! I didn't want to get too ambitious decorating either (I basically chucked raspberries over mine in the end lol) but yours looks stunning. Can't wait til both of our second challenges!

Rosie said...

Hi Indigo,awe thanks you are such a sweetie and your cake looked wonderful with the raspberries! looking forward to the next challenge :)

best wishes Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosie,

This looks absolutely scrummy and just the way I like my sponge cake .... with just the right amount of squidgyness . Cut me a slice or four please .

Kitty X

Rosie said...

Hi Kitty, you are more than welcome to a slice or four of cake :)

Best wishes Rosie x

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a fabulous job on your cake!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Rosie said...

Awe thanks sheltie girl and a warm welcome to my blog :)

Best wishes Rosie x

Dharm said...

Great Job on your first DB Challenge Rosie! Welcome and you have a lovely blog going on here!!

Rosie said...

Hi Dharm, thank you for the lovely welcome to D.B. and great to *see* you here :) Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog it's made my day!!

Best wishes Rosie x