Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Daring Bakers make fraisiers

This was the perfect challenge for July, I think. There were still strawberries in the market, and who doesn't love a light, moist cake crammed full of berries and cream. When I say crammed, I do mean it in the most elegant way, with the cut fruit showing on the sides. Oh, and the almond paste on top was the crowning glory. I wasn't sure that I would be able to make this cake, as I am working in Toronto and I haven't got the kitchen equipment or the time that I do at home. However, I did find a springform pan in the cupboard and decided that I would make this for some friends. With a borrowed rolling pin and a trip to the market I was all set.
I followed the challenge recipe this time, using Amaretto in the syrup and making a vanilla chiffon cake. I had no trouble with the cream filling setting up, but I did find that the cake recipe didn't work as well as the one I usually make. There was some confusion over pan size, and I used the 8" pan recommended. The pan was dark and non-stick, not my preference for cake pans. It rose far above the top of the pan, then sunk a bit when it cooled, leaving me with a mushroom shaped cake. Not ideal, so I sliced it into 3 layers and only used the bottom 2. This made a cake that easily served 10. I decided to keep the decoration simple, so made only a single marzipan rose. All in all, a delicious cake, and one I'll be making again with other fruit, though I will use my favourite genoise recipe next time. What should I use next, raspberries or cherries?
Have I mentioned that I am also cat-sitting in Toronto? There are 2 beautiful, but incredibly inquisitive Siamese cats who made it very hard to make and photograph this cake. Not only does one circle my feet and bite them and my ankles whenever I am in the kitchen, but they shed a lot! So, after a thorough de-hairing of the kitchen, I got to work, shooing the cats as necessary. That means about every 30 seconds. The next morning, before racing out the door to work, I tried to get some photos, in the only place with decent light: the floor in front of the window. Well, you can see below how well that worked! The feline cake inspectors approved, I think.
Thanks very much to Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes for this challenge. There were some spectacular cakes this month, so check them all out on the Daring Kitchen homepage. Click here for the full challenge PDF, including recipes, links and photos. I hope that I can make the August challenge from another borrowed kitchen, this time in Montreal, but we'll see....

28 comments:

crumbsoflove said...

Beautifully done, Mary. Your marzipan rose is the perfect touch to finish it. I see the cats liked it as well.... Best, Sandie

Renata said...

As always, you did it perfectly. Extra points for you for doing such a great job in a kitchen that is not the one with all your stuff (I usually have a hard time doing that). You made me laugh with that shot of the cats... did they actually lick the cake??

Suzler said...

Beautiful as always. Love that last photo with the cats - they obviously know a good thing when they see it!
The slice looks delicious!

shelley c. said...

Amazing that you were able to create such a stunning cake without your regular kitchen and tools. And with two inquisitive and shed-y cats, to boot! If anyone could pull that off, it is definitely you, and you did it stunningly. Amazing as always.

Valerie said...

I have my own team of feline inspectors too (as is evident if one looks very closely at some photos.)

Mary, your fraisier is gorgeous! Each layer is perfect and clean...plus you used Amaretto, which in my book, automatically makes anything a winner. :D

Bravo! And I hope you and your kitchen will be reunited soon.

Pilar. Cook and Spoon said...

Hi! I have just met your blog and I'm planning to stay because I love your food: it looks delicious.
Greetings

Carolyn said...

Great job on the challenge! Turned out beautifully!
Happy Wednesday!
~Carolyn
Cookin' for my Captain

Ruth H. said...

MAry, you amaze me! When Ifirst looked at the rose I did a double take - I really wan't sure it it was real or created. Your fraisier looks delectible. And you won over two very harsh critics in those cats, too! Be safe in your travels and in the borrowed kitchens!! And you are welcome to travel here to my kitchen any time you want!! ;)

Valérie said...

Your fraisier is beautifully made, the finishing touches are true class. And I just have to "aaaawww" over the kitties. :-)

lifeisfull said...

Mary, this looks amazing, I love it! The cream and the strawberries are absolutely gorgeous! I want a slice, pretty please!

jillbert said...

Your cake is really beautiful. Love the photo with the cats too!

The Betz Family said...

Those cats are hilarious! I had an inquisitive 2 year old watching me but at least she knows what it means when I tell her to stand back. Your cake looks absolutely beautiful. Nice job on the challenge!

yummychunklet said...

Your cake looks fantastic! Great job!

Korena said...

I vote for cherries in your next attempt - cherries and amaretto sound like they'd pair well! I also did this challenge in a borrowed kitchen, away from home - it definitely added an extra element of challenge to the challenge! Great job, it looks delicious :)

chef_d said...

Love the single marzipan rose, it's an elegant topping for your fraisier. Great job!

Bourbonnatrix said...

your marzipan rose is awesome! totally elevates that cake to another level! great job on the challenge!

The Capitol Baker said...

I love your flower on top! Great job on the challenge.

Evelyn said...

Soooooo cute..the kitties... the dessert. What a great time at your house.

Lisa said...

Thise kitties know a beautiful and delicious cake when they see one! Love the marzipan rose - it makes such a simple, elegant topper to your gorgeous fraisier!

oggi said...

I love the marzipan flower; it's simple yet so elegant. Your fraisier photos look beautiful, despite the cats.:)

TeaLady said...

Seeing this one and all the othrs make me wish I had stayed with DB. That is beautiful!!

joe and stacy said...

Thanks for the comment! Your creation is stunning, as always - and amazing what you are capable of in a borrowed kitchen! I finally found some curry leaves today and can't wait to tackle the Daring Cooks' challenge. Thanks for a great post this month. :) s

Cookie Kelly said...

The cake looks great. Glad you were able to complete it in a foreign kitchen. And the cats are too funny, perfect picture.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Your fraisier is magnificent and I love the almond past top. What a feat in another's kitchen. Love the single rose too! OK those cat, even if annoying, are too adorable

berry lovely said...

I love your marzipan rose, very beautiful. The cats are really lucky to have you there ;-)

Kris Ngoei said...

Very elegant looking fraisier! The addition of a marzipan rose is so clever!

Sarah said...

Kudos to you for finding a springform pan in someone else's home and getting great photos in spite of feline obstacles. Your dedication paid off with another beautiful result. The rose is such an elegant topper.

Heather said...

Such a beautiful cake! I bet it was even tastier than it looks.

I have the exact same problem with my cats. They become very interested in people food when I'm photographing it. :)