Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Joining the Tuesdays With Dorie group was on my mind long before I joined. I can't recall the first time I heard about the group, but it was probably not long after I learned about its namesake and discovered the wonder of her recipes. Korovas, cocoa chocolate chip cookies...they all made my mouth water, and delving deeper into this Dorie Greenspan, I found her book "Baking: From My Home to Yours" and became entranced with the cover photo of the Devil's Food White Out Cake. I'm sure the cover photo alone has won over many people who have been on the "What baking cookbook should I buy?" fence, and it was our good fortune that Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater picked this cake for this week's assignment.
I've only made one other "Celebration Cake" of Dorie's (Bill's Big Carrot Cake) and was so excited to finally try another!!
Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
It started off so well, but I'm not sure if it was the batter sitting around for 20 minutes after having been prepared as I had forgotten to preheat the oven (what experienced baker does that?!), but despite having tasted delicious, the cake didn't rise too much. The beauty of this baking community is that you can share your results and figure out if it was the recipe's error, or if you just screwed up royally. Thankfully, I had read enough Ps&Qs to know that a low rise wasn't uncommon for this cake. Kudos to the food stylist for the book, because he/she made it look towering.
My second challenge was the marshmallow frosting. This was my first attempt at this kind of frosting, although I had made the marshmallow topping for smitten kitchen's s'mores pie awhile back, but this time was really unsuccessful. I had read on the boards that pasteurized egg whites would work (even though the carton says "not suitable for meringues"), but I really should have done the work to separate actual eggs. It achieved a marshmallow taste, but not a fluffy yet firm texture. In fact, when the frosting fell from the weight of the cake layers, it didn't look so hot. In the photos, you can't even really tell that there is frosting between the layers! And thank goodness the cake is meant to be covered in cake crumbs!!
Regardless of the presentation, it was a tasty cake. The fourth layer of cake that was crumbled to decorate the outside yielded far too many crumbs, so I've been eating it one delicious spoonful at a time. I actually prefer this unadulterated layer of cake over the frosted version (or that may just speak volumes about the state of my frosting). I may try this recipe again, just because the cake is so tasty, and maybe trade out the marshmallow frosting for something like...cream cheese? Mmmmm...I can just taste it now...