Friday, May 8, 2009

Trifle: the Return. Again.

So that makes it the re-return? Or is that like a double negative, it cancels out itself, and I get just plain turn? Right. And now back to our regularly scheduled cake stuff...

Aimee's birthday required a trifle. She also got a nifty cake from her co-worker Jeanette, who somehow ended up organizing a small celebration in honor of Aimee being five months older than me. Um, I mean in honor of her not getting any younger. The point is that there was honoring, a couple of very large sushi platters (whoo-hoo!), cake (which I was happy not to make), and trifle.

Thanks to Sue for being my fine Sue-chef (ok, really, how could I pass up that opportunity?), or sous-chef. I had no idea anyone else would actually want to spend a Friday night preparing a trifle, cookies, and flan. (It was a busy weekend.)

Note: Post not available until May 19 because that's when I got the first photo of this cake. Thanks, Ben! Great pic!

Note 2: And a couple of hours after I got the pic from Ben, I got Aaron's pics. And then I had to decide which one to use...

Details of the trifle:
Half batch All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake from The Cake Bible, one 9" round layer, about 1.5" tall.

Attempted tweaking the full recipe and all I got was over-leavened cake, which fell in the center, and was therefore only good for cake scraps. (The other 9" round from the batch is currently undergoing cryogenic experiments.) Tweaking consisted of using 5 egg yolks and 1 egg instead of 6 egg yolks. Well, I've learned my lesson.

Syruped with 1/2+ cup vanilla liqueur, vanilla extract, and Buttershots.

Used Magi-Cake strips (the Wilton knock-off ones).

For trifle, cut cake into manageable sections, torted, and inserted a blueberry jam layer. Cut cake into small wedges, about 1 1/2" from tip to back edge, and about 1" wide along back edge.

Used 2 batches Stabilized Whipped Cream from The Cake Bible. One batch mixed with a tablespoon or two of lemon curd, one batch mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.

One quart fresh strawberries, sliced and macerated with a tablespoon or two of sugar.

Garnishes: two sliced strawberries, crushed whole almonds, and pansies (edible, no worries).

Cake made about 2 weeks before serving. Syruped when cool, prior to storage. Stored in 'fridge.
Trifle assembled night before serving, including cake layers torted and assembled.
Trifle garnished immediately before serving.

Bottom line:
Crumbly, crumbly, crumbly! I am so tired of this cake being crumbly! I shall have to research this. Maybe I should switch to a different recipe, even though I like the taste and delicate texture of this one so much. But it just isn't easy to work with.

Cake was grainy in the trifle, but I'm not sure if that was from too much booze, refrigeration for 2 weeks, or my tweaking the recipe. I tend to think the last item. Don't tweak the recipe without thorough research and/or guidance.

Still too much booze. Next time: only syrup on the bottom of the cake, and check outer texture to figure out when the cake is properly saturated. The syrup should take a few more seconds to sink in, and the outer texture should be a little spongy, I think.

I love making trifles, and almost everyone loves eating them. Did I ever mention that when I was a little kid, I asked my mom to make this for me instead of a cake? Yup, for at least 2 or 3 years in a row too.

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