Have you been noticing a preponderance of coconut raspberry layer cakes as you surf around the web today? Well, that's because it that time of the month again. No not that time, it's Daring Bakers time!
This month's challenge is hosted by Morven of Food Art and Random Thoughts. As hostess Morven got to select the challenge recipe and chose Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake-- a lovely four-layer cake recipe originally given to Dorie by Nick Malgieri. The two recipes read slightly differently, though the ingredients and basic methods are the same. Oddly, I found the Malgieri version easier to follow than Dorie's.
As always, the ever growing group of Daring Bakers communicated their triumphs and failures throughout the month before the big reveal. A number of us, myself included, had issues with the cake layers, finding that they didn't rise as much as we'd hoped for. We did discover late in the month that there had been a typo in the recipe and that it called for an extra quarter cup of flour, but I'd already made the cake and I'm afraid I was not driven enough to try it again.
The low-rise issue resulted in layers that were only about an inch and a half high, which meant I was going to have a mighty short cake, even after splitting and filling them. Because I am a firm believer in tall majestic layer cakes I immediately baked a third layer, using a half recipe, deciding I would have six layers!
The buttercream recipe was quite easy to make. In fact it seemed awfully familiar and I realized that it's essentially the same one we used for the December challenge. Though we were encouraged to vary the filling, and even to substitute whipped cream for the outside layer of buttercream, I elected to make the recipe exactly as written with four small exceptions: I added the extra layer, splitting each one for a total of six, as noted; I decided to alternate the raspberry and butter cream fillings, rather than spreading the butter cream over the raspberry between each layer (no bleeding of raspberry into the beautiful white frosting and a lighter-tasting cake); I increased the buter cream recipe by half, to allow for the extra layer; and I chose not to cover the entire cake with coconut, opting instead for a dab of raspberry preserves on the top and some frou-frous around the edge.
Interested in the Daring Bakers group? You can read more about us here and you can find links to all of us here if you haven't seen enough Perfect Party Cakes. Click the link for the Dorie Greenspan version of the recipe, or check out Nick Malgieri's version.