Tuesday, 3 April 2007
I attempted to bake a "proper" layer cake that is fully frosted and decorated with fresh cream today. Although I know that piping with whipped cream is not as easy as buttercream, I went ahead with my little project as I find buttercream too sweet to my liking. Little did I know that my project turned out to be such a tedious task!
I started off making the sponge cake using a recipe from a Chinese cookbook. The recipe is slightly different from the usual ones that I have came across. It uses quite a large amount of sugar (1 cup), salad oil instead of the usual butter, with the addition of fresh milk and some salt. As my intention was to make a strawberry layer cake, I thought it was ok for the sponge cake to be on the sweet side, as the strawberries that I bought were a little too tart. I was hoping the recipe would give a moist sponge unlike those genoise which tend to be dry.
All went well until the cake was in the oven for 20mins. The cake top started to brown quickly, likely due to the high sugar content. The baking time is supposed to be around 35mins as stated in the recipe. After another 5 mins, coupled with the cake top "going-to-turn-black" and a slight burning smell, I made the decision to change the cake to a lower-rack position. When the recommended baking time was up, the cake was still not ready. It wobbled when I gave the cake pan a slight jerk. As such I let it baked...and baked...and baked! The cake was only done after it was in the oven for more than 55mins! I didn't know what went wrong, but I think having closed and opened the oven too many times to check, lowered the temperature too much. I had to slice off the slightly burnt top before frosting it.
I engaged my little assistants to help me assemble the cake. They took turn to fill the cake with whipped cream and lined the layer with circles of strawberries.
I arranged the strawberries vertically, thinking that...