Every once in awhile I am inspired by an image (like this one) and decide to embark on a ridiculous adventure. This past weekend was one of those times.
Enter my 3-day, $50 cake.
*Two Sauvie Island adventures for berry picking
*$24 of white chocolate...to my own fault as i seized the first batch
*One late night of baking two batches of cake for the double layer
*Three trips to unfamiliar markets where I endured inconceivably long conversations with seasoned store clerks as to the pros and cons of buying bulk sugar, salt and flour.
*Spending so much time making this cake when the time came to eat it i was so uninterested in sugar or chocolate or berries.
It was worth it though. The cake turned out to be delicious and I don't regret one second of the effort.
Oh and....Happy (almost) Golden Birthday to me!
Orange Poppy Seed Cake
(Adapted from a Donna Hay recipe)
¼ cup poppy seeds
¾ cup milk
2 tbsp orange zest
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites beat to stiff peaks
2 cups cake flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and set aside.
With an electric beater, cream egg yolks, sugar and zest until they are a pale yellow. Beat in each egg individually. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Sift in a third of the flour, third of juice and third of poppy seed mixture and combine. Continue until all flour, juice and poppy seed mixtures are gone. Fold in the beaten egg whites and distribute between 2 pans or all in one. I use a spring form for my cakes because the resulting shape is more consistent and easier to remove from the pan. Bake for 60 minutes (less if splitting among two pans). Set aside to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup powdered sugar
Mix lemon juice and cream cheese together with an electric mixer and gradually sift in powdered sugar.
Ice cake and layers as sloppily as you want too. All sides will be covered by the white chocolate tiles and berries.
Smart she is....
6oz white chocolate
1 tbsp heavy cream (optional, this makes the chocolate more pliable but also more self destructive)
Melt ingredients together in a double boiler careful not to overheat and scorch or to add even the slightest bit of moisture. Either will ruin the chocolate. Patience is key when working with this delicate beast.
Layer a cookie sheet with parchment and spread the chocolate thinly and evenly over the surface. Place in fridge until set.
When set measure out and score the chocolate in the desired tile size. It should come up over the top of the cake by and 1 ½ - 2 inches. That way you can pile the berries on top with out them spilling over the sides. I cut my tiles approximately 4" x 1".
Line up a perimeter of berries and then slap the tiles on the side so they overlap like roofing tiles. (This is the fun part.)
Then fill the inside part with as many berries as it can hold and invite every friend you have to come over and help you devour this monster. I think it weighs like ten pounds.