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1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dorie Rocks!

As ya'll know by now I'm sure, this month's hostess is the very lovely Morven, and she chose Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake which is featured in Dorie's BAKING: From My Home to Yours. (My baking bible) All I can say is that this was a great cake. Not very challenging but that's okay.. I need a breather once in a while.

3-23-08
Light and fluffy! Betchas didn't know how great a dog kennel doubles for a cooling rack, did you? :P

Morv allowed our imaginations to run wild in the flavor department. (Thanks sweetie!) So after much debate, I finally ended up staying with the lemon cake as written by Dorie and for the filling I decided to change it up a bit and went in search of something that tripped my trigger.

The West Side Market - you just have to love it. I found quite a little treasure trove of imported jams, preserves and jellies. I couldn't decide between Pineapple, Bitter Orange or Pear, so I bought them all. Hey!! I LIKE toast! Sheesh.. so judgemental. :P I also found a jar of imported Dulce de Leche.. so yeah, that went up to the cashier as well. :D

St. Dalfour Gourmet Pear Preserves.. *swoon*

I decided on the pear preserves but kicked it up a notch (ugh.. sorry Emeril) by dicing up 4 Bosc pears, and caramelizing them in butter and brown sugar until they were goldeny and well.. caramel-y. Delish!! I could have ate them piping hot, right there standing over the stove. As for the buttercream, I knew immediately what I wanted to do and that was salted caramel. *swoon*

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
Wonderin' why there's no shots of the whole cake? Remember back in grade school when you were taught to "stop, drop and roll" if you were to catch on fire? What the hell was wrong with those people?? Tellin' kids they could catch on fire! No damn wonder I'm not right. :P Anyhoo.. I froze, frosted and sliced. :D

So a lemon cake, filled with caramelized pears and pear preserves topped off with salted caramel buttercream. Does that squick anyone out? I couldn't decide if I had a great flavor combo that many people would like.. or if I was just weird because it appealed to me. har!

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

And if you were starting to feel a little despair at the thought of a challenge going perfectly well for me just because it wasn't exactly "challenging" well fear not, my lovelies.. I did manage a screw up - and a royal one at that! :D

*blush* I didn't read the recipe for the buttercream and just assumed it was the Italian meringue kind.. I know! Who the hell do I think I am just assuming, eh?

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Well, in ignorant bliss, I carried on making it the Italian meringue way, but instead of drizzling in the molten hot sugar syrup, I decide it'd be awesome if I were to cook that sugar until it was dark amber - hell yes! Can you imagine how caramel-y it would make the buttercream?? Yeah, well it doesn't. And for the love of Christ, don't try this at home. The instant the dark amber sugar syrup hit those cold whipped egg whites.. Mmmm... hmmmm.. *clunkedy* *clackedy* went my stand mixer. It sounded like there was GRAVEL in there. hahahaha!

I quickly threw that batch out. And then started my usual panic. :P

I decided that this would be an opportune time to actually read the recipe.. lo and behold it's the Swiss meringue variety. Go figger. Well, all I had to do was google caramel Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and there it was! I found an excellent recipe that was written exactly like Dorie's, except you make a caramel by cooking the sugar to that dark amber point, and then add heavy cream. You let that cool a bit, and then whip it into the buttercream after you've whipped in the last of the butter. What the recipe didn't tell me is that it would thin out my beautifully thick and creamy buttercream almost instantly. $#!*%

At this juncture, it was late and my sis was over for a visit so I had kind of passed the point of caring. So I pretty much just poured my buttercream over the caramelized pears on three layers, topped it off with the final layer of cake and popped it into the fridge to sit while I finished dinner. Oh yeah, and I threw my bowl of buttercream in the freezer too.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Twenty minutes later I was rewarded with a set cake and gorgeously thick and creamy buttercream! *Snap!* (Did I just say Snap!? WTF?) I frosted that baby and sliced her up toot sweet! The cake was delish - although a little sweet for my tastes, believe it or not. I should have made my caramel a lil more saltier and I could have left the imported pear preserves off and just used the caramelized pears that I made - it would have been less sweet and that would have made this a truly perfect cake. :D

Thank you, Morv my love! And thank you, Dorie Greenspan! I will definitely make this cake again.. and I can't wait to play with more flavors!

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
Any guesses to how many shots of a single slice of cake one person can take? :P

The new Daring Bakers are calling.. looks like we've got about another 100 some members joining in April - soon we will hit that 1,000 mark! Then.. world domination! :D

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
'scuse me.. how many shots of a scraggly lookin' slice of cake one person can take? :P~

Do ya'll need me to remind you to visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll so you can drool over hundreds and hundreds of amazing cakes? Yeah.. I didn't think so. ;)

xoxo

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Comments on "Dorie Rocks!"

 

Blogger Claire said ... (3/30/2008 6:45 PM) : 

Looks wonderful! I think you did a fantastic job.

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (3/30/2008 6:49 PM) : 

Evidently we can take a lot of just one slice because I know I took so many I'd be really embarrassed to count mine!
The carmel pear idea: bless your soul, I know you are the woman after my heart!! I know that was over the top great!
I just don't know what to tell you about the buttercream confusion you seem to have suffered because you're the one who told us we had to follow the rules;))) You are so wonderful! Oh and your cake is too. Could we trade a slice for a slice? . . .

 

Blogger Morven said ... (3/30/2008 6:50 PM) : 

Pears and caramel - YUM. I'd take a piece of that scraggly or not. We have that Dalfour brand of preseves here in NZ. What did you think of it?

 

Anonymous Ann said ... (3/30/2008 6:51 PM) : 

Awesome! Love your flavor ideas!

 

Blogger jasmine said ... (3/30/2008 7:12 PM) : 

You say scraggly, I say yummy.

j

 

Blogger Judy said ... (3/30/2008 7:14 PM) : 

I always get a big laugh when I read your baking stories. I have to say, though, that the flavor combo you created sounds yummy. This cake is like a blank slate. : )

 

Blogger Barbara said ... (3/30/2008 7:24 PM) : 

LOoks fabulius, sounds delicious.

 

Blogger breadchick said ... (3/30/2008 7:25 PM) : 

I'm DROOLING over your cake. So much so I'm checking flights right now....
because the next time I'm lounging around the fish pond in back I expect to be served this combo of pears, lemon, and caramel!

OH MY FRIPPPIN' LORDY that looks so good.... To hell with my diet.

and 1000!!! Did you say 1000???!!! Who woulda thunk it??!! Congrats to you and Ivonne.

Now were is my travel bag...

 

Blogger Gabi said ... (3/30/2008 7:32 PM) : 

Lis, Gawd you crack me up! Hoohoo I am seriously peeing my pants and reading this aloud to the DH. I loooove the combo you came up with, pears and salted caramel- just wrap me up in some of that and I'll think I've died and gone to heaven!
xoxox
Gabi

 

Blogger creampuff said ... (3/30/2008 7:45 PM) : 

I love those jam products! Your cake is amazing, Lis! The way it rose and that buttercream. I want to stick my fingers in it and lick it all off ... wait ... did I just say that out loud ...

 

Blogger cookworm said ... (3/30/2008 8:05 PM) : 

Love your ideas for flavor variations, so original! I love those San Dalfour preserves, too. Your cake looks terrific!

 

Blogger Bellini Valli said ... (3/30/2008 8:11 PM) : 

Salted caramel cream and pears...I'm loving this combo:D

 

Blogger Lori said ... (3/30/2008 8:12 PM) : 

Hi... you are funny in your posts. I enjoyed reading that. I think the cake looks great despite the mishaps!

 

Blogger Proud Italian Cook said ... (3/30/2008 8:18 PM) : 

I was imagining the taste as I was reading yor post,the flavor combo'ssound delicious! Congrats to both you and Ivonne for this great group!!

 

Blogger kellypea said ... (3/30/2008 8:24 PM) : 

Lis, this flavor combination is amazing. Really. Totally genius. The caramel, the salt...and pears. Jeez. It sounds so good. How hard do you think it is to mail cake? Mmmm...Oh, and the dog kennel thingy is pretty ingenious. For sure.

 

Blogger The Baker & The Curry Maker said ... (3/30/2008 8:30 PM) : 

I love your combination! I also love readin your posts, you're so entertaining. Cake looks yum!

 

Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (3/30/2008 8:33 PM) : 

Wow -- nice idea! That looks like a fantastic combo!

 

Blogger Mary said ... (3/30/2008 8:40 PM) : 

Wow I think your cake would make me like pears! It looks so delicious!

 

Blogger HoneyB said ... (3/30/2008 8:47 PM) : 

Love your post! The cake looks delish to me!

 

Blogger Sarah said ... (3/30/2008 8:53 PM) : 

Wow, that is one heck of a flavor combination. Not one I probably would have come up with, but it sounds amazing! Love it!

 

Blogger Ami said ... (3/30/2008 8:59 PM) : 

I guess you and I were on the same caramel page! Looks beautiful and I'm sure it was delicious.

 

Blogger moowiesqrd said ... (3/30/2008 9:01 PM) : 

The cake looks gorgeous... once you said pears + caramel, I was sold. I've been checking my email for days now, waiting for the admission email for the April group. Can't wait until my first challenge!

 

Anonymous prettytastycakes said ... (3/30/2008 9:17 PM) : 

The flavor combination sounds delicious! Wish I could try a piece...

 

Blogger Sheltie Girl said ... (3/30/2008 9:20 PM) : 

You did a wonderful job on your cake. The pear filling looks like it tasted fabulous.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

 

Blogger Faery said ... (3/30/2008 9:51 PM) : 

Wonderful wonderful cake, I love caramel

 

Blogger Engineer Baker said ... (3/30/2008 9:55 PM) : 

Wow - pears and caramel? Amazing!

 

Blogger ChichaJo said ... (3/30/2008 10:13 PM) : 

Your flavor combinations sound great! And your cake definitely deserves all the paparazzi shots...it is lovely! :)

A big hurrah to you and Ivonne! World domination...I'm liking that :)

 

Blogger Lesley said ... (3/30/2008 10:33 PM) : 

That is fantastic! What wonderful flavors, that is pretty "daring" if you ask me!

 

Blogger Ben said ... (3/30/2008 10:38 PM) : 

Hahahaha, my dear, you have to read before beating. just like you have to catch on fire first and roll on the floor afterwards. LOL

Your cake looks lovely and delicious. I'll exchange a peice of mine for one of yours.

 

Blogger mimi said ... (3/30/2008 11:13 PM) : 

your blog just cracks me up every time! i love it! oh yeah, the scraggly cake looks pretty darn good too :)

 

Blogger ashley said ... (3/30/2008 11:17 PM) : 

DROOOOOOOL...

looks fabulous. and i totally agree that dorie rocks! this was my first time making one of her recipes since i haven't gotten her cookbook yet, but i definitely will be!

 

Blogger Tartelette said ... (3/30/2008 11:18 PM) : 

You need to change the title of your post to "I Rock -World Domination Follows"! Yes ma'm! This is by far the bestest combination of flavors I have seen! Love it! Beautiful job!
P.S: you forgot to take a picture of the backside of your cake :)

 

Blogger glamah16 said ... (3/30/2008 11:33 PM) : 

Oh my. I'm loving the pear flavors and caramael. Im in heaven. This one really let our cretivity run wild.

 

Blogger Meeta said ... (3/30/2008 11:45 PM) : 

Pears and Caramel - you rock Lis! I simply live the flavor combination.

 

Blogger Columbus Foodie said ... (3/30/2008 11:55 PM) : 

I love the West Side Market - it (along with Gaelic Imports) is one of my favorite places to go when I hike up to Cleveland. Do you know if they're open on Wednesdays? There's a tequilla dinner at Momocho that I'm thinking about going to later this month and if the WSM is open I may hit there first to stock up on 'rogies. BTW, your cake turned out great. Mine wasn't pretty, but tasted really good.

 

Blogger Peabody said ... (3/31/2008 12:06 AM) : 

Oh my! I actually almost filled mine with my mom's pear-nutmeg jam. Now I am thinking I might have to make it again using it and make your salted caramel buttercream!!!

 

Blogger Gretchen Noelle said ... (3/31/2008 12:26 AM) : 

Beautiful job! Love the ideas of the flavor combos and how you made this challenge challenging.

 

Blogger Mary said ... (3/31/2008 12:30 AM) : 

Yum! Pears and salted caramel? You go gourmet girl!

 

Blogger Elle said ... (3/31/2008 1:29 AM) : 

Inventive indeed...and it sound lucious with the carmelized pears and salted caramel buttercream...well, once you made the right kind :D Glad to hear that others take like a gazillion photos of one slice of cake...and still can't find the right one...AND VERY glad that you and Ivonne started the Daring Bakers! World domination is only a few month away at the rate things are going!

 

Blogger Anne said ... (3/31/2008 3:06 AM) : 

Your cake looks wonderful...the layers looks soft and fluffy :)

 

Blogger Kelly-Jane said ... (3/31/2008 4:22 AM) : 

Your cake is gorgeous! and the pear jam sounds so good - a great way to play around :)

 

Blogger Texana said ... (3/31/2008 8:26 AM) : 

When they give you an inch for creativity, my dear, you take a mile! What an interesting combination of flavors! And we all know its the flavor that really counts--not the mistakes or the unexpected turns of events. You pulled it together for a spectacular result! Congrats!

hugs, Texana

 

Anonymous Elizabeth said ... (3/31/2008 9:09 AM) : 

wow, that looks SO good...

You should defintely check out my blog, as you got a big shout out on it!

Have you gotten your DVD yet?

E

 

Blogger SaraLynn said ... (3/31/2008 9:30 AM) : 

Your cake looks divine!

 

Blogger liberal foodie said ... (3/31/2008 9:34 AM) : 

Love the picture! and this is exactly why I won't join the daring baker's group. I can't compete on your level. ;)

 

Blogger Baking Soda said ... (3/31/2008 10:09 AM) : 

caramel pears, caramel buttercream (salted!!), that house next to you is just sold to a crazy Dutchie!
Why oh Why didn't I think caramel this time?

 

Blogger Cheryl said ... (3/31/2008 10:15 AM) : 

You are insane girl. Pears and caramel, wow what an awesome combination. Snap, yes I said snap, you did a fantastic job.

 

Blogger Jennifer said ... (3/31/2008 10:59 AM) : 

what a great idea for filling! YUM! I'll bet it was heavenly! :)

 

Blogger Katie B. said ... (3/31/2008 11:26 AM) : 

I'm the same way - I have sooo many jams and jellies for my toast!! Such a terrific idea to use pear and caramel - I have cake-envy! ;)

 

Blogger Deborah said ... (3/31/2008 11:53 AM) : 

Your cake is gorgeous!! And I think the flavor combo sounds amazing.

 

Anonymous Candace said ... (3/31/2008 12:15 PM) : 

Love the caramelized pear idea! Fabulous!

 

Blogger JJ said ... (3/31/2008 12:16 PM) : 

Very creative (and yummy) using pears and salted caramel. I can NEVER think of creative combinations like that. Good job, Lis!

 

Blogger Jenny said ... (3/31/2008 1:39 PM) : 

You are not weird, that is one heck of a flavor combination that I would be happy to share with you!
And for the record, the answer to your "one slice" question is.... LOTS!

 

Blogger Annemarie said ... (3/31/2008 1:41 PM) : 

1,000? 1,000 member??! Good lord, you are going to have some sore commenting fingers in the future. Very well rescued cake disaster, although the placing of the cakes on top of your double kennel is a bit cruel - did your poor puppies drive themselves mad and give themselves concussions trying to get a bite of that cake just beyond their caged bars? ;)

 

Blogger Kristen said ... (3/31/2008 2:42 PM) : 

I think the caramelized pear and caramel buttercream sound amazing! Can you send me a slice? :) Lovely cake, I need to try that combo now.

 

Blogger Madeleine said ... (3/31/2008 4:55 PM) : 

Pears!!!! excellent idea Lis!!!!

Great job! :)

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (3/31/2008 7:03 PM) : 

Lis your cake is enormous! Well done!

 

Blogger Sleeping Bear said ... (3/31/2008 8:01 PM) : 

Sounds divine!!!
Arrived here via your comment on "Hi, It's Tina!", after reading I am feelin' even more at ease with my choice to join "DB". The hell's, damn's, Christ's and WTF's, makes me feel right at home (and to think I had worries).
Thanks for your comments and I am sure Tina thanks you as well!!!!

 

Blogger Tracy said ... (3/31/2008 8:54 PM) : 

I think you should get the award for the most creative interpretation of the cake!

By the way, if a reporter from Rochester gets in touch with you, it's from me. I was being interviewed for the Pillsbury Bake-off contest and mentioned that one reason I haven't entered as many contests lately is this group called the Daring Bakers ... she sounded quite interested. I don't have any contact info for you so I gave her your blog address ... maybe you could email me some contact info for her?

 

Blogger Lunch Buckets said ... (3/31/2008 11:02 PM) : 

YOU rock - that sounds super delicious!

 

Blogger PheMom said ... (4/01/2008 12:27 AM) : 

Ha ha - I think your combo is brilliant! Then, I went orange, strawberry, dulce de leche and wondered about that! Oh well - more cake for us if folkss don't like it, right!? (Love the kennel 'cooling racks')

 

Blogger Marce said ... (4/01/2008 12:42 AM) : 

that slice does look wonderful, so I don´t care one bit, and yay for finding real dulce de leche! Let me know if you want ideas on how to use it.

 

Blogger Princess of the kitchen said ... (4/01/2008 1:49 AM) : 

caramel and pear- sounds delicious. Looks wonderful too. Well done Lisa

 

Blogger Marie said ... (4/01/2008 2:26 AM) : 

Caramel and pears. What a wonderful combination! I am in awe of you!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (4/01/2008 7:20 AM) : 

Thank you everyone! I'm relieved to know it wasn't my weirdness. :D

I wish I could reply to every one of you, but I'm runnin outta time and my 9 in the dungeon is calling. *sigh*

Tanna - *smoochies* xoxo

Becke - Yes. I believe it is open on Wed.. Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat I think. :)

AnneMarie - hee! They only go in their kennel from 8am to 1 pm (when I come home for lunch) on weekdays, so they weren't in there while the cakes were sitting on the kennel. HA! But just to reassure you, had they been in there? Those skimpy metal bars would have been no match for Chloe's nose - she would have bent them apart and shared a cake lunch with her brother, for sure. :D

Elizabeth - there's no link back to your blog so I can't go look.. and uhmm.. what DVD? I'm lost. :D

Liberal Foodie - but that's just it.. it's NOT a competition.. you should join! :D

John - I'd say this was a mild profanity post for me. ha! You'll fit in just fine. :D

Tracy - Ohhh the paparazzi wants to get ahold of me?? I feel so Paris Hilton right now! Gawd, am I going to have to buy a pink purse and a chihuahua now? :D heeeee!

Marce - you can count on it. ;)

xoxo

 

Blogger Cakelaw said ... (4/01/2008 8:39 AM) : 

Wow - I love this flavour combination. Brilliant!

 

Anonymous Hannah said ... (4/01/2008 9:33 AM) : 

Pear and caramel? Yum! This sounds (and looks) like a great cake!

 

Blogger Renee said ... (4/01/2008 10:24 AM) : 

Your cake looks scrumptious. Your frosting looks so creamy!! I love the ideas of pears!! This was a great first challenge for me. You gotta love Dorie.

 

Blogger Elizabeth said ... (4/01/2008 10:46 AM) : 

you know, The Sound of Music?

www.uggsmellfood.blogspot.com

E

 

Blogger Half Baked said ... (4/01/2008 11:02 AM) : 

It makes me drool!!! Nice job. I think your cake looks super and the flavor combo is inspired:) I'd eat all that "scraggly" cake!!

 

Blogger Suzana said ... (4/01/2008 1:21 PM) : 

Did you just say pear and caramel?? yummy, yummy! One more I'll have to try when baking this cake again. Looks stunning too!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (4/01/2008 3:55 PM) : 

Elizabeth- BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!

xoxo

 

Blogger Beth G. said ... (4/01/2008 4:16 PM) : 

WOW!The Pear filling sounds AMAZING, despite the mishap with different countries and their various buttercream methods- it came out beautiful!! Fantastic job!

 

Anonymous Karen said ... (4/01/2008 6:23 PM) : 

That looks so amazingly good! I want to make it again with those flavors. Well done!

 

Blogger Julia said ... (4/01/2008 9:53 PM) : 

Man... I really played it safe with this month's challenge. Although it was my first, I could have done more! You've inspired me. Geeze, I don't even like pears that much but your cake looks amazing. Yummmm!

 

Blogger Ginny said ... (4/01/2008 11:20 PM) : 

I love your take on the challenge! What a great flavor combination!

 

OpenID downhomedieting said ... (4/02/2008 12:36 PM) : 

Oh my Lord in heaven that looks sinfully delicious.

 

Blogger I(dot)J said ... (4/02/2008 1:35 PM) : 

Have I told you lately that I love you? It's been awhile, but I still do. As usual your cake looks AMAZING. Good job

 

Blogger Veron said ... (4/03/2008 1:28 PM) : 

Your cake looks gorgeous sis! I'm sorry I missed last month's challenge. I am going to make sure I do not miss this month.

 

Blogger Amy J. said ... (4/03/2008 9:55 PM) : 

Oh. My. Lord. That sounds so good!! Awesome idea! Will have to remember this flavor combo for... future... cakes....

And please - GIVE me some of that raggedy, POS-looking cake! ;> You'll not hear me complain - plus, like it looks bad, anyway. Not!

I used Dalfour preserves too - in blueberry. Love 'em.

 

Blogger Chris said ... (4/04/2008 8:03 PM) : 

Yum! How did I miss this? Oh...I need a vacation. but, I love the flavor combos here. I would love to eat the whole thing up.

 

Blogger BC said ... (4/05/2008 11:02 PM) : 

Nothing is scarier than a clunk from the mixer.

 

Blogger Journey_of_Life said ... (4/06/2008 2:13 PM) : 

Hi. I really wanted to exchange links! My website is www.mychocolateheaven.blogspot.com I hope you like my site as much as I do yours! haha. I have already added your website to mine and I hope you can return the favor. If you do get a chance, please inform me at my website. Thanks!!!

 

Blogger Journey_of_Life said ... (4/06/2008 2:14 PM) : 

how did u get so many people to your website??? did you pay for advertising?? wow this is a very populated one.

 

Anonymous The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker said ... (4/06/2008 7:51 PM) : 

OMG this photography is to die for. Love it!

I don't have a food blog but I do have a "HPS Test Kitchen" (gluten free, mostly) category so I'll be baaaaack! . . .

 

Blogger CB said ... (4/06/2008 11:38 PM) : 

You crack me up! The doggy kennel cake cooling rack is a fabu idea! haha. Love all your slices of cake pic. You can never have too many.
Clara @ I♥food4thought

 

Anonymous Kristen said ... (4/11/2008 11:58 PM) : 

This looks really tasty! And I agree... Dorie does rock.
I love the pear/caramel combo! Well done.

 

Blogger Kiandra said ... (4/12/2008 11:09 PM) : 

oh this looks so wonderful! this was a good cake!!

 

Blogger Jenny said ... (6/03/2008 4:12 PM) : 

Hi again Lis. Just an fyi that I tagged you for a meme. And I wanted to come drool over your buttercream again (which I kinda borrowed and adapted and was very good.)

 

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