Not this Frankenberry.
I've never met a recipe that I didn't like.....to mercilessly change from the get go! No, I jest. Generally on the first run through of any new recipe I try to remain true to the creator's vision. But living abroad? Let's just say it complicates things a bit. With the following recipe there were wicked substitutions, approximations, and variations (oh my!) Did I mention I halved it as well?
For Ant's birthday I wanted to try something new. I stumbled across this gem while googling something completely unrelated and this was too good a chance to pass up. Lemon blueberry cake sounded deelish and the accompanying photo was even more enticing.
Light, fluffy, piled high with icy frosting and utterly summerlicious. But I should have known it was dooooooomed from the start. Dooooooomed! I say.
The first time I tried making it was the day after Ant's birthday. We had taken a steamboat up to Yvoire and went swimming in Excenevex (the only sand beach on Lac Leman). Then we were spending the night in JM's castle and making dinner.
A castle?! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Europe!!!! The garden there had all of the herbs I needed for dinner (fresh herbs! in a garden! picked by me!) We had to hunt for the rest of our provisions at the supermarche that was 15 min. away (cause there is an unwritten rule about castle to grocery store distance ratio to not destroy the illusion of anachronism, I am sure). I was able to find something that MIGHT be like buttermilk. JM picked up the last 3 cartons of blueberries they had but as we checked out we noticed they were all green and fuzzy. Every last one of them. So we ditched 'em.
By the time we got back and got cooking it was getting quite late, we hadn't even had time for the 'grand tour' yet. I made the Madame's Lemonade to rave reviews and hastened to send the boys down to pick the raspberry patch clean to make up for our lack of blueberries while I got down to dinner making. In all fairness, raspberry lemon cake sounds just as good as lemon blueberry cake if not better, right? When we finished eating it was almost midnight and we were all completely exhausted. Which was just as well, I had been unable to find neither cake pans nor hand mixers but perhaps I didn't look in the right hidden cabinet. On top of it all we had to be up quite early the next day to get a start on our hike in the Gorge du Pont de Diable, thus the cake was put on hold.
A few nights later, despite the heat, I planned to finally DO this thing. This time there were no blueberries to be had at my local supermarket, fuzzy or not. Seriously, I am beginning to think there is some sort of blueberry conspiracy going around here. Again, I planned to substitute with raspberries and had to make do with a really very expensive, not sunkissed, garden grown, handpicked with love carton and was only able to find Weight Watchers raspberry flavored buttermilk (Don't ask, I don't get it either). I also had to buy some Kiri cheese to replace the Philedelphia cream cheese that they normally stock and completely forgot to buy the white chocolate bars. So, had to run down to my inconvienience store 2 blocks down while the cake cooled. Recipe for disaster right? But wait, there's more!
As I said earlier, I only had one cake pan and therefore decided to just make it a one layer cake by halving the ingredients. Oh, yeah...and switched everything to metric. Oven temperature, amounts of dry ingredients and more. But still, everything looked ok.
The batter tasted kind of Country Time Raspberry Lemonadey but not bad. Notice the original recipe doesn't state when or where to add the berries. So I arbitrarily sprinkled them along the top (like in the original photo, no?) For some reasons (see all above perhaps) my cake came out more panCAKE like and dense. From all of my mad scientist like changes? ('It's ALIVE! It's ALIVE!") Quite possibly.
Now, the frosting on the cake. Literally. I like cream cheese frosting as much as the next dessert obsessed girl. On deep dark devil's food cake, on carrot cake cookies, graham crackers, anything really. But I think that this white chocolate lemon cream cheese frosting was a bit too baroque for our humble hefty homey panCAKE. An icing like that really needs something a bit more racy and immodest to accompany. Birds of a feather and all of that...
So, after all of this should you WANT to attempt my FrankenBerry Cake in all of it's patchworked glory here is the recipe with all of my substitutes. Or if you would like to give the original recipe a whirl and let me know just where I went astray (the third substitution?) and report back with your findings it can be found here
· Flour --1 1/6 cups
· Salt - - 1/4 tsp.
· Baking powder -- 1/4 tsp.
· Baking soda -- 1/4 tsp.
· Unsalted butter (r.t.) --1/8 cup - 28 grams
· Sugar - - 1/2 cup
· Fresh lemon juice -- 1/6 cup ~3 tablespons
· Grated lemon peel -- 1/2 tsp
· Eggs (large) -- 2
· Raspberry Buttermilk -- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
· Fresh raspberries -- 2 ½ cups
· White chocolate -- 5.5 ounces ~156 grams
· kiri cheese (r.t.) -- 6 ounces ~170 grams
· Unsalted butter (r.t.) -- 3/8 cup ~85 grams
· Lemon juice -- 1 tablespoon
· Raspberries for decoration
· Preheat oven to 180 °C. Butter and flour one 9”-diameter pan with 2” sides; line bottom with parchment paper.
· Sift first four ingredients into bowl.
· Beat butter in bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Beat in lemon juice and peel, then eggs one at a time.
· Continue to beat, and blend in dry ingredients in several portions alternatively with buttermilk.
· Transfer batter to pans and bake until tester inserted in center of pan comes out clean (about 30 min). Cool cakes on rack.
· Stir white chocolate in top of double broiler, set over a barely boiling water bath, until almost melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Cool to lukewarm.
· Beat cream cheese and butter in bowl until blended. Beat in lemon juice and then the white chocolate.
· Turn cake on working surface, remove parchment. Place one cake layer flat-side up. Spread with 1 cup frosting.
· Spread remaining frosting to sides.
· Garnish with raspberries.
· Refrigerate. Let stand at r.t. for 1 h before serving.
I love raspberries. I loves them SO much.
Ps- My absolute FAVORITE part of this recipe is when it calls for parchment to line the bottom of the cake pan. I have NEVER found it so easy to clean a dish after baking before. And despite all of my badmouthing of this recipe both Ant and I managed to polish off over half of it within a few days. Refrigerated it tastes kind of like a poorman's cheesecake. Cheers.