Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Three shows, one bake sale, two final projects, and five visiting family members pushed this Heavenly Cake back a little, and simplified its scope. Would you believe that that creamy, fluffy, fruity parfait was actually supposed to have two MORE elements--a whipped cream topping and a spun sugar hat. Having whipped quite enough cream into the interior Chiboust pastry cream (delicious. amazing.), I left off the whipped topper, and decided to leave spun sugar for another, less humid day in Brooklyn. Having sustained a few nasty burns at the bakery this weekend, I wasn't overeager to punch up my caramel blister cred. And don't worry, Heavenly Bakers, I'm sure I'll get around to it soon.
I quartered the recipe, which was meant to make one huge bowl-sized trifle, and wound up using even less than the recommended amount of cake since a lazy sifting cake process left me with cornstarch lumps on the bottom of the six-inch pan. I just cut the bottom off, and had plenty to work with. Trifles just seem to beg for ingredient substitutions, and this one had plenty. Instead of orange marmalade, I used apricot preserves to spread the bottom of the cake layers, which were moistened by cherry juice and Campari (which is the current medium for my homemade vanilla jar). Instead of the recommended strawberries, I used David Lebovitz's candied cherries, which I recently made from a jar of cherries in syrup, and which I've lost my heart to entirely.
The Chiboust cream, a gelatin-supported pastry cream, was flavored with abundant vanilla seeds from the Ugandan vanilla beans (take that, Tahiti and Madagascar) that Liana smuggled home for me. Unlike the dried-out haul that I lugged back last January, these beans are fat, wet, and lush. I can't wait to put them in absolutely everything.
The trifle was finished so late last night that it wasn't even tasted, as Matt had already had his ice cream, and Liana 'doesn't like sponge cake,' (who raised her?). I think it will be better anyway with some blending time. Every component was of course tasted along the way, and was perfect. Now all I need to do is emulate my mother and get myself an extensive collection of sundae and parfait glasses, and I'll be all set.