Today I would like to talk about a small project I have in progress, and that project is the Tomboy Cake.
If you click the link above, you will see this. Isn't it stunning?
I've not had great success in the past with scratch cakes, but this one called to me. It was all, "Come on, you can bake me."
I was all, "You have a lot of steps. The cake, the lemon-curd-turned-lemon-cream, the jam, the meringue frosting. I have to friggin' cook the meringue frosting."
"Come on. I'll be awesome."
"The reviews say you're kind of dry."
"That's because my sides are naked. You can just frost all of me."
"Just split me into steps over a couple of days. You can even buy some lemon curd instead of making it."
"Buttered parchment inside of greased & floured pans."
"You have Baker's Joy. Plus you've watched enough Good Eats to know all about folding in foams to make things light & fluffy. It's bad stewardship not to use the tools you've been given. Seriously. The only thing you actually have to buy is more parchment. And some lemon curd. And eggs, but you need those anyway. Come on, just try. If it's not worth it, you never have to make me again."
So I bought the parchment and eggs. I went to four stores looking for lemon curd, and finally found it at Cost Plus/World Market. And these are the things I have done so far:
--Printed the 5 page recipe. To be fair, it is pretty large print. But still--Five. Pages.
--Traced and cut out parchment circles for the pans.
--Made the almond sponge batter. It could use some adjustments technique-wise, but tasted amazing.
--Baked the cakes. I have 2 proper cake pans, so I improvised by using a pie pan for the third layer. I plan to trim the pie-pan-cake edges to match, since I'm frosting the sides anyway.
--Possibly burned the cakes. They were in less than 35 of the 40-45 recommended minutes, so I'm kind of mad about that. But I'm hoping with some creative trimming all will be forgiven.
--Made the lemon cream. Not as tangy as I was hoping. Sad face :(
--Washed my food processor parts once and my mixing bowl and paddle/whisk three times.
Tomorrow I will:
--Friggin' cook the meringue frosting. And wash my mixing bowl/whisk a fourth time.
--Trim, layer, spread, stack, and frost. And whoever eats a good dinner will get a slice. Unless it's a disaster; then whoever doesn't eat a good dinner will be forced to eat a slice (Just kidding. Maybe).
Something about the process really draws me in. Baking is not something I would want to do for a living, but every so often I like to try new stuff, even (or maybe especially) if it is tricky enough to be on the order of a project. I suppose I like the feeling of creating something, especially when it's made of ordinary stuff I already have, but is put together in a completely different way than I've done before. Plus, I really do like making use of the skills Alton has taught me over the years. He makes things look easy, and while lots of things aren't as easy as he makes them look, they are often at least doable.
So I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck...