{TWD} Berry No-Surprise Mini-Cakes and a little something chocolate too

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Tuesdays with Dorie is a weekly online baking group. Every week one member selects a recipe from Dorie Greenspan‘s Baking…From My Home to Yours and we all bake the recipe in our own special way and blog about it on Tuesdays.

This week’s recipe, Berry Surprise Cake, was selected by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen. You can find the recipe here. I love, love, love Mary Ann’s blog. She blogs almost everyday {maybe everyday} about a {usually} healthy, good-for-you recipe she made for her family. Whether or not the recipe is healthy, the pictures are always gorgeous. She even makes food I don’t like {beets} look appetizing.

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The base of the Berry Surprise Cake is a génoise, which in the world of French pastry is one of the basic starting point for many desserts. Also in the world of French pastry, there is debate about whether you should add melted butter to the batter. Some do and some don’t. Dorie does and I’m of the opinion that butter is always good. 😛

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Dorie calls this recipe a Berry Surprise Cake because you are supposed to carefully slice off a top layer of the cake, hollow out the core, fill it up with whipped cream goodness and berries, put the top layer back on, and frost with topping. Surprise! It sounds delicious, but I felt a little lazy this week and decided to change it up a bit.

Picture from my mobile phone

Picture from my mobile phone

Last week strawberries started showing up at the farmers’ market en masse, so I decided to use them instead of the suggested raspberries. Since I was going the lazy route, I decided to make mini-cakes using my mini-muffin pan.

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Because I forgot to use lime zest last week, I decided to use it this week {who doesn’t like strawberries and lime?} and rubbed it in with the sugar. I also used cake flour instead of all-purpose because I wanted the cakes to be light and French-y {whatever that means}.

Dorie urges us to gingerly fold in the flour because the beaten eggs are divas. I was overly ginger because when I was half-way done scooping the batter into the tin, I found a bunch of unmixed flour in the batter. :0 I quickly {but gingerly} mixed in the lost flour.

In the oven, half the mini-cakes sank and looked ugly as sin. This was the half that did not have enough flour. The other half rose perfectly and were very lovely. I likened the ugly half to Victorian novel crazy relatives locked up in the attic. My friends do not need to know they exist. 😛

Crazy relatives locked in a Victorian attic

Crazy relatives locked in a Victorian attic

I made the filling and used it as a topping. Instead of cream cheese, I substituted mascarpone. I sliced the strawberries and placed them on top of the mini-génoise cakes, piped the filling, and then finished them with chopped pistachios.

These were a big hit and I’m sure the properly assembled cake is yummy too. Maybe when I am feeling less lazy I will make as directed.

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Almost-Fudge Gâteau

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I’m slowly baking my way through TWD recipes selected before I joined the group. The Almost-Fudge Gâteau was  the recipe for the week of February 19,2008. This recipe was very easy to make {I made mini-cakes again} and very, very delicious. If you haven’t made it yet, do it! It’s wonderful. Nikki of Crazy Delicious selected this cake and you can find the recipe here.

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