First I worked on the cakes themselves. There are three (!) layers to this cake. I kept reminding myself of this when it felt like I was adding huge amounts of things (like 3 stricks of butter or 6 eggs!). I guess if you divide all the things by 3, it isn't so bad. Anyway once the cakes were in the oven, I worked on the filling. Now, here is where things get iffy. The recipe calls for creme fraiche to be whipped with sugar and bourbon. Creme fraiche, I found out from some quick research, is a mixture of heavy cream and buttermilk that has been allowed to set for 12 hours. So clearly, making it this morning was out of the question, and there wasn't any for sale at the grocery store. I decided to make whipped cream instead. While this seems like a good enough idea, let me tell you, it is not. When you have three cake layers and you do not want them to slide all over the place, crack, or end up covered in wet cream, then do not use whipped cream. It became rather horrifying. And unfortunately, it gets worse.
|Cooking the sugar!|
|Note the severe sliding to the right... also note how all the whipped cream has disappeared and you can hardly see 3 layers...|
|Please note the toasted meringue peaks! :)|
|A little peek into the raspberry filling!|
So, here the cake breakdown:
People who ate both and were allowed to vote: Mom (she votes for ginger pecan but says it was very close), Kenzie (she votes for ginger pecan because she doesn't like the texture of menigue), Gram (did not vote) and Betsy (voted for raspberry cake)
This means that, by a very thin margin (1-2), the ginger pecan cake won the most votes for best cake. This makes me feel better about the fact that the cake slid and looked like a mess! If you are interested in voting, come one over, because there is an embarrassing amount of cake left in this house! :)
Oh, and for anyone wondering how the Olive Garden copycat dressing came out? That went over really well too. Everyone said it tastes just like the read thing, except for Susie, who said it tastes even better. Again, I didn't try it myself (are you sensing a pattern today? Can you see why I am both exhausted and starving?) but Mom said it was a real treat, and is currently eating another bowl of salad.
Happy birthday Mama! I hope your birthday was everything that you wanted it to be, and that you are stufffed with cakes for the rest of the week :)
ginger pecan cake
meringue-frosted cake with raspberry filling