Sweet & Tart: Not us, the cakes!

21 May

For our first duel, we decided to make cakes incorporating the flavors of lemon and berry- perfect for the beginning of summer!

The guidelines for this duel are as follows:

    • Moistness of cake – 10 points
    • Flavor of cake – 15 points
    • Flavor of icing – 15 points
    • Lemon flavor – 15 points
    • Berry flavor – 15 points
    • Proportion of icing to cake – 10 points
    • Ease of eating – 10 points
    • Ease of preparation/baking – 10 points

with each cake able to earn a maximum of 100 points.

Andrea here! I was so excited for this first duel because I love lemon and berries together! Sonic’s lemon-berry slush, anyone?? As soon as I found this recipe by Beantown Baker, I knew it was the one for me. This recipe is more involved than ones I typically make, but it looked SO good; I was up for the challenge!

First I made the raspberry curd. I used frozen berries and it couldn’t have been simpler to make. I love this stuff and want to slather it on everything! The consistency is very smooth. It is pourable and not really thick at all.

Next I made the cake and while it was baking, the icing! The cake recipe said to mix the lemon zest with the sugar, which I had never done before, but was fabulous. So fragrant and there’s not many things better than the smell of fresh lemons!

Finished cake!

And now for the judging!

  • Moistness of cake – 9/10 points
  • Flavor of cake – 15/15 points – Perfect amount of lemon flavor.
  • Flavor of icing – 13/15 points – Classic buttercream, delicious.
  • Lemon flavor – 15/15 points – PERFECT, I say!
  • Berry flavor – 12/15 points – The curd alone was fantastic, but the cake needed more.
  • Proportion of icing to cake – 9/10 points – I had at least a cup of icing left over.
  • Ease of eating – 10/10 points – Cut nicely, didn’t fall apart at all.
  • Ease of preparation/baking – 4/10 points – This recipe wasn’t hard, but there were a lot of steps.

Total points for this recipe: 87. This cake was delicious and very well received!

It also doubled as a birthday cake 🙂

Let’s see how Krista’s recipe fared!

Hey there! Krista here and I have *finally* finished my cake! I used this recipe from Sweetapolita. My hubs is a big lime fan and one of his favorite things I have made to date is a lime blueberry cheesecake. All week these blueberries have been mocking him and in turn, he’s been harassing me that maybe I should just do the lime blue berry cheesecake and call it a day…. men.

I made the curd two days prior and it was fairly simple (see here). Martha Stewart is crazy, amazing- but crazy. I stuck the eggs in a strainer like the recipe called for and guess what… they were still there, whites and all, when I came back to it several minutes later. 😐 So I stuck the eggs back in their shells and sorted them that way. After the straining failure everything else went smoothly and was actually pretty simple. First experience with curd and I can’t complain. Sweetapolita doubled the curd for her filling but I just did one batch- I also forgot to put it in the cake but I’ll get to that in a minute. It is fairly thick but still pourable- more chunks than a free flowing liquid.

Cake prep/baking- the recipe could not be simpler and the baking time is fairly quick. The cake does not rise very much. I have 4″ deep pans and the recipe called for 3 pans so I had issues dividing the batter- hence why we have the puny layer in the middle here.

As I stated I forgot the curd at home, we had went to visit my dad so decided to serve the cake there. Icing was used for filling as a stand in. When we made the icing we had no mixer so it is doable to make with a fork. The icing crusted well and I was pretty pleased with the stability/spreadability. HOWEVER, the taste was far-far-far too sweet. Icing that’s too sweet? True story. Mixed with the lemon/berry it made the lemon flavor of the cake very weak (and I shorted the blue berries by 3/4 cup so that should tell you something). Overall the cake was fairly dense but also moist and held up to stacking well. I probably wont pair this icing with this cake again, they fought for flavor and the icing attacked full-force.

Here is the finished cake:

It was pretty cute and I loved the pops of color. Here is the rating:

  • Moistness of cake – 8/10 points  The density did it no favors in this line.
  • Flavor of cake – 13/15 points – I cut the blue berries by 3/4 cup and they still were a stronger part than the lemon.
  • Flavor of icing – 10/15 points –  10 seems harsh but the only real positive points I found would be that smoothed and spread easily. The taste is too lemony and it is too sweet. It over powers the cake instead of complimenting it.
  • Lemon flavor – 14/15 points – All together- loads of lemon- but it doesn’t allow any other flavors to exist.
  • Berry flavor – 10/15 points – The cake by itself was great, even though the berries were whole they still integrated themselves into the recipe quite well. In hindsight I wish I had went with a berry curd… but then I would have forgot it anyway and it wouldn’t have mattered until I got home to slather it on.
  • Proportion of icing to cake – 9/10 points – Since I used the icing for the filling I had no icing left over- had I used the curd it would have been a cup or so too much.
  • Ease of eating – 10/10 points – cut cleanly and was easy to serve…
  • Ease of preparation/baking – 9/10 points – This is nearly the easiest recipe I’ve ever made as far as cakes go, the curd was simple after I gave up hopes of straining eggs (someone enlighten me on this) and the icing was made with a fork so that is pretty easy.
Total points= 83. The cake was okay, the curd was good but the icing was too much. I would rather pair this with a simple cream cheese butter cream.
The cake also doubles as Pacman! 🙂 -Krista

What is your favorite lemon and berry combination?

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2 Responses to “Sweet & Tart: Not us, the cakes!”

  1. Holly May 22, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Literally going to store right now to make the same cake as Andrea. Thank you for posting recipe links! WE WE WE SO EXCITED

  2. Theresa May 22, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    I have to admit that when Andrea told me she was going to make a lemon/raspberry cake, my taste buds did not water! When I had my first piece of this cake (yes, I’ve had more!!), I couldn’t believe it. The cake is moist but slices and serves perfectly. The icing is amazing. There is no part of the cake that is overly sweet or overly flavored. It all works together perfectly and it is a delight to eat. I must say I am impressed! Hope she makes it again in the future! 🙂

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