I’m not a great fan of ice cream. I like it, if its there I will eat it, depending on the flavor that’s being offered, because you know I can be fickle with my choices as well. Plus, ice creams now a days are just so over-the-top sweet. What ever happen to mild balance flavor, creamy soft ice creams?
Oh yeah, that’s called GELATO.
And if there is a type of food I will fight you over is Gelato. When I lived in in the northern part of Italy. I found the most creamiest, soft gelato that existed. For them it’s all about using full fat creams and mild flavors when making any gelato. And the results is a little piece of heaven in a cup. And while I love most of the gelato flavors, my favorite was always the “Fior di Latte” (FYOR dee LAH-tay) - which is literally translated to “flower of milk”. The ingredient is cream, yummy cream, period. Whipped and then cooled into this wonderfully subtle ice cold, soft natural sweet cream flavor.
I adore it.
And you may wonder why I'm talking about Gelato when the title of this post is Cake. I know, I know, but my rambling has a point.
This week the HCB group gave us a free choice. We could choose any cake that has been baked before by the group or that you have past up. Having come into the baking group a bit late, I have missed quite a bit cakes on the list. So this was hard - so very, very hard… SIDE NOTE here: I move to remove the “Free Choices” in the future because it’s just too hard to choose.
After much deliveration, I narrow it down to two contenders the Chocolate Streussel Coffee Cake and the Whipped Cream Cake. I was so torn, that by Thursday, I convince myself, I will do both of them! Plenty of the other bakers have done it. I’m super-baker! Why the hell not? I can do this.
Umh, yeah, nope, did not happen. Because life happens that is why, and suddenly I was too busy to even think straight or care about baking. So, I contemplated passing this one by, until Tom gave me the guilt trip and asked what I was baking this week? And when I showed him where I was stuck on the choices, he told me "let me clarify it for you" and pointed to the Whipped Cream Cake.
Score for me. Because, it was the easiest one to do, and the one that I can share the actual recipe with everyone since Rose’s has it posted in her blog here.
The recipe calls for 40% high-butterfat heavy cream, I was able to find 38% in an Asian market (no joke), I figure that being off by 2 was good enough.
And the steps were pretty straight forward. I measure everything and put it in order to be used, then I started to whipped the cream in the Kitchen Aid and had one of these internal dialogues filled with doubts “will it double?, "I need to make sure to gradually increase it, careful, careful”, "does it look like the book said?". All that internal talking (and constant re-reading of the receipe) paid off because not only did it double up, but those stiff peaks were a sight to see.
Then in the eggs went. And my crispy white batter turned into a soft buttery cream color (my eggs are bought from the local Hispanic market, and I swear the yolks on these eggs are a bright yellow-orange color that its to die for, and the flavor, lets not even talk about that!). So I’m creaming and sure enough it turned into a homemade mayonnaise consistency that Rose said it would. The sugar went in next, and then I folded the dry ingredients, with a balloon whisk.
And I panic a bit at this point, because it seems to curdle on me for a bit and I was like “oh, oh...” so, I speed up the process of folding the rest of the dry and dumped the whole thing in the pan, making sure I smoothed the top well and into the oven it went. I may or may not have made the sign of the cross, to you know ask the power above to bless it and not deflate or something, I just did not have it in me for a do over.
The next 25 minutes waiting for the cake, where spent riveted to the TV watching some of the Olympic Games. Has anyone been caught up in the curling competition too? There is something oddly relaxing about seeing that stone glide across that smooth surface.
At the 25 minutes mark, the house started to smell delicious. I checked the cake, but it was not done yet. Another 10 minutes of that bake goodness and out it came.
And it was perfection in a pan. Light color, with a hit of a crack all around and soon it started to shrink from the side of the pan, like it was suppose to.
I let it cool off for 10 more minutes and then flipped it and at that moment that cake won the gold medal for the smoothes unmolding to date.
I took Rose’s advice and simply dusted it with some powdered sugar.
And remember the gelato story?
Well this cake, when done took me back to eating that creamy, soft gelato. When I took that first bite, I was transported to my days in Italy. Under an umbrella in the middle of a piazza, eating a scoop of “Fior di Latte” and watching those good-looking Italian men. It was light, not sweet. Just perfect! Like eating whipped cream from a spoon, this cake just melts in your mouth. It was amazing.
My grandmother was right. Sometimes LESS is MORE.
Tom’s verdict was less poetic. He took a bite, gobbled it up and then cut another piece, ran to the refrigerator and topped that slice with some of the leftover Orange Curd from the True Genoise cake.
Yes, people we are still eating that curd!