Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surprise Party

We threw a surprise party for my dear friend Melinda's 40th Birthday. It was a lot of fun and she was surprised. Doesn't she look fabulous!
Melinda is currently on a gluten-free diet. I told her I wanted to make her a cake for her birthday, so she loaned me Rose's_Heavenly_Cakes for some recipes. I made 2 different cakes for her. The first was Chocolate Feather Bed with Raspberry Ganache. There is no flour, just lots of dark chocolate bars and eggs. The raspberry ganache was a pain. Mainly because I didn't have a food mill to puree the raspberries without getting any seeds. I had a very small fine-mesh strainer that I had to push the raspberries through with the back of a spoon. I think that step alone took almost 2 hours. I was also caught off guard when the recipe said "make 2 batches". I had read it earlier and thought it said "makes 2 batches". I had 16 minutes to whip up the second cake before the first one came out of the oven (took 45 minutes). Luckily I had enough ingredients to make it again, since I stole the chocolate from the ganache. Had to go to the store to replace that before I could make the ganache. I also didn't have the right size pans for this, had to buy 2 new ones at the store.
The verdict: It took forever to make and I got very frustrated. I am much more for the quick and easy and still tastes great. This was not quick and easy. But the taste was heavenly.
For the second cake I made Lemon Canadian Crown. The best way to describe it is similar to a frozen whipped lemon meringue. I love lemon desserts. I saw this in the book and had to try it. I had a similar problem with using a fine-mesh strainer to push lemon zest through, but it was a very small amount compared to all the raspberries. Overall, it was a much easier recipe. I bought gluten-free ladyfingers from Wegmans. That saved tons of time. I didn't have a 9-inch spring-form pan for this recipe but was able to borrow one from a friend.
The Verdict: light, airy, and very lemony. I loved it. Didn't care for the ladyfingers, maybe because they were gluten-free and too thick. Might try it again with a different crust.

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