I wanted my second cake to be the "She Loves Me" cake because it's so adorable. But in order to do this, I had to get a special daisy cake pan. (Jim is remembering how I went crazy making bread-baking purchases when I started the bread project; he's seeing the same gleam in my eye now.) But it hadn't arrived by 3:00 Saturday afternoon, sending me back to Heavenly Cakes for Plan B. At 3:45, however, the postman brought me the pan, allowing me to return to the original plan. I don't much care for Plan Bs (Plans B?), to tell the truth.
You can really see the color of the batter changing when you add the egg mixture to the first part of the batter because of the five egg yolks. I'm so glad that "they" - the people who make pronouncements about what is good for you and what will kill you - have taken eggs out of the second category and put it back in the first one. Even butter is not as evil as it once was. If you stretch it, perhaps that you could say this cake is practically like breakfast: butter, eggs, and flour.
I got two offset spatulas for Mother's Day. I never knew that what my life was missing was an offset spatula. It's very slick for smoothing the top of batter. I understand that it also works quite well for icing a cake, but I haven't tried that yet.
The top of the cake looks good. By next week, I should have my wire cake tester so I won't have to use a lowly toothpick to test the cake's doneness. The toothpick seemed to work just fine, although I suppose the wire cake tester is the greener option. We may be cutting down old-growth forests to make toothpicks for all I know. I read that our desire for ultra-soft toilet paper is responsible for decimating such forests in Canada. If that doesn't make you feel guilty, I don't know what will.
This cake is all about the daisy design, so I was, of course, quite worried that it would come out of the pan in chunks and not as one whole cake, even though I'd sprayed the pan with Baker's Secret to within an inch of its life. But all was well.
I told you it was very adorable.
The color picture in the book shows these daisies decorated very cunningly, with royal icing and lemon curd. I have made royal icing in my lifetime, but it's a pain. But I had some lemon curd, and I bought a little tube of white icing. I started to do an outline of a daisy. It looked kind of wobbly. Fortunately, Sarah was here and she took over.
I thought I had chosen the flowers to be outlined randomly; when I looked at the pictures, though, I saw that there was no randomness about it. They are in a vee, like Canada geese flying overhead. The lemon curd in the center looked so sweet, but it started sinking into the cake almost immediately. I tried to dab it up and start over, until both Jim and Sarah yelled at me and told me I was going to ruin the whole thing. So I stopped.
I invited eight neighbors over for an impromptu cake party. I told Jim he had to cut the cake, and he willingly took over. He told me to be sure to tell people that it was very easy to cut. The pieces can be cut in half and filled with lemon curd and blueberries or fruit and whipped cream, but I didn't want to tempt fate by trying to slice all the pieces in half, so I served strawberries and whipped cream on the side.
I was very pleased with this cake. It's a lovely "plain" cake that's full of flavor on its own and would combine well with fruit or chocolate or almost anything.
Betty: "It has a nice, crunchy outside--this is a heavenly cake."
Sarah: "This is the kind of cake I've always pictured English kids having at tea."
Laurel: "It's fluffy and light inside, with a good buttery flavor."