Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nut Cake with Jam & Whipped Topping

Notice an inordinate amount of whipped cream? Yeah, this was a plate I fixed for myself.  
The older I get, the more that I realize that your standard birthday cake, bakery cake, what have you is pretty much overdone.  Not over-baked, but overdone.  Most of the time, you get a sub-par, mass produced baked good that is then smothered in enough frosting to put a person into a sugar coma.  Don't get me wrong - I love me a good chocolate cake, red velvet is one of my new best friends and every once in awhile, I come across a decent whipped frosting on some of the "mandatory" cakes I'm forced to buy for birthdays, retirements or graduations.  But by and large, I'm getting burned out on cakes in general.

But every once in awhile on the food blogs I find something that looks incredibly simple and seems to promise everything that I've been missing in my cake life.  And this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who found it from the now defunct Gourmet magazine (bastard publishing industry), fits that bill.  Toasted nuts, ground up and mixed into everyday ingredients and topped with fruit preserves and lightly sweetened whipped cream?  Oh man - I could have gladly rolled around in this batter and would serve this cake to royalty.

I made a couple adaptations and would probably make a couple more the next time I make this dish:

1) I could have swore that I had walnuts somewhere in my pantry, but when I was envisioning this recipe, I envisioned pecans.  So pecans are what I used.
2) I guess the original recipe called for apricot or raspberry preserves.  Deb @ Smitten Kitchen used black currant.  I used black cherry Polaner All-Fruit.  Love. Love. Love.
3) When you look at Deb's pictures and the original recipe, it calls for the baker to top the cake with a layer of preserves and then just put the whipped cream on top.  My husband has this odd aversion to any fruit that is not a strawberry, so I put both toppings on the side so our guests could choose if they wanted to use the fruit or whipped topping.
4) I really loved the whipped topping and had never used sour cream before in this manner. But next time, I think I would grate some lemon zest in there and would consider putting in a bit more sugar.  It was good, but I felt like I wanted it sweeter.  (As I rail on about sugar comas and over-processed foods.)

You may find Smitten Kitchen's recipe here.  Happy baking!

1 comment:

Unplanned Cooking said...

I am with you! Those supermarket varieties have rich frosting that stains my clothes. I'm not into foods that turn my hands blue.