Perth grocery stores at the end of winter/beginning of spring stocked no berries except for blueberries. Undaunted, I bought a bag of frozen mixed berries and just picked out all of the strawberries so only blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries remained. The batter was incredible, and I waited eagerly for the cake to bake. I know from experience to grease and flour a bundt pan within an inch of its life, and some of the SK reviews had mentioned the cake sticking in the pan. I let the cake cool almost completely before turning it out, and ran a plastic spatula all along the edges of the pan, but a few pieces of stubborn fruit still stuck to the sides. I picked them off the pan and reattached them to the whole, but the surface of the cake was not smooth like the cake pictured on SK. My bad for using frozen berries instead of fresh : ( Lesson learned. Surely, I thought, the thick powdered sugar frosting will cover up any pock marks.
When glazed, this cake looked *nothing* like the beautiful one gracing SK's page. It may have been the ugliest cake I've ever seen. In distress, I searched through my sister-in-law's kitchen pantry to find something, anything to fix it. I'd already baked the first cake, expertly drizzled almond glaze down its sides, and topped it with sliced almonds and powdered sugar. It was magnificent. Even after I'd scrapped the Southern Living recipe (amaretto is so expensive!) and gone with a Martha Stewart version instead. But this triple-berry monstrosity was not presentable. Not for a wedding, not for a house-warming gift, not for a 2-year-old's birthday party, not anywhere. With three hours till the wedding, I almost left it on the counter for my sister-in-law's man to devour and baked a chocolate bundt cake instead.
I found a package of shredded coconut in the back of the pantry. Perfect. Berries and coconut will be fine. So I covered the entire cake in mountains of coconut, filling in the little holes where the berries had sunk or dislodged with more icing, more coconut. It was not the most gorgeous cake in the world, but it was no longer the ugliest. And it was the first to go at the wedding! I had a small slice of both to taste them (yum), and the next time I turned around and spied the cake table, it was gone, with barely a coconut shred remaining. Like all weddings, the little stresses in the build-up didn't matter in the end: everyone enjoyed great company, good food and drink, silly pictures and dancing. It was a fabulous celebration.
Hope you've had time this year to party with those you love and share cake with a crowd in celebration of something wonderful-- a wedding, a birthday, a new life, or a sweet goodbye and good luck.
|almond bundt cake with brown-sugar almond filling, topped with almond drizzle, sliced almonds, and powdered sugar (Martha Stewart recipe)|
|triple-berry buttermilk bundt cake with thick lemony glaze, dredged in shredded coconut (Smitten Kitchen recipe)|