I was immediately drawn to this cake on my first look through the book. I am sure that it was because of the pound cake base. My readers will already know of my fondness for pound cake. Monica and I both decided that this was the cake for our second round of the bake through for Extraordinary Cakes. I also thought it was a good choice as we have several new bakers who have decided to join us in our quest and this cake only has a few components and seemed an easy way to ease into the process.
My initial reading of the cake base recipe had me a bit concerned. This is a sour cream pound cake and I was surprised to find that it didn’t use any butter but instead used grapeseed oil. My initial though was of my favorite aunts dreaded Mazola oil chiffon cake. (You have heard me talk about this cake and my hatred of it before). Well, I was pleased to discover that the grapeseed oil didn’t make the cake heavy and didn’t add any unpleasant taste (grapeseed oil is tasteless) but added a moistness not always found in most pound cakes. The cake retained the traditional firm texture but remained moist and tender even through the freezing process.
The other components of the cake are vanilla soaking syrup, white chocolate sour cream mousse, sweetened whipped cream and of course a myriad of spring fruits. Surprising none of these elements compete with each other. The syrup offers just a slight whisper of vanilla. The mousse which is really just a white chocolate ganache to which sour cream is added gives a slight hit of sweet white chocolate with the nice sour cream tang but never gives the cloying white chocolate sweetness. All of this is tempered by a generous amount of sweetened whipped bream which acts as a perfect base to enhance the fruits which include strawberries, raspberries, black berries and blueberries. The total effect is one of total bliss. Each element can bet tasted and noted but all combine in perfect harmony and even the cake base shines through as the perfect support for all that is added to it. Definitely a true work of art this cake.
The white chocolate curls are the only added decoration and although they look difficult they really aren’t. Making them is just a matter of timing and patience. I have found that it just takes the patience to wait for the chocolate to reach the perfect temperature for shaving the curls. Once it is reached you have to work quickly as the window is very small. I generally get about 3 curls and then I have to warm the chocolate and start the waiting period again. It doesn’t require much actual effort and you are certainly rewarded for you patience.