More than any other cookie, my sister loves what are called either rainbow cookies or six/seven-layer cookies. Considering that, I had the idea to make her a rainbow cookie cake for her birthday today. 🙂
Looking fabulous even without fancy decorationIf you’re ever going to make these cookies–either in actual cookie form or a cake–I have one piece of advice for you: make sure you’ve invested in a good electric mixer first. Between thoroughly blending the almond paste with the sugar, then creaming the sugar-almond mixture and butter, and then beating egg whites to stiff, glossy peaks, I spent all morning yesterday from 7am until nearly 11 baking the layers for this cake. Let me tell you, bakers from the pre-electricity days must’ve been forces to reckon with, and I’d never want to run into one on a bad day. I’m more sore today from all that manual work than I’ve ever been after even the most serious strength-training workout.
Not only did I have to endure hours of hard mixing and beating, but less than two minutes into the baking adventure, I was left with a battle wound from the sharp edge of the can lid from the almond paste. Damn, that stuff is TOUGH and doesn’t like to come out of the can in the least! At the same time, it’s incredibly tasty, and I might just have to get more to make other things with, since it’s on sale at Waldbaum’s this week and all. 😉 Though, if I decide that what I’d really like is marzipan, I actually would just buy it instead of making it, despite what I said to a friend to the contrary recently. ;x After what I went through mixing the paste and sugar yesterday, I’ve decided it really is worth the extra twenty cents or so to pay for someone else to mix in the sugar and egg and corn syrup to make marzipan for me. I don’t need any more wounds anyway. ;P
Oooh, pretty colors 🙂So after going out to dinner at Red Lobster with my family (I had their Dockside Shrimp and Chicken entrée, which was very yummy and satisfying after purposely skipping my usually-late lunch in order to be sure I had an appetite for what was supposed to be an unusually-early dinner), we came back to the apartment to have the cake. My mom had brought with her candles, since I’d previously told her we didn’t have any here, and these were the niftiest candles ever! They came attached to glow stick candle holders! Even before the candles were lit the cake was all fancy and glowing! It was pretty. 🙂
So yummy! I ate too much! XDBecause there were friends having cake with us that needed to catch a train in short order, the dessert was cut and served quickly, and I received many compliments. Most importantly, my sister absolutely loved it, even before tasting any she was thoroughly impressed by just the concept. 😀 I have to say that even I am really pleased–I normally am not a fan of the cookie version, I think because packaged ones are often too dry, a common problem with cakes of this type. European sponge cake has a tendency to get dry quickly, but since these layers are intentionally underbaked–and because I am clearly an excellent baker ;]–in order to preserve their color and not get browned, they stayed really moist.
The crumb was nice and dense from the weighting process (the assembled layers are refrigerated at least 8 hours with a weight on top), but since it was formed with a sponge cake, there was still a certain lightness to it. Of course there was an almond flavor, but despite having both almond paste and almond extract, it was rather mild. Just enough to be noticeable but not confuse you as to why you are eating almonds but finding no actual nuts. The recipe called for apricot preserves, but since the apricot only came in 10-ounce jars instead of the 12-ounce jar called for, I wasn’t about to buy a whole other ten ounces when I only needed two more, so I subbed peach preserves, which did come in a 12-ounce size. A less punchy flavor, yes, but along similar lines and color, so it worked. Maybe next time I’ll make a half-recipe as cookies and buy the actual apricot.
As for the chocolate on top, that’s usually my least favorite part of these cookies-turned-cake, despite being a chocolate fiend. Mostly because I don’t care much for the texture of a bar of chocolate coupled with cake layers. Chocolate chips, chocolate flakes, or other such small pieces of solid chocolate are okay, but whole sheets of it just doesn’t appeal to me on a cake. However, I’d mixed in a little butter when I melted the bars of Lindt semi-sweet surfin chocolate with the intention of it keeping the coating slightly soft and thus easy to cut through without cracking all over the place. My idea worked beautifully, and I actually enjoyed the slightly softened texture with the cake. It wound up with a consistency somewhere between ganache and solid chocolate, so it didn’t defer too much from the traditional cookie but at the same time was more functional for a cake topping and more palatable to me.
All in all, I’d say this cake marks another fabulous baking success to add to my collection. 😀