Spring has finally come to Boston. With a snow storm just a week and a half ago, I can’t even begin to express my relief to have a weekend full of sun and warmth. Everyone is whispering cautionary reminders of the April 1st blizzard a few years ago, but I am holding on to hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow. I’m ready for flowers, asparagus, fresh strawberries, and – at long last – the warmth of sun on my skin.
I have a confession to make. I only got Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours a couple of months ago. I love to bake more than just about anything and yet I’ve only just now picked up this book? Greenspan has not only coauthored books with culinary legends Julia Child, Daniel Boulud, and Pierre Hermé, but her spectacular cookbooks have inspired bloggers around the world to participate in Tuesdays with Dorie, an online cooking group committed to baking one recipe from her cookbook every week. The group finished baking their way through Baking: From My Home to Yours right about the time that I got the cookbook and have now moved on to Baking with Julia.
I am sorely behind and am going to have to do things at my own slow pace, but I do intend to make as many of the recipes as possible because they are good. Ok, I’ve only made two recipes so far from her cookbook, but they were both phenomenal and Baking is filled with wonderful tips and techniques. Would you expect anything less from a woman who has inspired hundreds of bloggers to bake a recipe from her book once a week?
When my friend Michelle from Creative Food asked if I would make a rainbow cake for her daughter Eliana’s fourth birthday party, I have to admit, I wasn’t so sure about it. All those layers! But I just couldn’t resist the pull of all those beautiful, bright colors. Mostly though, I just couldn’t disappoint Eliana.
Eliana had asked for a rainbow birthday party and wanted a rainbow cake. I decided, hey, why not, and delved right in. And you know what? It turns out the cake actually isn’t all that hard to make, although it is a little time consuming. It’s just one big cake recipe that is then divided into six bowls and dyed with gel food coloring. And I totally took the easy way out and made a very simple white frosting from America’s Test Kitchen rather than buttercream. As much as I prefer buttercream, the idea of making a six layer cake and standing over the stove whipping up two batches of buttercream was just too much for me.
Can I let you in on a little secret? Baking brings out the perfectionist in me. I have very high standards for how things look, especially if it’s going to end up on my blog. And it was especially important to me that this cake look perfect. Why? Because this is one of my favorite cakes, right up there with the chocolate raspberry cake.
The first time I made this cake, way before I started blogging, it looked perfect. Just gorgeous. And then when I made it for the blog last week, well, it was ok, but it wasn’t up to my standards. I let the chocolate ganache topping cool too much (what can I say, our apartment is sadly a refrigerator in the winter) before pouring it on the cake and ended up having to spread it rather than letting it drip down the sides. Did it change how the cake tasted? No, not at all. But it mattered to me. I wanted the cake to look perfect. I need everything I can to get you to get into your kitchen to start making this because I’m convinced the world would be a much happier place if everyone could just get a slice or two of this cake. It is that good.