It's been a while since I've done a Tuesdays With Dorie post. I went back home to Hawaii in April for two months and didn't bring my Baking With Julia book or my camera (which I later kicked myself repeatedly for) so I wasn't able to make and photograph the new challenges. (Not that I would've had time to anyway since I was at the beach just about every day!)
I got back about 2 weeks ago and have just been settling back in and getting used to being away from my family again. I couldn't wait to check the TWD website and see what recipes I'd missed and which were chosen for this month. I'm so glad this was the recipe selected for this week, it was the perfect one to kick off my return to Tuesdays With Dorie! A lot of people described this cake as bland but I'd have to disagree, I thought it was delicious. I love strawberries and cream so this cake was right up my alley.
I was pretty nervous about it at first since I'd never made genoise before (I guess maybe I've still never made one as there's a dispute over whether or not this would even be considered a genoise since the eggs aren't heated) and the book has nearly an entire page dedicated to explaining "the whys and hows of genoise." I even considered skipping this week too, but I found the sweetest strawberries at the farmers market for only $5 for 3 pints and took it as a sign. (A sign that they're in season?) It was definitely not as difficult as all the hype made it out to be, as long as you're paying attention and use a gentle hand. I even forgot to preheat the oven before making the batter and had to let it sit there, deflating, while the oven got up to temperature! It still turned out fine :)
The recipe says to bake the cake in an 8-inch round cake pan but I only have a 9-inch round cake pan so I just used that figuring I'd cut the cake into two layers instead of three. However, after reading some people's comments about the cake being dry and bland I thought I should definitely do three layers to lighten it up and maximize the amount of berries and cream inside the cake itself. It was tedious and I'd be lying if I said each layer didn't have areas that went from paper thin to nearly half the width of the original cake itself, but it was worth the extra effort because my finished cake came out perfectly light and not dry whatsoever. (To sum this up, 3 layers = essential. That is all.)
This recipe is definitely a keeper, I may even have to make it again for my birthday ;) The recipe for this cake (in case you want to try it, which you definitely should) can be found on this week's hosts' blogs, here and here, as well as in the Baking With Julia book.