Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When Life Gives You Smashed Up Cake, You Make.... Trifle!!

Yummy Triflfe :)

So I had the family over a few days ago.. I was all excited to display my new-found interest in cake decorating. I have read in many places that it it preferable to bake the cake a day ahead, so that it can be frozen, for added sturdiness. I tried Toba Garett's well reviewed Moist Yellow Cake recipe, that comes out white. There I was, cake all baked, and in the process of cooling, thinking it had cooled enough, and I tried loosening it from the sides. It came away from them pretty readily, so I pronounced it ready to come out of the pan.
Well... Turns out I couldn't be furthur from the truth. It had only cooled from the top, the bottom was steaming!! Almost the entire bottom of the cake was still in the pan, and there was a ginormous hole in the cake. Lesson to be learnt - LET YOUR CAKES COOL!! I wish I had a picture to show you, but I was just too disheartened at the time.
The cake still tasted good though, and I just couldn't bring myself to bake another one. So I decided to make trifles, probably the only use of smashed up cake other than cake pops.

As it turns out, this was the best thing that could have possibly happened, since the trifle tasted wayy better than any cake ever could. It was a perfect mixture in all aspects - taste, texture, etc. From now on, I'm going to be smashing up cakes on purpose! :P

To make the trifle, you will need -
1 8 inch cake [recipe follows, box mix will also do]
1 recipe pastry cream
Fruits of your choice [I used mangoes]

For the cake -

Yield - 2 8 inch cakes
3 cups [330 g] cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks [230 g] unsalted butter [I used salted, and omitted salt]
2 cups [454 g] sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups [300 ml] buttermilk


  1. Preheat to 350 F [175 C]. Butter and line two 8x2 inch cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour. baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cut up the butter into 1-inch pieces and place them in the large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters. Beat for 3 minutes on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds
  4. Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top to burst any air bubbles, allowing the batter to settle.
  7. Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the pastry cream:

1 litre milk
3/4 cup [150 ml] cream
8 large egg yolks
10 tbsp [150 g] sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp unsalted butter

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, salt, and vanilla in a bowl.
  3. Slowly pour a little of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking constantly.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture just reaches a boil, and the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
  6. Strain over a bowl, let cool for a while.
  7. Stir in the butter, and cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin formation.
  8. Refrigerate, use within 3 days

To assemble the trifle -
Since I had about 15 people coming over, I decided it would be much neater to serve them in individual glasses.

1. Cut the cake up into small pieces. Layer into the bottom of the glass.
2. Pour about 3 tbsp of pastry cream next.
3. Cut up whatever fruit you want to use, and add them.
4. Repeat.
5. Add a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle chocolate shavings. [I used the chocolate snaps I made earlier]



  1. Great way to use the cake! You made a pretty dessert out of it anyway!

  2. Totally a motto by which to live :) You know what's great about smashed up cake? Not only does it make great trifles, but it tastes just as good as non-smashed cake! Plus, when you make trifles you get EVEN MORE goodness with your cake than you might with just a regular ole frosting. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I think your trifle was an extremely happy accident!

  3. Katrina - Thank you so much.

    Elyse - I'm with you on the taste, but people just don't want to eat it. And there's no way I could eat a whole cake by myself [Actually I could, but I'm on a diet :P]. It totally was a happy accident, I got more raves than I ever could on a simple cake. :D :D

  4. I love trifle -- what a perfect way to use the cake!!

  5. great idea to convert it to a trifle

  6. Haha, us foodies think alike! I turned my broken devil's food cake into a very nice trifle too.

  7. Palidor - We just have to think this way, don't we! :P


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