Monday, October 26, 2009

Golden Prosecco Cake with Lemon Curd and Macerated Berries

Wow. Martha Stewart completely failed me this time. Yes, I am most certainly blaming this failure on her recipe, seeing as how I followed it to the letter. I should have known there was something fishy about a recipe that required whipping egg whites mixed with loads of brown sugar to stiff peaks! Ain't gonna happen. My whites remained a puddle of brown froth.

Nonetheless, I forged ahead, convinced that baking the brown slop migh somehow revive it. Nope. Martha's brown sugar angel cake looked edible when I pulled it out of the oven, however, and I began to think nothing was amiss. The lemon curd went off without a hitch, my tangerine-macerated berries glistened in their crystal bowl, and a jar of double cream waited in the fridge for dinner to end.

As the guests finished their wine, I hopped up from the table to unmold the cake. I sawed the edges loose, tipped the cake over, and patted the bottom. A damp chunk of gray cake fell out with a splat. Not good. The cake was a total, utter, disgusting mess. It looked more like a drowned squirrel caracass than angel food cake. I ventured a nibble and grimaced at the slimy, tough texture and old-sock flavor. With a furtive glance over my shoulder I whisked the disaster into the garbage, and hurried to the cupboard to look for a cake mix. Good old trusty cake mix!

Plain yellow cake, while delicious, would not exactly go with a random bowl of berries and lemon curd, so I opted to doctor the cake and make ... whatever I had ingredients to make! A half-consumed bottle of prosecco in the fridge inspired Golden Prosecco Cake With Lemon Curd and Macerated Berries. Fortunately, the cake turned out perfectly.

The butter in the recipe gives the cake a pleasant toothsome crumb, and the prosecco lends a heady fragrance. This cake has a sturdier texture than regular yellow cake, which allows it to absorb the juice from the berries and create a moist mouthful without becoming soggy. It would probably taste great with berries mixed right into the batter! That can be my next experiment. Although, I'm somewhat dissuaded from experiments after the horrible rubbery mess my last one produced.

Prosecco Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c. melted butter, cooled
1/4 c. canola oil
4 eggs
3/4 c. prosecco

Lemon Curd

6 egg yolks
1/2 c. lemon juice from 3-4 lemons
1 T. grated lemon zest
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. softened butter

Macerated Berries

1 pkg fresh raspberries
1 pkg fresh blackberries
1/2 a tangerine
3 T. sugar

Whipped Cream

3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
2-3 T. powdered sugar

Make the lemon curd:
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice, and egg yolks over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens to the consistency of hollandaise sauce (coats the back of the spoon). Do not allow the mixture to boil! This will result in lemon flavored scrambled eggs. Remove from heat and stir in softened butter and lemon zest until the butter melts completely. Chill until cold. If you don't like skin on your puddings, set plastic wrap on the surface of the curd before chilling.

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all the cake ingredients together, stirring for five minutes. Pour into a heavily buttered bundt pan and bake for 30-45 minuts, or until golden brown. Make the berry mixture while the cake bakes.

Wash and dry the berries. Stir the berries and sugar together, and squeeze the juice of the tangerine half over the mixture. Stir and refrigerate.

While the cake is still warm, but cool enough to handle, gently cut around the edges of the bundt pan and release the cake onto a serving plate.

Whip the cream into soft peaks, add the powdered sugar, and mix on low until incorporated.

Serve wedges of the warm prosecco cake with a scoop each of lemon curd, whipping cream, and berries. Deny existence of fallen angel cake.


  1. hey lil, hopefully you can get this to martha or one of her staff members... I hear this sort of thing happens with her recipes ALL THE TIME !!
    enjoyed your description though !! -diana

  2. I second Diana's comment above. I've heard awful stuff about Martha's recipes and now stay away from them. Of course, I still go to her website to browse every now and then...

  3. I ran across this recipe and was intrigued by the title. I don't see any Prosecco in the cake. Did I miss something?

  4. hahaha my bad. I'll fix it when I figure out what I did! Thanks for the heads up.