I learn something every time I appear on television. I like to think of this as a good thing—but I would like to minimize the learning EVENTUALLY and become completely organized on camera.
Unfortunately, during my most recent appearance on Mass Appeal I forgot what my mother taught me about the fragile nature of whipped cream.
We were making an ice box cake, a mid-20th-century creation that relies on refrigeration for its basic structure. This particular cake was made of Graham crackers, peaches, a few berries, and … whipped cream.
Whipped cream, as my mother always told me, MUST be whipped cold. And it must be handled gently.
Unfortunately (mistake number one), I left the cream I was whipping on the air sitting in the studio lights a little too long. It didn’t whip.
I brought a pre-made cake from home. Unfortunately, I messed that up as well!
First, I decided to move it onto a pretty cake plate when I arrived at the studio. It collapsed and had to be re-glued together. (Apparently, ice box cakes shouldn’t be moved.)
Next, I left it, too, in the lights a little too long. When we arrived at its moment of cutting, it didn’t slice so much as fall apart.
The good news is that I can show you photographs of another ice box cake I made the week before at home that came out very nicely.
The evening after the broadcast, my nephew Michael, my neighbor Alice, and I spooned leftover messy ice box cake into bowls with additional peaches. This made a trifle-like dessert that was FABULOUS.
One of these days I’ll manage to do a little better on the air. Meanwhile, of course, I still had fun. (I always have fun.) And hosts Seth Stutman and Ashley Kohl were forgiving.
The video link appears after the recipe below. So that you don’t think I’m a total klutz, I also include the link to our previous segment, in which we made BLTs with no major mishaps.
Enjoy peach season! And remember, when life gives you messy cake, you can always make trifle.
3 cups peeled peach slices (2 to 3 peaches, depending on size)
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fruit liqueur (I used framboise, a raspberry liqueur, or blueberry cordial)
Graham crackers as needed (I used a little more than 1 sleeve of crackers)
blueberries or raspberries as needed for topping
In a nonreactive bowl toss together the peach slices, sugar, and lemon juice. Set aside for 2 hours.
Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks, stirring in the sugar and liqueur at the last minute.
Find a decorative plate. Put a little whipped cream on the bottom of the plate, underneath the spot on which you will place the crackers. Put a layer of Graham crackers on top of the cream. Follow this with a layer of whipped cream, a layer of peach slices, and another cracker layer.
You should end up with four layers of Graham crackers with three layers of whipped cream and peaches in between. Save enough whipped cream to cover the top of the final layer of crackers as well as the sides of the cake. (You MAY use a whole 2 cups of cream, but this seems excessive to me.)
Loosely cover your cake so that it is protected but isn’t exposed to odors from the rest of the refrigerator, and chill the cake for at least 6 hours. (Overnight is best.) When you are ready to serve it, place fresh berries on top.
And now for the sad but yummy video:
And here is the video about the BLTs, which definitely looked better.