Fresh as Daisy Cakes
“Daisies infinite Uplift in praise their little growing hands, O'er every hill that under heaven expands.”
So said the English "Poet of the Poor", Ebenezer Elliott, in the 1800s. He championed the causes of the hungry with his efforts to repeal the Bread Tax. At about the same time, the Civil War was brewing in North America and the English were supporting Confederate soldiers.
Centuries later, long after British warships had left Southern shores, another artist, Kim "Daisy" Nelson was inspired to uplift her South Carolina community with her Daisy Cakes. Kim Nelson's muses were her Great-Aunt Daisy and her grannies, Miss Nervilee and Miss Nellie (love those names!) Daisy Cakes desserts boast the trademark of homemade goodness: farm-fresh eggs, butter and other quality ingredients combined with much care. A pound of carrots provides moisture to each of their carrot cakes. Fresh zest is sprinkled into lemon cakes. Southern classics such as red velvet and four-layer coconut cake are bestsellers. The latter is frosted with an icing using fresh coconut and coconut milk. Yum!
Fast forward. The Daisy Cakes owner, Kim Nelson, appears on ABC’s Shark Tank. A millionaire, Yankee real estate mogul, Barbara Corcoran, invests in the business. Sales of Kim Nelson’s Daisy Cakes dramatically increase. The demands for appearances on the prestigious stages of Miami’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival and The Nate Berkus Show also increase. (Oprah Winfrey’s darling decorator who now has his own TV program.) With Barbara Corcoran at her side, on The Nate Berkus Show, the Southern baker reveals her family’s recipes for pound cake and lemon curd. (Understandable. Nate’s dimpled smile could charm secrets from the CIA!)
You can bet this Ninja Baker was taking notes. I’ve yet to make the pound cake. But I did make Daisy Cakes’ Lemon Curd. (After slathering the tops of strawberry mini cakes and lemon cupcakes with organic strawberry jam, I piped lemon curd on top. ) Not only did Kim Nelson share her secret recipes with Nate on TV, she also generously posted the how-to for her Lemon Curd on the Daisy Cakes South Carolina Facebook page. (As of this writing, Daisy Cakes has an impressive 11,305 Likes on Facebook!)
Strawberry cake mini loaf slathered with strawberry jam and topped off with
Daisy Cakes' Lemon Curd.
I always associate lemon curd with English style afternoon tea. A sort of marmalade scooped onto scones. However, Kim Nelson’s Southern version is more of a lemon meringue flavored whipped cream. And is dee-licious! In the tasting process, I had to remind myself to save some for the piping bag.
The Daisy Cakes’ Lemon Curd requires a willingness to constantly whisk (or immersion blender whisk) the custardy substance over a flame for fifteen minutes. The family recipe also calls for a separation of a bunch of eggs. (Be prepared to buy two-dozen at the supermarket. I like to buy free range. Maybe it’s my imagination but it seems birds out of cages produce better tasting eggs.) Yes, this luscious lemon filling/topping demands attention and care. And is worth every single step.
The Ninja Baker's Lemon Cupcake with Daisy Cake's Lemon Curd swirled on top.
Do you have a smart tip for separating the yolk and white of an egg? If so, please e-mail NinjaBakerBlog@gmail.com In the meantime, click here for a video link to a clever lady who has mastered the art. Her visuals are crystal-clear albeit the explanation is in Chinese.
Wishing you fresh as a Daisy Cakes filled with luscious Southern-style lemon curd.
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
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