Everyone loved the Barcelona Brownie Bars, and there was a great deal of ingenuity involved in how to make them. People who didn't have the financier pans, and there were many, used mini-heart shaped pans, mini muffin pans, and a variety of other shapes and sizes. Some omitted the nuts (or wished they had), some did the cherry variation, and one person ingeniously made ghost brownies! I had some serious ganache envy when I looked at some of the other photos, but then reminded myself that it's not a contest.
Our featured blogger today is Kristina (or anitsirK--it took me a while to figure it out), at EatsNDrinks. Kristina used the 8" square pan, cleverly reading Rose's directions so that she knew to 1 1/2 times the recipe. (Coincidentally, Kristina also baked Rose's butter-dipped rolls over the weekend, which was also my other baking project). She did the cherry variation, purchasing a dusty bottle of Cherry Heering for the occasion. She poked ganache holes in the cake, and then (very neatly) added ganache from a pastry bag made from a plastic bag. She had enough ganache left over that she drizzled more on top of the brownies. (There's that ganache envy rearing its ugly head again).
Check out Kristina's version, as well as the brownies made by the other Heavenly Bakers. The list is getting long--we added three more people since the last post.
We already had geographical diversity, and now we have a little gender diversity as well. Raymond at YourJustDesserts discovered a few years ago that he loved cake decorating. He has a picture on his blog of the first wedding cake he made a while back--in his blog, he notes the "amateurish" nature of the cake. Since I am a person who thinks that baking and decorating a wedding cake is as achievable as me flying to the moon, I nearly choked when I read that apology! Raymond is especially interested in getting tips on photography and presentation.
On the other hand, Mendy, over at GreensteinsBakery, admits to being a newbie, although his stuff looks pretty good too. Mendy, who describes himself as "just a Shmo who lives in Brooklyn," bakes only Kosher, and makes the recipes containing dairy in a toaster oven. I'll be interested in watching how he deals with the additional challenges this must present.
Finally, Jana, of SmartCookie, works at John Wiley & Sons, and is actually the person who sent out the copies of Heavenly Cakes to the first ten to sign up. Jana is a baking masochist. She's already a member of Tuesdays with Dorie--and now this! She was a huge help to me in setting up this bake through, and, in fact, is the one who introduced me to the whole concept.
Next week is Apple Upside-Down Cake. I wanted to make this during the heart of apple season, and, at least in Minnesota, that's just where we are. It requires no weird equipment - just a 9" round cake pan - and no weird ingredients (unless you count Muscovado sugar, which is not even a requirement or Maker's Mark Bourbon for the Bourbon Whipped Cream topping). I'll be curious to see what apples people use for this cake: Rose says her favorites are Macoun, Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greenings, and Golden Delicious. I think I'll probably use Honey Crisp, unless I can find Sweet Tango, the new University of Minnesota variety which is supposed to be even better than the Honey Crisp.