Oct 20, 2009

Last Cake, Next Cake

The apple upside-down cake was a winner! There was a wide variety of apples in use (Cortlands, Honey Crisps, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Cox (from England), and Ginger Gold). There were also a few people who didn't know what kind of apples they had, but everything worked.
The featured baker this week is Sugar Chef. When you look at her blog, you won't be surprised to learn that she's a professional pastry chef. All the Heavenly Bakers turned out lovely cakes, but not all of them are decorated to the nines, as Sugar Chef's is. Her apple pattern is perfect, and she also shows a piece of the cake plated with an amazing-looking icing flower and green leaf. How did you do that? But what can you expect from someone who's won a L'Affaire Chocolat competition and who markets her own homemade peanut brittle?
From the sublime to the very funny, I must also mention Nicola's account of her dinner party disaster wherein she bakes the upside-down cake in a springform pan that is not fully leak-proof. To quote her blog: "Our poor dinner guests had to listen to me witter on about the bloody oven (it is atrocious), while sitting in an ever increasing smoky haze, in the cold (had to get rid of the smoke by opening the door and windows!). They were even more surprised when I started to take photos of the disaster. After all, who would blog about smoking a cake?"
Finally, a little shout-out should go to Raymond, who gamely used his cell phone to take pictures of his upside-down cake because his camera was out of town.

Next week's cake, the Almond Shamah Chiffon, is not on the quick-and-easy list, and that generally means that there are a lot of steps involved. And, being a chiffon, it generally means a lot of eggs are involved. Again, no oddly-shaped cake pans to purchase, although it's time to start thinking about whether you're willing to pop for the pumpkin pan. (Check EBay). There were only five cans of Libby's pumpkin on the shelves of Whole Foods when I last checked, and I took three of them, feeling mildly guilty for being a hoarder. I'm very sorry if I got there before you did and bought up the pumpkin.

22 comments:

faithy, the amateur baker said...

LOL! Marie, you are so funny! I laughed at your comment about hoarding 3 cans of Libby's pumpkin. I too just bought 2 cans of Libby's too! I wanted to buy fresh pumpkin but they are sooo expensive here! Gosh..like a small pumpkin costs US$13?!..and i gotta puree it myself? So better just go buy the can ones..and i can't find any other brands except Libbys which didn't say if it is sugarfree or not, but i took 2 cans anyway. :))

anitsirK said...

I picked up a nice local pie pumpkin at a really convenient spot on my newish commute. It was $2.50 Canadian (which is about the same in US right now), and gave up about 5 1/2 cups of puree, and an orange kitchen. :) The best treat with fresh pumpkins is toasting the seeds for snacking!

I was going to sit out the next one, because I've already done 2 this month, but then I looked at the recipe, and I love amaretto, almonds, and raspberry, so I'm going to have a hard time resisting the urge to bake!

ButterYum said...

I'm so excited to make the next cake... I can taste it already!

I keep meaning to check the store for canned pumpkin, but I keep forgetting to look! Must do it tomorrow because I really dislike cutting, seeding, roasting, and pureeing my own. And like Kristen said, the cost of the tiny sugar pumpkins this year is outrageous!

I really loved Sugar Chef's artistic cake display, and I felt so bad for Nicola when I read about her dinner party... been there, done that!

This group is so much fun!
:)
ButterYum

Hanaâ said...

Marie, I picked up 2 cans of Libby's canned pumpkin over the weekend at SuperTarget and they had tons.

Faithy... I looked at the ingredients on the Libby's can and it only says "pumpkin" (doesn't mention sguar) so I would think it's sugar free. Just make sure you don't get canned "pumpkin pie mix". That has all kinds of stuff added to it.

faithy, the amateur baker said...

Thanks Hanaâ for the info! I don't usu. take pumpkins actually. Prob. cos my mom tells me pumpkin is "toxic" for my sensitive skin. :S..the chinese believe ying & yang food! Also being in Singapore, we don't really celebrate Halloween either. But since Rose sad it is the best non-chocolate cake, i just have to try! :D

Sugar Chef said...

Came over for a visit tonight and wow! saw that I was the featured Heavenly Cake Baker. Thanks Marie for all your kind words. I used gumpaste to make the flower and leaf that I placed on my cake slice. I make it from scratch but I believe you can buy pre-made gum paste at Michaels. You just roll it thin and use a cookie cutter to cut out any shape. I then set it in an egg carton to get the curved shape, let it dry overnight and its ready to use. I'm having so much fun baking with you all.

Nicola said...

Thanks for the mention Marie. That cake has been cause for much merriment! I am still laughing about it.

The blogs from the other bakers have been fantastic. So inspiring to see how it should actually turn out - I will go back and remake this cake.

I am looking forward to baking my first chiffon sometime this week. Busy, busy, busy.

Cheers

breadbasketcase said...

Sugar Chef,
Have you looked at the picture of the pumpkin cake yet? Do you think that gum paste would work better than marzipan to make the leaves and tendrils? The leaves & tendrils look very difficult to make, although I'll bet you'd have fun doing them.

Vicki said...

I read every one of the Heavenly Bakers posts who baked this cake. It was loads of fun looking at the pictures and having a behind the scene take. This is quite a lot of fun.

Hanaâ said...

I was pretty certain I was going to bake the Almond Chiffon Cake with all of you this weekend (I love almonds, especially since they’re one of the very few nuts I’m not allergic to). Alas, the installation of my countertop has been moved from this Friday to next week Tuesday (it’s a “yay” and a “snif” at the same time). So I guess I have to wait yet another week before I can join you (and my “to-bake” list has grown so much already – everything baked by this group so far is on it!!). I hope I can still be an HCB (and not get kicked out, even though I’d understand), because I haven’t fulfilled the “bake 2x a month” requirement…

Bungalow Barbara said...

Already got my canned pumpkin! I'm not going to spring for the pumpkin pan, so now I have to decide what other pan to use. Right now I'm leaning towards cupcakes...we're having an ongoing bake sale at work for charity.

Can't wait for the chiffon cake! Bought a bottle of amaretto (ouch! pricey!). Planning to use up some Orange Mousseline Buttercream I have in the freezer. I may try baking it in square pans and cutting into squares for the bake sale...

Had a few problems with my apple upside down cake, but it turned out delicious anyway!

breadbasketcase said...

Hanaa,
Don't worry--you're not going to be kicked out just yet. Not having a working kitchen is a pretty good excuse for not baking.

Barbara,
Lucky people at your bake sale!

Rebecca Khair said...

I have finally received my copy of Heavenly Cakes! I was very very excited today to look through it... it's really so beautiful.
Canned pumpkin puree is not readily available here in Australia so I might have to make it myself... pumpkins are not too expensive though (not that I have reason to be worried about that, I can see I'm going to be spending quite a bit on ingredients and equipment for this bake-through!)
The apple cakes looked amazing... can't wait to bake it myself now.

breadbasketcase said...

Rebecca,
So glad that you finally got the book. Funny that you can buy cooking pumpkin but not canned pumpkin. You're right that you can't bake your way through this book using just flour, eggs, and sugar--there are many more exotic ingredients!

Sugar Chef said...

Breadbasketcase,
I did look at the pumpkin cake and my first thought was to make those decorations out of gumpaste. I would make them ahead of time and give them a chance to dry, then you can place them on the cake. I really don't like marzapan and you can get much better color using gumpaste. It starts out white where as marzapan starts out almond color. Can't wait to make that cake, I love pumpkin baked goods this time of year.

Jenn said...

Rebecca and Marie - not to mention more kitchen things to buy!

Hanaâ said...

Off-topic... (not sure how many TwinCities residents we have in the group). Did anyone go to Chris Kimball's book signing at Barnes & Noble in Edina last Monday? I was going to but couldn't make it at the last minute. Chris is the founder and editor of America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated.

breadbasketcase said...

Jenn,
I just hope my KitchenAid makes it through the rest of the cookbook.

Hanaa,
I missed that he was coming. I'd have loved to have seen him.

Hanaâ said...

Marie,
I'll remind you next time he's in town. Maybe we can go together :o) I'm a huge ATK fan, btw. And I was lucky enough to get a tour of the ATK kitchen (where they record the show) and meet Chris, when we were in Boston last May.

Marie said...

Hanaa,
Thanks--I'd appreciate that!

Jenn said...

Marie - your Kitchen Aid survived the Bread Bible (or part of it), didn't it? I would think it should be able to handle RHC, :).

Jenn said...

It's so funny that you said what you said because yesterday while my Kitchen Aid was kneading the Olive Bread dough - I was thinking that I hope it survived! It has never worked that hard before!!!