Oct 28, 2009

Last Cake, Next Cake

Not as many people made this cake as made the apple upside-down cake, but most of those who did liked it as much as I did, even Raymond, who tells a funny story about a cake that nearly ruined his childhood: his aunt's dreaded Mazola oil cake. He was afraid he'd end up hating this chiffon cake as much as he hated his aunt's, but he didn't. If you haven't taken a look at his version, you might want to check out how beautifully he decorated it.
Jenn decorated her cake by making a heart-shaped design made out of whole almonds on top of the cake. Very simple, but pretty!
Nicola whipped up her cake while she was packing for a trip to New Zealand--with her 15-month old son! And she doesn't even sound frazzled. The cake looks great.
This week's featured baker is Vicki. I like reading Vicki's blog because, like me, she sometimes feels inept in the world of baking. She couldn't find blanched almonds, so she blanched them herself, which I thought was pretty gutsy. And she nearly forgot to add the almonds and flour, and had to toss them in at the last minute--a mistake I've made myself once or twice. Although her cake turned out just fine, Vicki has volunteered herself to be the tester that Rose really needs: the "unskilled-wanna-be-baker .... The simpleton tester. Like a lab experiment behind one way glass. To see when confusion sets in." This is not a bad idea, although I'm not so sure that Vicki is really the one to do it. I was thinking more of myself, to tell you the truth.

Next week: The Great Pumpkin Cake, just in time for Halloween. This looks like an easy-enough cake. You probably have everything you need to make it in your pantry or refrigerator right now, at least you do if you've been heeding the warnings about the Pumpkin Shortage of 2009. You also need walnut oil, which you may not have on hand. A word of advice: put that walnut oil in the refrigerator after you've used it because it can go rancid pretty quickly.
The frosting looks a lot trickier than the cake. It has three components: a creme anglaise, and Italian meringue, and then the completed "Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream." The only other time I've made a frosting that needs five words to describe it is when I made the "Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting." And guess what book that's from?
Then there's the decorating! If you use the pumpkin mold, you can decorate it with marzipan stem, leaves, and tendrils. Although I've never tried to make marzipan leaves and tendrils, I have an uneasy feeling that I'm not going to take to it like a duck to water. If you don't use the pumpkin mold, why bother? This might be a good argument in favor of using some other kind of pan. It looks like the kind of cake that would do very well in a bundt pan or in loaf pans.
Good luck!

28 comments:

Bungalow Barbara said...

I made the Caramel Creme Anglaise tonight -- looks lovely!

Rebecca Khair said...

I also just made the creme anglaise... had to make the caramel twice as my sugar crystallized... Thank goodness I'm taking this next cake to a party on saturday... i can't eat the whole thing this time. As much as I loved the Almond Shamah I'm glad it's out of the house now... I definitely broke my one slice rule! oops!

anitsirK said...

Marie, thanks for the reminder about walnut oil. I plan to make this to take into work on Friday, so I need to start on the components tonight, and I never would have remembered to pick up walnut oil if you hadn't mentioned it. I still might not, depending what frame of mind I'm in by day's end!

Marie said...

Barbara and Rebecca,
You're very organized!
It's crucial to get these cakes out of the house or you're doomed. Jim is always sad at how fast I whisk them away from him.

Kristina,
It's probably not crucial, but Rose is so meticulous about balancing all the flavors that I like to do it her way if I possibly can.

Vicki said...

Thank you for the vote of confidence, Marie However, since you baked every recipe in the Bread Bible, you lost amateur standing! Hollywood might come calling for you!

I got a big giggle from you wishing us all "Good Luck" in the great pumpkin venture. Oh dear....In for a penny, in for a pound.

Jenn said...

Ay... The pumpkin cake looks like the most complicated cake so far! We all need the "Good Luck." It will be fun though!

Marie said...

Vicki,
I'm still waiting for Hollywood's call.
Jenn,
I need the luck more than anyone!

faithy, the amateur baker said...

The creme anglaise meringue buttercream is really bad in the hot weather..melts too fast. :(

Nancy B said...

Got a question on the marzipan, for anyone who has used it in the past. My niece wants to help with the pumpkin cake decorations but will need to do it tonight, and the cake probably won't get baked and taste-tested until Sunday. Given that we're looking at fairly thin objects (the leaves and vines--the stem might be different), will these still be fairly edible if we shape them, then store uncovered in the fridge for 2-3 days? I see Rose's comments in the book about making marzipan candles and how they will crust if not covered, but I'm wondering how much of an issue that is with marzipan leaves. Maybe the question is, is crunchy marzipan palatable? :)

Incidentally, I did finally make the Almond Shamah Chiffon last night in a half-size, and will blog it after we cut it tonight. Better late than never!

Sugar Chef said...

Don't store them in the refrigerator, they will get wet and tacky. It would be best to store them air tight at room temp. It is definately OK to make them ahead.

Jenn said...

Marie, I think you underestimate yourself. Seriously! You might feel you don't have enough experience as a cake baker. But as Vicki has said, you have baked through The Bread Bible, so we have all the confidence in you!

Marie said...

Faithy,
That's right--you're from Singapore! There are no worries about hot weather spoiling the frosting in Minnesota.

Jenn,
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I've never even tried to use a pastry bag to decorate a cake, so I still feel like a novice. (But not as much a novice as I was four months ago.)

anitsirK said...

Marie, I think you're on a much more solid footing for good cakery than those who've completed all the Wilton decorating courses and never baked a single cake from scratch. Piping & decorating isn't everything when it comes to good cakes!

If anyone's got a good flavour memory bank and could help me out with a request, please read & comment on this post.

Hanaâ said...

I’m attending a dinner party tomorrow and volunteered to bring dessert. Total number of people is 28 (20 adults + 8 kids), so I’m thinking of baking the pumpkin cake in a 9x13 pan. I’m not sure how high the baked cake will be. If close to 2”, I’ll make a one layer cake and frost it, as there will be other desserts at the party. If it’s too thin, I’ll bake another one and make a two layer cake. Any thoughts?

Hanaâ said...

My second question is to those who already made the frosting. It sounds very interesting and a bit challenging but I'm always up for that. Would you say it's very sweet frosting or one that's not too sweet? I prefer the latter as I like the frosting to complement the cake versus dominating the flavor. Thanks much!

Marie said...

Hanaa,
If it helps, the pumpkin cake pan used for the pictured cake has a 10-cup capacity, 5 cups for each side. The batter is supposed to come up to about an inch from the top of the pan, so I'd guess about 8 cups. If you fill up your 9 x 13 with 8 cups of water, you should get a pretty good idea of how the batter would fill your pan.
As to the sweetness of the whipped cream frosting, it sounds like both the sweetness and the color depend very much on the brand. I used a standard brand (Smuckers, I think), and I thought it was the perfect sweet/tart blend. I guess you should taste your jam first and make sure it's not too sweet before you add it to the whipped cream.

anitsirK said...

Hanaâ, if you're asking about the burnt orange silk meringue buttercream, it is somewhat sweeter than most of Rose's buttercreams that I've tried, but it's really a perfect complement to the cake. Several people at work today commented on how well they went together.

Bungalow Barbara said...

Hanaa,

I made this into cupcakes (I got 22 of them). The batter rises well, I filled the cupcakes about 2/3 full and they rose just exactly to the top of the liners.

The Burnt Orange frosting is not all that sweet. I added some extra sugar, in fact, because I know my co-workers are used to very sweet frosting! Personally, I preferred it before I added the extra sugar.

faithy, the amateur baker said...

i agree with the rest, the buttercream is sweet enough but not excessively sweet. That's also the main reason why i like Rose's recipes all so much! Usu. i would cut down on sugar on most of the recipes but for Rose's i don't need to. :)

Marie said...

Hanaa,
Oh yeah. Duh. Of course you're talking about the buttercream. Well, my advice is not to put raspberry jam into the orange buttercream. (Joke).

Hanaâ said...

Thank you ladies. I baked the cake last night in the 9x13 pan. The final height was 1.75". I'll probably torte it and fill it with sweetened cinnamon whipped cream, or use Rose's method to incorporate my homemade cinnamon peach jam into the whipped cream. I don't think I'll have time to make the orange buttercream recipe that came with the pumpkin cake, as I also have about 15 choc cupcakes to frost (I'm planning on using homemade grape jelly which is very jam like, unlike store bought, and whip that into whipped cream and put some sprinkles on it for the kids in the party). Thanks so much for your input. I knew I could count on you Heavenly Bakers!!

Melinda said...

I am keen to see everyone's results on this lovely cake.
I have adored that pumpkin cake mould of Nordic Ware for such a long time. (I wish I had the mould.) But I am sure it will be delicious in any bundt pan, too.
I have every confidence in you, Marie. I am sure you will pull a beautiful pumpkin cake out of your baking hat!

Bungalow Barbara said...

My cupcakes weren't all that photogenic but they were delicious! Almost all of them are gone.

The frosting is the most time-consuming part of this recipe because of all the different components. In my opinion, this cake would be great without any frosting at all, as a bundt cake, mini-bundts or a couple of loaf cakes. It's yummy!

breadbasketcase said...

Melinda,
I pulled a very good pumpkin cake out of my hat, but to call it beautiful would be an overstatement. You will have to give me your totally HONEST assessment.

wendyywy said...

sorry, I don't know where to send in a request to join the group, besides just doing the link thing.

I just got myself a Heavenly Cake book and would love to join u guys and bake together :)

wendyywy said...

Oh dear, do u guys bakes a specified cake weekly?? Not bake any cake from her book?
If that's the case, then I'll pass.

Sorry.

困っています。 said...
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¥倶楽部 said...
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