Jan 5, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

The whipped cream cake may have been the biggest hit ever--the combination of a cake that's easy to make--possibly foolproof, in fact--that lends itself to all kinds of presentations and is compatible with almost every known flavor, and that people love--well, that's a combination that's hard to beat.
It was such a hit that the blog posts were startling similar. There were no funny stories of narrowly averted disasters. The closest we came to trouble was Faithy, who was not 100% satisfied with her cake because she thought the crust was too chewy, and Nancy B., who thought the crust on her cake was too soft and sticky. Even with these mild crust imperfections, both of them reported that their cakes were well-received. The closest thing to a disaster was probably ButterYum's mistake in adding the eggs and vanilla to the cream, so it took a little longer to whip the cream. I know--shocking, isn't it? She referred to it as a "flub," but I think it was, at most, a blip.

It's Raymond's turn to be FEATURED BAKER this week. From the comments on his site, it looks like most people have already looked at his beautiful cake--if you haven't, you should see what this cake looks like in the new Heritage Bundt pan, available from Williams-Sonoma. Raymond said he'd been lusting after the Heritage pan for months, but hadn't let himself buy it--then he realized it would be perfect for the whipped cream cake, so he gave in to temptation. Raymond liked this cake so much that he baked a second one over the weekend because his first was gone within an hour.
Not only did Raymond lust after this cake pan, but he also caused serious cases of cake-pan lust and envy (two deadly sins in one blow!) in the hearts of his readers. But, if somewhere in the great hereafter, Raymond is chided for these sins, he'll only have to bake this heavenly cake and all will be forgiven. If Raymond's blog doesn't cause a run on Heritage cake pans, I don't know what will.

Next week is another easy pound-like cake that I included on the list in January because I wanted to serve it at a morning open house on Saturday. It's different enough from the whipped cream cake that you won't mind having it just a week later. You can either bake it in a six-cup bundt pan or you can make cupcakes. I think it would work with a small loaf pan too. It calls for muscovado sugar, which is probably not essential--but you should ask Jennifer how she feels about muscovado sugar. She lusts after it as if it were a cake pan.

A word about the following week: On January 11, Hanaa will be guest host. She's making the Tres Leches Cake for her husband's birthday; since I've already made this cake, I think I'll sit that week out, although I'm a little worried about what might happen if I get out of the rhythm of baking a cake every weekend. I'm also worried about Jim's reaction when he finds out there's going to be no cake. Saira has asked to guest-host the banana refrigerator cake in March. If you'd like to do this, or have some other request, let me know, and I'll try to accommodate.

Mendy, I hope that the pineapple cake is appropriate for Tu-Bishvat. Come February 1, I hope that those of us who are ignorant about Tu-Bishvat will get a little education.

Finally, note that the True Orange genoise is scheduled for February 8. According to Rose, this cake is best made with Seville oranges, which have a short season: from the end of December through February. You may want to start being on the lookout for these oranges. You can make the cake with some other orange, but it sounds like the taste of the Seville oranges is distinctive enough to make it worth searching them out. If you find them, let people know where and when.

32 comments:

anitsirK said...

For those who may have missed it earlier on (who may or may not find it useful), I've updated my list of the cakes at http://www.eatsndrinks.ca/heavenly-cake-list/ to include all of the new cakes on the schedule.

faithy, the amateur baker said...
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faithy, the amateur baker said...

Congrats on Raymond being the featured baker! I think he deserves it!

I almost got my dates all mixed up! LOL! I thought Tu-Bishvat is just a few days away from Valentines Day..actually it is 2 weeks away! LOL! I didn't know what Tu-Bishvat is so i just googled to find out. Learnt something today. :)

So i guess we will be baking the Red Velvet Cake for Valentines Day (which is also the 1st day of Chinese New Year too)? LOL!

And all these temptations to get the Heritage bundt pan..and other pans...should i or shouldn't it buy...tough decision!

Nancy B said...

And to follow on Kristina's comment, I've also updated the Google calendar I've been keeping with the baking schedule, though I suspect I may be the only Google calendar user among the bakers :)
http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=944ukfjb18vr889pm24jhgihgg%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York

It lets my family know what they'll be forced to taste-test shortly...

evil cake lady said...

USE THE MUSCOVADO SUGAR, BAKERS.

Mendy said...

ב''ה

Great choice for the Tu-Bishvat Cake! Many people eat pineapple on Tu-bishvat even though it does not grow on a tree (some not only insist on the tree but must eat one of the fruits mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:8...)

On the look out for the elusive Seville....

anitsirK said...

Nancy, I added your calendar to my google calendar, but... you're right, I don't really use it, since I haven't set it up to sync with Outlook at work. ;) Great use of it, though!

Evil Cake Lady: I will, if you tell me where to find it in southern Ontario!

Nicola said...

Great idea about the Google calendar for the cakes Nancy B!

Like Faithy, I too have learned something about Tu-Bishvat. So many eating occasions in the Jewish calendar - who can complain?

I am hoping that the Seville's will be easier to find given that it is just a hop skip and a jump away. Although doesn't feel like it with the snow coming down!

Matthew said...

I've always found Seville oranges at Whole Foods in February, but I've never seen them anywhere else!

ButterYum said...

I think I remember some discussion on another board about Seville oranges being sold at Trader Joe's. Personally, I've never seen them.

Congratulations Raymond! (gotta get one of those pans!!!!!)

evil cake lady said...

Kristina, any chance I could mail you some? I have quite a stash--when I find it on sale I stock up!

Jenn said...

Congrats Raymond! I'm a fan of Williams Sonoma and always saw the Heritage Pan but never had any feelings toward it because it doesn't look special. But now, after checking out Raymond's blog and the picture of the cake, I've changed my mind. Man, I wish I hadn't gotten the fleur de lis pan. Unfortunately, I don't make bundt cake often enough to justify having 2 of them. Sigh, I guess I'll have to settle for lusting and envying! :)
I've never heard of Seville Oranges before. I'll have to keep an eye out next time I go to the store.
PS: Another excellent post Marie. Every time I read your writing, I'm always so impressed!

anitsirK said...

evilcakelady: I may have found a source. I'll check it out on my way home tonight, but it's listed in the online catalogue at a cute little shop right on my commute. They apparently have Billington's "Light Brown Muscovado". Is that what I'm looking for?

evil cake lady said...

Kristina, that's the stuff! I've used Billington's golden cane sugar before--Rose once said somewhere that you can use it interchangeably with white sugar (unless you want a white cake) and it adds wonderful flavor! There's also a dark brown muscovado, which is what Rose called for in the gingerbread cake we made a few weeks back. I could become a muscovado spokesperson! That shop looks so cute and the owners so happy. Good luck!!

Marie said...

Vicki found a site that ships Seville oranges (and other fruit); it's www.ripetoyou.com.
It costs $26 to get six pounds of Seville oranges shipped to Minnesota. I think I may actually do this if I can't find the oranges at a grocery store because I really want to try the cake using Seville oranges.

Matthew said...

Check with whole foods first before you order Marie and see if they will have them. I got mine for 50 cents each last year.

Hanaâ said...

Trader Joe’s, in St Louis Park, doesn’t carry them. I just called The Produce Exchange (they’re in the Midtown Global Market) and they carry about a dozen different oranges, but not the Seville Oranges. However, the lady said she was going to look into possibly ordering them and get back to me on that either today or tomorrow. Will keep you posted.
In the meantime, this is what I found online for substitutions:
1 part fresh lime juice + 1/2 part fresh orange juice, or
1 grapefruit + 1 orange + 1 lime

anitsirK said...

*sigh* Pfenning's doesn't carry the Muscovado anymore. I've got a couple more places I'll check locally before I get into trying to have it shipped.

Jenn said...

I googled Seville Oranges and found this in wikipedia. Quite interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_orange

Hanaâ said...

The Produce Exchange can't easily order it. If I were to pursue it, they'd have to try and get it from Mexico, and I'd have to buy a whole case. I called Whole Foods in Mpls and they don't carry it either.

Jenn, interesting article. Got me thinking. Maybe I'll use regular oranges, some lime and/or grapefruit and some orange blossom water for a nice aroma.

Marie said...

Sounds like we're all learning more about Seville oranges than we ever thought we'd want to know.

Hanaa,
I'm pretty sure I've seen them at Lunds in past years, but I never bought any because I had no idea what they were used for. (It sounds like you'd be disappointed if you bought them for eating). I also thought I'd check The Wedge before I ordered them.
Did Whole Foods say they never carry them or that they didn't have them now?

Matthew said...

One other note about Whole Foods--you often have to just stop in an look. I know that both Rose and I checked last year, they said they didn't/wouldn't have them, but there they were in the produce section after all! They are definitely worth seeking out--nothing like them IMO.

Mendy said...

ב''ה

For any New Yorkers - Fairway in Red Hook does not have the Seville oranges (yet at least.) I did get the blood oranges for the zest (you didn't forget those did you? ;) I think blood oranges may also have a short season.

Any one have suggestions on how best to freeze the citrus (in the peel, juiced etc) until February?

evil cake lady said...

Bitter Orange peel is a great herb; we definitely use the dried peel for digestive complaints--nausea, gas, bloating, loss of appetite..stuff like that. NOT for weight loss. The trouble comes when a specific compound is isolated from the entire plant; oftentimes the entire plant contains exactly what we need to neutralize potentially harmful effects of one substance contained within. And in Chinese Medicine, we rarely use just a single herb to treat a complaint--so in the case of bitter orange or even when we could use ephedra, they are in a formula with herbs that help counteract some of the potentially harmful compounds. Man, I hope bitter orange doesn't get banned like ephedra did.

Anyhoots. I know I have seen Bitter Orange at the Whole Foods in the past. Hope we can all find some!

faithy, the baker said...

I doubt i can find Seville oranges or any bitter oranges here in Singapore! Probably more mandarin oranges since it will be nearing Chinese new year. Maybe i'll use mandarin oranges instead since i will not doubt have at least a carton at home..lol! I wonder if i can use tangerines instead..since there will be lots of tangerine plants too...lol!

I just realised that there's a valentines cake.."Double Chocolate Valentine"! Sounds good...:)

Hanaâ said...

Marie,
I was only told that they didn't carry it at the moment. As Matthew said, it might be worth stopping over there in a few weeks and check. Let me know if you find any.

Jenn said...

Mendy, over in Rose's Blog's Forum, there is a discussion about this. Someone mentioned that she freeze citrus whole. Here's the forum thread.
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/1788/

Jenn said...
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Jenn said...

Here's the correct link:
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/
viewthread/1788/

Mendy said...

ב''ה

Thank you Jenn, that's great!

Roxanne said...

There are a couple different varieties of bitter orange (also known as sour orange). So when you're asking around, I suggest using the terms bitter or sour oranges. I've seen them this time of year in a couple different Middle Eastern markets, specifically those that have a large Persian customer base.

Some markets sell a frozen concentrate w/ pulp. Sevilles are easier to find on the West Coast since they are primarily grown in California, if they are not imported.

Roxanne said...

Oh, and if you do find Sevilles, buy many, because they make the best Cuban and Yucatan braised pork (i.e. carnitas). :-D