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.