The chocolate streusel coffee cake was another big success story. A lot of people commented on how flavorful the streusel was, and what a big flavor hit was provided by the tiny amount of cinnamon mixed in with cocoa and brown sugar, preferably made with Muscovado sugar, brought to you directly from Mauritius.
Even Lois, who is not that crazy about cinnamon, loved how it "rounded out and added to the chocolate flavor without overwhelming it."
Most people didn't have a six-cup bundt pan in their baking arsenal, so there was a lot of improvisation. Faithy used miniature bundt pans, which produced very cute miniature cakes. (Speaking of cute, did you see the picture of Faithy wearing a "Mr. Happy" t-shirt on her blog? You'd think someone who bakes as much as she does would be robust and matronly looking? But no--she looks like she's about 12 and weighs about 90 pounds.) And did you see that Faithy awarded all of us the Happy 101 award? Thanks!
I would say that most people went the cupcake route--12 cupcakes was the alternative to a six-cup bundt pan plus two cupcakes. Kristina, for example, made a dozen cupcakes (and says she had a little overflow--probably could have made a few more), and put streusel not just in the middle of the cupcakes, but also on top. She also got to try out her new Beater Blade!
Vicki, whose blog is now called "Heavenly Cake Walk," was one of othe few who had the regulation six-cup NordicWare bundt pan, and she was lucky enough to walk into a store and find the very pan she was looking for--on sale. With luck like that, I hope she plays the lottery.
And the FEATURED BAKER this week is Jennifer, Portland's own Evil Cake Lady. Jennifer was almost not in the running for Featured Baker, because she almost didn't make the cake. Then, around midnight or some such hour, she started reading the early returns on this cake, and decided it was too good to pass up. The notion of just deciding in the middle of the night (ok, this might be a slight exaggeration) to bake a cake evidences such a devil-may-care attitude that it takes my breath away. "How could I say no," she wrote, "when so many had said yes." Like Kristina, Jennifer also has a new Beater Blade. Really, I think the Heavenly Cake Bakers should be entitled to a Friends and Family discount on these Beater Blades.
While I'm praising Jennifer's somewhat casual attitude toward advance planning, I have to mention Shoshana, who also made a last-minute decision to bake this cake. She had already prepared one dessert, but she began to "have serious doubts" about her planned contribution to shabbat dinner as a "backup dessert." I like that concept! (I also like quoting people; it makes me feel like a Zagat writer).
We have two new Heavenly Cake Bakers: Lisa just posted about the chocolate streusel cake: her first cake as an HCB. Lisa says she's brand-new to baking, and never even knew that Rose was some kind of "goddess in the baking world," but she's been loving the cakes so much that she was willing to pay full price for the book! You can't get a better endorsement than that.
Monica, whose blog is called "Sweetbites," is too busy having fun in New York to write about a cake, but she should settle back into the baking routine when she returns.
Welcome to both of you!
I'm still searching for Seville oranges in all my usual haunts, but haven't found any yet. I'm also wavering in my resolve to order a crateful from California, and am now considering substitutions. But I still haven't given up--we still have a few week before this cake, scheduled for February 8.
As Rose says, you have a treat in store for you with the Torta de las Tres Leches, which I encourage you to try--I know it's the best version I ever had. Hanaa will be guest host for this wonderful cake.
Remember all those egg yolks you used in Woody's Luxury Lemon Layer Cake? I hope that you put them in your freezer. The January 25 cake will be an angelfood cake, which will require you to defrost those egg whites and clean out your freezer. If you don't have saved egg whites, you'll want to start saving them now.