Jan 26, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

Most of the bakers who did this cake had lovely and uneventful experiences with it. Only ButterYum and I were devastated by the sinking of our respective cakes. And thank you for your notes of sympathy on my cake's demise!

Kristina (and her husband and her co-workers) liked the cake a lot; her only problem was that 1) grating the chocolate was messy and 2) she didn't have a wine bottle that fit her cake pan (and she makes wine!). And Jenn turned hers into cupcakes. (Has there been a cake that someone hasn't turned into cupcakes? I hope that someone always does a cupcake variation with the recipes because I love to see how they turn out. It also occurs to me that if I had made cupcakes, my cake wouldn't have turned out the way it did).
Hmmm. Two bakers' angel food cakes failed. Maybe Woody was right when he said your chances of getting it right were about 90%. I'm just glad I was in such distinguished company with a fallen angel food cake.

Lois is this week's FEATURED BAKER. First, her cake turned out beautifully, even though she rarely makes angel food cakes because she thought--mistakenly, it turned out--that she didn't like them. I could be envious of her lovely cake, but my good angel is telling me to enjoy her success, so I won't succumb to envy. Second, she made it for her husband, who loves angel food cakes, which I thought was very generous of her (she must have been listening to her own good angel). Third, she made the cake while she was drinking Bellinis and while in the company of a picture-perfect bright red amaryllis. It's a recipe for an idyllic life. Fourth, she emphasized what a healthy, guilt-free treat this is (not counting the whipped cream, which she didn't make anyway)--and she even calculated the calories and the grams of carbohydrates per slice. If you're ever feeling guilty about the cake habit you're developing, just go to Lois's description of this cake and you'll feel practically virtuous.

Next week we're doing the Tu-Bishvat pineapple upside down cakes. I have never made a Tu-Bishvat cake before. This is clearly a holiday that did not originate in northern North America; with our February snowstorms and icestorms, we're not going to be planting any trees. If you were in Israel at this time, you'd be seeing beautiful flowering almond trees. (Don't confuse this with the recipe for caramelized pineapple pudding cakes, which we'll get around to eventually). For these cakes, you're going to need a nice, ripe pineapple and full-fat yogurt. Nothing too hard to find there. As I mentioned last week, you can bake them in the NordicWare mini pineapple pans. (I ordered them--I'm getting an insane collection of these pans!). You may also want to get yourself a squeeze bottle for decorating with the pineapple caramel drizzle (mmmm, that sounds good). I've noticed that some of you use these, and I think it's such a clever idea.
The week after that is when we're finally getting to the True Orange Genoise, the cake that's been causing us to search for the elusive Seville orange. And the touchy Seville orange. Like others of you, I've found that these little babies turn green without giving you any advance notice. I've squeezed mine and now have a stash of Seville OJ (serving a big glass of that would be a good April Fool's prank). If I have time, I'm going to make the orange curd this weekend so I don't have to worry about the juice staying fresh. According to the recipe, the curd is good for three weeks in the refrigerator.

19 comments:

faithy, the baker said...

Congrats Lois!
Question about Triple Sec? What liquor is that? Is it something like Vodka? Can i substitute it? I don't want to buy a bottle of triple sec and later have no use for it at all since no one in my family drinks, alcoholic drinks that is..:S Perhaps i should give the Orange Genoise cake a miss.. i can only find sunkist here..

Monica said...

Faithy... Triple sec is an orange-flavored liqueur made from the dried peel of oranges from the Caribbean. Its mostly used to help digest the food, but also as a sweetening and flavoring agent. (and that is the lesson of the day folks).

I have found my Seville Oranges, after really looking everywhere for them... and like Marie, I plan to make my curd this weekend as well (ahead of the game) since this will be my first attempt at the Genoise, I did not want any distractions.

faithy, the baker said...

Thanks Monica! Orange-flavored liqueur! Maybe i can consider buying since i like anything orange..even if it is liqueur.. :)

Matthew said...

Marie, I just wanted to remind everyone that can't get Seville oranges, that Rose does give instructions for making curd with regular oranges. These instructions are also in the Cake Bible, and the most detailed set is in the Pie and Pastry Bible, where she gives recipes for Seville, Blood orange, and regular orange curd. In the P&PB, she also recommends adding a touch of orange oil if using regular oranges to pump up the flavor.

Matthew said...

Faithy, you could also buy one of those airplane sized bottles of Grand Marnier or Cointreau if you don't want to spend too much, although Triple Sec is fairly inexpensive as far as liqueur goes. It is also used to make margaritas if you like those.

faithy, the baker said...

Wow..Thanks Matthew..i'll go home and check them out!

faithy, the baker said...

Matthew, i can use Grand Marnier or Cointreau too? I have both of these! Goody! It's expensive to buy liquor here (with duty) as they cost at least 3-4x the amount compared to if you buy them duty-free at the airport. If i bought the Triple Sec now, it will cost be more than what i have paid for my Grand Marnier at the airport! :S

Matthew said...

Yes, Cointreau is a brand of triple sec as far as I know. You could use Grand Marnier too, but I think it is a little bit stronger, so you might want to use a bit less and add more juice/water.

faithy, the baker said...

Thanks Matthew!! :)

Oh yes..i realised i made a typo..it's 2-3x more and not 3-4x more..;P

faithy, the baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
faithy, the baker said...

Opps! I accidentally click wrongly and removed my own posting..nevermind nothing important..

Nicola said...

Congrats Lois! Still loving your Bellini whilst baking.

I froze my OJ, hopefully that doesn't detract too much. Yep, a great April Fool's prank because wow oh wow, is it bitter. I can't imagine how this will taste once cooked up..,

Faithy, I will be substituting Cointreau. I find it loads nicer than Triple Sec. Especially on ice.

Lois B said...

Thanks, Marie, et al. What a nice surprise to be bake of the week. Wish you could all join me for a bellini! :)

Jenn said...

Matthew, thanks for the tips on orange curd. I can't find Seville here so I will be checking out Cake Bible and Pie & Pastry Bible (I have all Rose's bibles) for those recipes!
I will be using Cointreau - it's so much nicer than Triple Sec.

Hanaâ said...

Lois, congratulations. I love how this recipe made you do a 180 on the AFC.

Matthew, thanks for the tips on Rose's other orange curd varieties in her P&PB. I didn't think of looking in there. I might try blood oranges. They are everywhere and I've never used them before.

As for the triple sec, I don't bake with alcohol. So far, I've had good success subbing orange juice for Triple Sec and Grand Marnier, so that's what I'll do.

Marie said...

I rarely bake with alcohol because some of the people who are regularly on my tasting panel don't use alcohol; I haven't had any trouble omitting it or using a recommended substitute.

Mendy said...

ב''ה

Congrats Lois!

Rozanne said...

Oh no another fallen angel :) Aren't you glad you had a backup cake?
Wow! Woody baked in your kitchen! That is so cool. Did you know Woody before he became Rose's assistant?

gartblue said...

you know marie, I love your Last Cake, Next Cake posts because I always decide to bake or not based on the comments.

And yes, think Orange Genoise I will do. And the next cake too ..