We've been talking about making the True Orange Genoise for such a long time, that, as Nicola said she feels like she's "been baking this cake for a month." I know what she means. By the way, Nicola has a beautiful photo of the Seville oranges on her blog. Reviews on the genoise itself were mixed. So many people had trouble creating the full two-inch cake, instead ending up with one-inch or slightly higher cakes that it can't be a coincidence. Lanier thinks she gets the award for the "shortest cake," but I think others would vie for that honor. There was some talk about genoise made with Wondra flour not rising as high as those made with cake flour. I think we need a volunteer to do a side-by-side comparison. Still, I must point out that Gartblue's genoise--her first ever--looked perfect. Beginner's luck?
A few other random notes: Rozanne made this cake for her husband's birthday, which turned out to be a good choice. In an admirable attempt at portion control, Jenn vows that from now on, she is making only half recipes. Good luck--I hope that vow works out better than my one-piece-only vow, which has gone by the wayside. In a similar vein, Lisa joined this baking group about the same time she decided to lose 50 pounds. I actually think you can bake and still lose weight, but I agree with Jenn that you do have to do some kind of portion control.
By the way, lanier used a Florida sour orange for the cake, and Rachelino got some Bergamot sour oranges.
Speaking of oranges, I think everyone loved the curd, which Jennifer described as "the bomb."
Vicki became so enamored of Seville oranges that she promises to start a Seville orange festival in Sacramento, where the sour oranges grow wild. When you go to your first Seville Orange Festival, look for Vicki. She says you'll recognize her because she'll be "the lady with oranges atop her head doing the merengue."
I don't think I've ever named a brand-new baker as the FEATURED BAKER before, but I was so taken with Jill's beautiful four-layer, six-inch true orange genoise that I couldn't help myself. Okay, so Jill is a professional baker--the owner of Jillicious Desserts--so she does have an advantage, but you've got to give credit where credit is due. Not only did she make four layers, which makes for an entirely different look, but she also decorated it with chocolate shavings and chocolate curls, with a few artistically placed orange slices on top. It really is a work of art. Jill didn't have access to Seville oranges, so she used a combination of navel oranges, blood oranges, limes, and lemons. The use of blood oranges gave her orange curd a particularly intense color.
Also, a warm welcome to Wafae, who has baked several other of Rose's heavenly cakes, but just joined the group. She is making her introduction as well with a version of the true orange genoise that's so perfect that it could be a stand-in for the cake that was photographed for the cookbook.
Our next cake is the Double Chocolate Valentine, which can be made in a 9-inch heart-shaped pan (if you're cutting the recipe in half, in a much smaller heart-shaped pan) or just in a round pan. I'll bet the recipe would also make good cupcakes. By the way, I noticed that as soon as I noted that nearly every cake we've made so far has been turned into cupcakes by someone, no one made cupcakes out of the True Orange Genoise. In the book, this cake is beautifully decorated with sparkly fresh raspberries in a currant jelly glaze. I know that some of you are rebelling against buying out-of-season raspberries (although at least they're not hard to find--just expensive). I think this cake would also look stunning with the raspberry whipped cream that we've made on several occasions.
The week after that will be our first "free choice" week. This will give you a chance to bake any of the cakes that I baked on this blog before we started the bake-through, on September 29. I think that's a total of 22 cakes. You can look at these results by browsing through my June, July, August, and September posts. or just check the Archives.
You could also bake one of the HCB cakes that you didn't get a chance to do the first time around OR you could bake one of the variations for an already-posted recipe OR you could try again if you made a cake that you weren't satisfied with the first time. Lots of options for you.
Happy Valentine's Day!