The people have spoken about peanut butter ingots, and, although it's not completely unanimous, it's fair to say that the peanut butter ingots were more universally popular than say, health care reform. There were actually not too many "ingots"; that is, most of these financiers were not baked in the traditional financier pan. We did have a wealth of cupcakes, however. Gartblue made hers as cupcakes, as did Lois (mini-muffin pans, covered with chocolate glaze); Katya (addition of a bit of buckwheat flour); Mendy; and lanier.
Jennifer had some adorable flower-shaped cakelet pans, so she used those, and, like Lois, drizzled hers with chocolate. (Well, the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is pretty natural, isn't it? Just ask Reese's). Kristina used a silicone brownie pan and some silicone cupcake liners; she also has some good hints on making and storing beurre noisette.
Raymond, who plans to make these once a week (!), actually bought the financier pans, although his were a little larger than the ones I bought.
Svetlana piped hers. She didn't like the way they turned out, but I thought they looked cute--like Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. And, of course, I'm very impressed that she piped anything voluntarily.
Two different people, Faithy and Nancy B., made two different kinds of financiers: Faithy went for green tea as well as standard peanut butter, and Nancy B. tried the praline paste variation along with her peanut butter version. Very impressive!
And now, our FEATURED BAKER: Vicki. Just so you know how arbitrary and capricious I am in choosing the Featured Baker, I will tell you why Vicki's post attracted me so--reasons that actually have almost nothing to do with the actual baked product. First, I was charmed by the picture of one of her horses. Second, I loved the mental picture of Woody and Hector pounding on her door with a Cease and Desist order. Third, her comparison (complete with link) of her merger of two recipes with Rachel's merger of a trifle recipe with a shepherd's pie recipe was a funny reminder of one of the best episodes of Friends. And fourth, her sweet granddaughter told her, "Grandma, you could sell these to Starbucks." Oh, and her ingots looked good too, despite the fact that they were an unintentional combination of plum and peanut butter ingots. But I also have an actual justification for choosing her as Featured Baker--the imagination she showed in decorating her hybrid ingots: peanut butter drizzle, mini chocolate chips, cornflakes, muscovaco sugar, and melted chocolate.
Next up: TWO Passover cakes. I'm unreasonably excited about baking Passover cakes. Even though I don't celebrate Passover, I love traditions, especially traditions that are thousands of years old, and that are modernized without losing their essence. Not that Le Succes or Sybil's Pecan Torte are traditional Passover cakes (at least I'm pretty sure they're not), but they are flourless.
As I mentioned, however, I am not looking forward to all the falderal associated with piping batter in three 8-inch circles. Why couldn't I just use three 8-inch cake pans? I'm sure there's a reason, but I'd love to know what it is. A friend of mine was recently quizzing me about one of Rose's recipes. "Why are her directions so complicated? Why can't she just have plain, regular instructions?" Finally, I just said, "Because Rose knows all!" I suppose that's why I can't just use the cake pans. And I won't, I'll use the danged pastry bag. But I won't be happy about it.
Other than the pastry bag, there's not much to worry about with this cake, now that we know that powdered tea is just Lipton's Instant Tea with lemon. If, like me, you bought blanched almonds instead of unblanched almonds for your peanut butter ingots, the succes provides you with a way to use them: two whole cups of blanched almonds.
And for the pecan torte, which comes next, you need only a 9-inch springform pan, lots of pecans, coffee extract or instant espresso powder. I finally used up all my instant Medaglia d'Oro espresso powder that I've had since we were in a different century. This time I bought some espresso powder from King Arthur, and will see how it compares. Gentiles may use cream of tartar in the cake, but you shouldn't use it, according to Rose, if you're making the cake for Passover. But my Google sources say that it's perfectly fine to use cream of tartar of passover. I'll admit to being confused about the status of cream in a Passover menu. Is it okay to include it if there's no meat in the meal?
Another new baker this week--Zerin Bobby, all the way from the United Arab Emirates. Zerin says she's not that good at baking or at blogging, but she wants to get better at both. And, because Rose's Heavenly Cakes was prohibitively expensive in the UAE, she actually got someone to bring her a copy from the U.S.--much cheaper. Zerin made the double chocolate Valentine's cake as her debut cake, but she will be following our cake calendar from now on. I confess when I saw her name on an email, I thought of Bobby Darin, and I thought we'd have another man in the group, but it's not Bobby Darin, or even Bobby Zerin. Welcome, Zerin.