Le Succes will, I believe, always be known to the Heavenly Cake Bakers as either "that cake that made me buy a giant jar of instant tea" or "that cake that forced me to come up with a substitute for disgusting instant tea." Lois, a self-proclaimed "pantry snob," refused to buy the tea and substituted tea steeped in lemon zest and cream. Vicki used English breakfast tea infused with lemon extract. Mendy also went the teabag route because he couldn't find kosher for passover instant tea.
Jennifer used the instant tea, but nobody can accuse her of having plebeian tastes, since she's the one who knew that this cake is called a dacquoise. Katya admitted to using "plain old Tetley's," and Raymond loved the subtle taste that the instant tea imparted.
Jenn went in a totally different direction, and used Starbuck's instant coffee. Lisa improvised with cream and chocolate chips. Some people just march to a different drummer.
As usual, I think Rose knew what she was doing with the instant tea. Although you might not ever use the tea for drinking, it was perfect for the ganache because it added a little sweetness, a little lemon flavor, and a little tea.
Monica is this week's FEATURED BAKER--even though she didn't especially like the cake. But her rendition is beautiful, and I liked how cranky she got when things weren't turning out the way she wanted. (A girl after my own heart!) And I liked it even more when I read how much she hated piping. (REALLY a girl after my own heart!). So, Monica, you are awarded the coveted title of Featured Baker, with all the rights, privileges, and appurtenances thereto accompanying. Not just because you spent two days turning out a beautiful cake, but also because you just wouldn't give up! You will soon be rewarded for your perseverance. At least, that is what your fortune cookie said.
I was concentrating so much on finding cakes suitable for Passover that I forgot that this weekend is also Easter. I plan to make the pecan torte with coffee cream for my Easter dinner, and I don't see any reason why a Passover dessert can't double as an Easter dessert. As an added bonus, the pecan torte is Quick and Easy. If you want something else, though, you could skip ahead one week and banana cake with white chocolate frosting. (If you're having a crowd, you would probably want to double this to make a layer cake). The banana cake is also Quick and Easy.
Enjoy these cakes while you can, because coming up in May is one of the five or so cakes that filled me with dread when I read the recipe: the Saint-Honore trifle. It's not the five separate components to the trifle itself that are bothering me--it's the spun sugar. Here are a few excerpts from the instructions: "Cover the floor ... with newspaper." "Add the beeswax...." "When any smoking stops...." "Stand on a stool...." This is in the same category as the pinecone cake, the category being "Cakes that Make You Wonder if You're Totally Insane for Attempting Them."