Free choice weeks are nice for me--I don't have to bake something unless I feel like it, and I get all those trips down memory lane--"oh, I remember how much I liked that cake," or "Now I remember how that cake fell apart in my hands." This week there was lots of participation, as well as just a mite of anxiety about progress on the road to completion of the project.
We are just about a year into this project, by the way--and congratulations to those of us who are still going at it, week after week. Raymond suggested that it would be fun to think about what cakes have been our favorites, and to have a poll. So start thinking about what 10 cakes you'd include in your list of favorites so far. The first week of October, we'll have an official poll.
What's amazing about the list of this week's cakes was the variety--there was just one overlap (and there would have been none if Jennifer hadn't decided to make two cakes!)
Vicki: Barcelona Brownie Bars ("full of chocolate, roasted pecans and more chocolate in the form of ganache. It's a simple recipe and judging how quickly they disappeared, will go on the Please Make Again list.")
Lynnette: Lemon (Lime) Meringue Cake ("Overall I think this is a tasty cake. I like the smooth filling, the flowery flavor of lime, and the light meringue topping,")
Lois: Yellow Butter Cupcakes with Dreamy Creamy (chocolate) Frosting ("The cake is tender and buttery with a crisp crust - and did I say quick and easy?")
Hanaa: Spice Cake with Whipped Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting ("I'll definitely increase the amount of spices next time. As for the cake's texture: melt-in-your-mouth tender! Yum.") By the way, Hanaa took this cake to a fund-raising bakesale to aid the flood victims in Pakistan.
Julie: Torta de las Tres Leches ("We really loved this cake. I liked how easy it was and we loved the flavor of it. We will definitely make this again.")
ButterYum: Designer Baby Grands Not strictly a catch-up cake, this was ButterYum's attempt to get the recipe just to her liking, which she managed by making the cupcakes smaller ("I guess the saying is true, because the third time really was the charm for me to finally get these cupcakes to turn out like the ones pictured in Rose's Heavenly Cakes")
Shandy.: The Bostini. Not a catch-up either, but an enthusiastic make-ahead. ("Vanilla pastry cream, orange chiffon cupcake batter, and a delicious chocolate butter glaze; what is not to love?")
Katya: Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake ("Angel food cake is one of those fun food substances that is all texture, like marshmallows, cotton candy, or pop rocks, all but the latter of which it strongly resembles. Looks like cotton, squishes into candy, tastes sweeter than should be allowed, and uses up a large egg white overrun from Rosh Hashanah challahs.")
Jen: Lemon Poppyseed Sour Cream Cake ("/Super delicious. My favourite parts are the crunch the lemon glaze produces and the poppy seeds gently exploding in the mouth.")
Mendy: Double Chocolate Whammy Groom's Cake. A third cake that's not a catch-up because it's not on the official list, but it joins potato kugel in a guest appearance from "Mrs. Mendy." ("When at long last we sat down to have the cake on Rosh Hashanah we realized that we weren't supposed to eat walnuts because the word "egoz" which means walnut has the same numerical value as "sin!" I suppose sin is an appropriate concept for a cake that is made up of brownies, chocolate cake, and a heavy dose of bourbon."
Kristina: Golden Lemon Almond Cake ("We brought it to our friends' cottage. It was a big hit. Between 5 of us, we ate more than half the cake Friday night, and the rest disappeared the next morning. Jay's convinced there has to be a some way to improve it, though. He wants me to keep making it until I find a way.")
Nancy B: German Chocolate Cake ("Put this cake in the winner column.")
Raymond: Marble Velvet Cake ("This cake was delicious. Not too sweet and perfect with coffee or tea and a good book.")
Jennifer: Sicilian Pistachio Cake ("Although this cake was low on my list of cakes to bake, and without the HCB (or Joelf) I probably would have never made the cake at all, I am really glad I did.") AND Marble Velvet Cake ("Rose really goes to town with this sour creram bundt, as the batter uses only egg yolks (six to seven of them!), a cup of sour cream, and a little over two sticks of butter. That, my friends, is a lot of fat. It makes this cake dense, rich, and truly velvety. She wasn't just usinjg pretty words when she named this a Velvet Cake.")
And so these cakes have been crossed off the "To be baked" list for the bakers, and the last crumbs probably eaten up by now. Good work, gang!
Well, you know what awaits us next--the Apple Caramel Cake with 7 full pages of instructions! But we can do it! Right? Can't we?
The week after that, we go from the (possibly) sublime to the (possibly) ridiculous: the only cake that I haven't wanted to make (not counting the cakes I dread making) in the whole book--the tomato soup chocolate cake. I'm reminding myself to keep an open mind.