The Swedish Pear and Almond Cream Cake was another big hit. Just when I think I've already baked Rose's very best cakes, along comes another winner--last week the Bostini, and this week the pear cake. I'm either going to have to rethink my top five cakes at the end of the project, or I'm going to have to expand the list to the top ten.
Thanks to Kristina for clarifying what I finally figured out how this cake should be described. As it's not made with Swedish pears, and it doesn't have cream in it, it should be a "Swedish … pear … and … almond cream … cake, not Swedish pear … and almond … cream cake.” Got that?
Not so many variations this time--people mostly stuck to the recipe as written. Katya, whose mantra is "bake with what you have," used Bosc pears rather than Bartlett (because she had nice Farmers' Market Bosc).
Jennifer and Mendy used marzipan instead of almond paste: Jennifer because she mistakenly bought the marzipan and Mendy because he read Jennifer's comment on LCNC last week, which told him that marzipan would work. I like how we watch out for each other. By the way, Jennifer's blog is especially fun to read this week--not only does she show the cake, but she's also got some fascinating stories about her past life as a 20-year-old student in Simferopol, Russia.
Lynnette had already baked this as a pear cake for a "Free Choice" week, and decided to try it with apples this time. It worked with apples too, but she thought she'd add a little cinnamon if she made it again with apples.
Rachelino, who made hers for a party for a long-time, new-mother friend of hers, "dressed it up" a bit with a citrus glaze.
Sarah used all the requisite ingredients, but baked her cake while "camping out"--that is, without access to her KitchenAid, scale, and thermometer. Practically like a pioneer.
Joan used the intricately designed chrysanthemum pan.
Nancy B. chose the Bavaria bundt pan (excellent choice, Nancy!)
Vicki baked her cake in the classic bundt pan.
No matter what pan was used, the verdict was pretty much the same: a fabulous cake.
Lola said that the cake was "tender, delicious and light. My honey loves a little not too sweet treat in the morning with his second cup of coffee - this will be perfect!"
Raymond found this cake so much to his liking that he imagined Rose, recipe in hand, looking directly at him, and saying, She looks across the counter at me and she says, “Raymond, I know that you’re a tired, cranky, old curmudgeon, but just to prove that I do listen, this one is for you.”
Vicki called it an "amazing cake, so simple and yet utterly sophisticated."
For Maria it was comfort food par excellence, and she paired it with chicken soup as a welcome-home dinner for her parents, the weary travelers.
As soon as I saw that Andrea (who's been out of baking commission lately because of foot surgery) was so taken with the cake that she just had to bake it--by scooting around the kitchen on an office chair on wheels, I knew she had to be the FEATURED BAKER. What dedication! She had to send her husband to the grocery store to pick up almond paste (first going on-line and showing him a picture), and she had to do the cake in stages, resting after making the almond cream, but make it she did. And love it she did--she described it as having an "outside [that] was hard and slightly crunchy, and the inside was very soft."
I heard from Bungalow Barbara a few days ago. Barbara had to drop out of the group a while back, but she still follows our progress and now and then bakes along with us, as she did this week. Nice to hear from you!
Next week, it's time for another Free Choice. As we head into the final stretch (I have only 20 cakes left to bake!), the Free Choice week is a time for you to catch up, either by baking cakes that I baked in the three or four months before this group was formed, or by baking one of the cakes that you missed. It's always fun to see what choices people make.
After Free Choice, it's back to regularly-scheduled cakes. Next up there is a sponge cake: the Chocolate Genoise with Peanut Butter Whipped Ganache (p. 184). If you like the classic chocolate/peanut butter combination, this one's for you. No special ingredients or equipment required.