This is our third winner in a row! Everyone who tried the chocolate genoise with peanut butter whipped ganache--even those of us who, like me, were doubtful about the combination--fell in love.
I didn't even think about decorating mine. I was happy just getting the frosting on the cake. But most of you did beautiful and imaginative decorating.
Faithy, whose bottle of Chambord is still in mint (unopened) condition, used miniature Oreos for a cute touch.
I can't tell what kind of chocolate candies Raymond used, but they look pretty. He also took the extra step of cutting his cake layer in half in filling it with the ganache. To me, slicing a cake in half is a step to be avoided if possible, but Raymond seems to take it in stride.
Vicki, who loves Valrhona, had some chocolate pearls on hand, and she used them to decorate her cake. The pearls look like the candy that Raymond used--my apologies if I didn't recognize pearls when I saw them.
When it comes to decorating, Jenn knows how to pull out all the stops. First, she made cute little cupcakes. Then she piped on different decorative icings. And then she topped them with assorted chocolate flakes, including some that were the initials "KB" (for "Knitty Baker"). Mind you, even after all this, she wasn't satisfied, and complained that her icing looked too grainy. I don't think so. Jenn, if I had your piping skills, I'd take a grainy frosting any day.
Joan's decorations didn't take the chocolate route. Instead, she placed fresh blackberries on her cake--a nice marriage with the Chambord. After our cake was long gone, I noticed that I had another bag of frozen marionberries, and I wished that I had used those for a garnish. Too late.
Katya's cake was topped with just a few raspberries (red, not black) in the center. A nice touch. Katya thinks that this frosting would be excellent with a yellow cake, and I'm inclined to agree.
Andrea is another baker who knows her way around a pastry bag. She said she had just enough frosting left to make her cake "look pretty" before she took it into work. It almost looked too pretty to eat.
Jennifer didn't use anything extra to decorate, but she did do her trademark swirl, which looks pretty and festive.
Gartblue also used her trademark swirl, which is different than Jennifer's. Congratulations on your promotion, GB!
Nancy used still another swirly pattern for her cake, which her supervisor at work declared to be the best ever. (As Nancy noted, however, supervisors do not necessarily always get a piece of cake brought into the office, so his sample was limited).
Mendy didn't decorate either--he did something even better. He doubled the recipe for a dynamite-looking layer cake.
Lois's cake is pure in its simplicity. Besides, she was so busy gathering up varieties of white powdery substances, hoping to get them all by the TSA people, that she had no time for any decorating folderol.
Like Katya, Kristina thought red raspberries instead of black. She translated that thought into a Framboise syrup rather than using fresh raspberries, and that also sounds like a good variation.
Did I mention that we fell in love with this cake? Our FEATURED BAKER, Sarah, really fell in love. She describes the cake as "a peanut butter and jelly sandwich meets a Reese’s peanut butter cup from heaven, and it is so divine that feeling guilty simply didn’t cross my mind as I licked every spatula in sight." Feeling completely enamored, Sarah put together a series of pictorial tributes to a slice of the cake: imagining it as "on a yacht, parked outside of its mansion," "represent[ing] our country in outer space," and being completely at home in the oval office.
Is it possible that this cake could encourage across-the-aisle peace and understanding? Could it be that a slice of cake with a cup of tea could make angry Tea Partiers happy? Sarah, your assignment is to take a bunch of cakes to D.C. and bring about detente.
We'll see if next week's cake, the Lemon Canadian Crown with homemade ladyfingers (optional, but recommended) , can continue this unbroken chain of love. I have already made the ladyfingers and, as I predicted, they did not turn out to look exactly like the pictures. In fact, Jim said they looked like arthritic old woman's fingers instead of lady's fingers. On the other hand, I tasted the lemon cream filling, and I think its glorious taste should outweigh the less than handsome ladyfingers.
The next week, we're back to chocolate: the chocolate velvet fudge cake. This cake, which is on the Quick & Easy list, is your reward for making the ladyfingers.