It was a pretty small group that tackled the Lemon Canadian Cream this week, and an even smaller group that made the ladyfingers as well. But those of us who did were rewarded with a wonderful, (deceptively) light dessert that was perfect for Thanksgiving. And perfect for just about any other occasion.
Since I was obsessed with my own ladyfingers, and their lack of professional smoothness, I was also obsessed with checking out how the other Heavenly Bakers fared in the ladyfinger department.
Frankly, I was most impressed with Gartblue and Vicki, who both bought their ladyfingers. Not only did they buy them, but they bought the "wrong" kind--Saviordi instead of soft. But what they did with their "mistakes" was pretty impressive. Vicki turned hers into a kind of trifle, adding blueberries to the mix, to make a "showstopper" dessert. And Gartblue's looked stunning, even though she thought she'd burned the meringue.
Kristina also burned her meringue; she claimed that it looked bad enough that she had to scrape it off and start over. I couldn't tell because I was too jealous of her ladyfinger perfection. I tried not to be jealous, I really did, but when I saw her beautiful concentric circles, I couldn't help myself. But enough about me.
Special praise to Lois, who made her ladyfinger baking debut in Poland, using the white powdery substances she explained to the authorities were her baking supplies. And then she realized that she didn't have powdered sugar with her, so had to go to a Polish supermarket. And then, after all that, she remarked about how easy it was to make ladyfingers!
Nancy also found the ladyfingers to be "surprisingly easy." She had the good sense to watch Rose's video before tackling them--something which Hector also recommended and which, of course, is an excellent idea. Nancy made a half recipe, as she often does, and ended up with something both beautiful and, because of its small size, cute.
Raymond found the ladyfingers to be "so easy it hardly seemed worth the effort of tracking down the store bought ones." He also described the whole dessert as "deceptively simple." And, I have to say, his pictures make it look like he's been making ladyfingers his whole life.
Monica didn't think they were easy to make; in fact, they drove her to distraction. But they were on her "kitchen bucket" list, so she went at them with determination--and success--and then she wrapped her "crown" up with a big blue ribbon. So pretty!
But the FEATURED BAKER this week is Mendy, who likened his his ladyfingers to the "Great Wall" of Ladyfingers, or, perhaps, to a baseball glove. Mendy made his ladyfingers with a makeshift piping bag (a Ziploc bag), and his trusty toaster oven. I loved his wall of ladyfingers, his sprightly ribbon, and his good humor.
No piping bags next week, with the Chocolate Velvet Fudget Cake, although you will have to make a Marzipan candle if you want to imitate Rose's presentation. You would then cut the candle into very thin slices and drape a slice over each individual piece of cake. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be opting out of the Marzipan candle, but a good dusting of powdered sugar sounds like a great idea. We haven't made a plain butter chocolate cake for a while, and I'm excited about getting out a bundt pan and seeing what happens. (By the way, Rose recommends a silicone bundt pan, but after investing in a half-dozen different Nordicware pans, I think I'm committed to using one of them).
Next up are "Financier-Style" Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes--not really Financiers, as Rose says, because they don't have ground nuts in them, but you can make them in silicone financier molds. These baby pound cakes are, I think, going to look very elegant on a holiday dessert platter. (And in case you're missing your piping bag after the chocolate cake, you're welcome to bring it out in order to neatly pipe the batter into the financier molds).