Dec 1, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

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).


Monica said...

@ Mendy - CONGRATULATIONS.. well deserved sir, the great wall was totally a hit!

An this weekend cake looks yummy, I'm think I'm even going to surprise myself and bake it ahead of the weekend (I have a serious cocktail paper to prepare this saturday) - can you tell I'm going to live on the wild side.

Katya said...

Nice work, guys. I think the lemon crown will wait until I'm done with my papers...but it will come.

Lois B said...

Congrats to Menday! Very well deserved. I'm always amazed by your toaster oven creations.

Mendy said...


Thank you for the honor Marie. It was not actually the Toaster this time as I made this parve.

Vicki said...

Congratulations Mendy and Happy Hanukkah!

Jenn said...

Congrats Mendy! I love the name of your ladyfingers :).

Great write up Marie. I'm hoping to catch up on this cake for the free choice.

The marzipan candle looks so pretty in the book but I've read Rose's instruction twice and am confused. Is the candle supposed to be baked with the cake? I thought I read that it needs to be inserted somehow.

Andrea said...

Congrats Mendy!

Nice post Marie. I'm hoping to finish my cake this weekend because the ladyfingers are sitting in the springform pan in my freezer still. I did get a piping tip this week at the bake shop that I think is closer to the correct size, but I don't think I will be redoing my ladyfingers right now.

Hanaâ said...

Congratulations Mendy. Loved your "Chinese wall" :o)

I made the Choc Velvet Fudge cake exactly a year ago and it was wonderful; moist, chocolatey and melt-in-your-mouth tender. So don't skip it!! I'm debating whether to make it again or make something else I didn't get a chance to make, like last month's Choc Genoise.

Marie said...

There are some posts on Rose's forum that talk about making the marzipan candle. It doesn't sound like you'd bake the candle with the cake.

I was wondering where your cake was! I think this is one you'll love. Sorry you're busy with papers.

Sorry for misidentifying your cake as one of your toaster oven masterpieces. I was just thinking of all the cream, but now that you mention it, I did notice that you had a dairy substitute shown in your mise en place photo.

Jenn said...

Marie, thanks so much for the link! Duh, I am a moderator over at Rose's forum, but didn't think of searching for the marzipan candle over there :).

evil cake lady said...

Congrats Mendy! A well deserved honor, considering how good natured you were about your great wall of baseball glove lookin ladyfingers.

I'm saving this cake for warmer times, when something lemony and frozen sounds good! However, the Chocolate Fudge Cake was a huge hit with my family and it was dead simple to make. I didn't take any photos so I'm considering baking it again...we shall see.

Katya said...

Creamy lemony spongy goodness...? Oh, I'm pretty sure I'll love it. Someday... Maybe it can be my contribution to my boyfriend's mother's christmas brunch, as she's also a fan of lemony and creamy things.

Hanaâ said...

I came across this blog post and just had to share it. It's a similar lady finger dessert with a cake bottom, filled with bavarian cream. It looks so elegant. On top it has this cute "cage" made out of caramelized sugar. That cage reminds me of a cake I saw in The Cake Bible. Check it out:

PS: unless you understand Spanish, you might have to turn on Google Translate. Or you could just drool over the pictures :o)

Baking Sorceress' Apprentice said...

Congrats Mendy! You always add joie de vivre to our little group! : )