Here are Rose's pictures of the original marzipan candle, and the original recipient of the cake and candle:
For example, Jennifer found it "simple to make" and "satisfying to eat."
Joan said it was "luscious" and "not difficult or time-consuming."
Raymond judged it "so easy" and "nice and light and flavorful."
Katya thought it was "very simple" and "easy to eat," although, to be honest, she was perhaps more enthralled with her new Heritage bundt pan than with the cake.
Lois, still cooking in her "little Polish kitchen," thought the cake was "soft and tender." She thought it was easy even thought she had to substitute migdałów aromatycznych for the aromat waniliowy, which you'd think would be enough to drive anyone to drink.
Vicki declared that the cake was "incredibly light crumbed" and "very easy to make."
Andrea thought it was "super simple," but hadn't tasted yet as of posting time.
Monica really said it all: The cake is "perfect because its easy to make, easy to decorate, easy to served and the most important easy of all? To eat."
For Kristina, it was so easy that it didn't present enough of a challenge--she had to try the marzipan candle in order to make it interesting.
Mendy, who found the cake "delicious," also tried the marzipan candle. Nice work, Mendy, but the marzipan decoration isn't as pretty as your Hannukah candles.
For Sarah, the candle was the hero (or villain) of her piece. Villain because she thought it looked "ridiculous," and made both her and Steve "burst out laughing."
Although Jenn found the cake "dense and fudgy," she wasn't jumping on the quick and easy bandwagon, mostly because she broke her stride when she realized she'd forgotten to add sugar. She recovered, but worried about overbeating, and also worried that part of the cake stuck to the cake pan. She's going to give it another shot, though.
And Nancy was having so much fun making quick and easy chocolate cakes that she added another one: the Black Chocolate Party Cake, which she made in addition to the assigned chocolate fudge cake.
Our featured baker this week is Gartblue. As you may have noticed, I'm a pushover for anyone who goes all out, since I like to go all out myself. So I love it that Gartblue gave a birthday party for her daughter Ayisha that included not only the Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake ("what a surprise this cake turned out to be despite its deceptive appearance"), but also the Lemon Canadian Crown, which she'd stashed in the freezer last week, AND the chocolate ice cream cake. A birthday lunch at Gartblue's also includes lamb kebabs, meatballs in black pepper sauce, and fried vegetables. Coincidentally, this is what I want for my next birthday lunch.
Our next cake should also be quick and easy--unless, of course, you try making it with marzipan candles. Then I'm not responsible. It's the Financier-style Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes. You'll need half a vanilla bean, as you might guess, and egg whites only. Check your freezer. And isn't it about time for you to break down and buy those silicone financier pans?
After that, it's another Free Choice week. We've never had so many, but I want to give everyone a chance to play Catch-Up.
By the way, since cocoa is the basis for nearly all of the chocolate cakes--which means almost half the cakes in the book--Jenn was wondering if people have found a brand of cocoa they're satisfied with, and, if so, what is it and where do you get it?
I used Droste almost exclusively. Then I ordered a big bag of Perugina from King Arthur, and I've been quite pleased with it. It has a higher fat content than cocoa you can buy in the supermarket. I'll either buy it again when I run out, or I'll try some French cocoa and compare.