I wasn't the only one who was feeling a little snooty about plain white cake and milk chocolate frosting, only to be wowed by the actuality.
Perhaps Sarah said it best: "Whoa, Nellie! This cake is a dark horse if I’ve ever met one. And it has nothing to do with dark chocolate. The white velvet cake itself is lovely, but the ganache–oh baby! Never will I look down upon milk chocolate again." Sarah also has an amusing minute-by-minute accounting of her day--or how the easiest cake in the world "ate her day."
Faithy didn't feel like making a whole cake, so she made cupcakes, which she declared to be "totally yummylicious! I love the "whiteness" of the cake. So pretty! Cake texture is soo soft with such delicate crumbs. I love it." In other words, she loved it.
Mendy, with the big family and/or generous heart, doubled the recipe, as he sometimes does, and ate it up within two days. (I'm sure he didn't eat it all by himself.) If you haven't read Mendy's post yet, do read it especially for his beautifully appropriate quotations from Song of Songs.
Kristina loved it, but that fact didn't come as a surprise to her because she's made it many times before, including as a weddingcake. She made them as "velvety soft cupcakes."
Shandy thought the cake was "nice and fluffy" and the frosting "delicious," but didn't think it had the "to die for" quality that she's found in some of the other cakes.
And, of course, some people were more smitten with the ganache than with the cake.
Jennifer confessed her love of milk chocolate to the world: "The ganache is made from milk chocolate, and I love milk chocolate. So creamy! I like to let a square of milk chocolate melt on my tongue; it melts so nicely and is so delicious! Dark chocolate, although better for you and more aligned with foodies everywhere, just doesn't satisfy me. I guess I will always be lower class ;)" The plebeian Evil Cake Lady made a luscious-looking cake.
Some people were at least as impressed with how easy the cake was to put together as with how good it was.
For example, Raymond thought it was so simple to make that it would convert even the laziest of bakers: "This cake is proof positive that a top quality scratch cake is even easier than a mix (not that any of us would ever use a mix), but for those of you out there that still do, try this once and you won’t ever use a mix again."
Katya called this cake "simple but snappy"--"Not the most exciting cake but solidly good, a basic, a birthday cake...or, as Jill said, 'A good cake to mas into ice cream.' It's a reminder of how far I've come since the days when I could bake mean bread but had no clue how to turn out a perfect white cake." (Katya made the cake even snappier by using a chocolate-caramel-cranberry ganache).
Lola also liked how easy it was (she made it in cupcake form), as well as "delicious," and said it "will be on [her] list when [she] needs a lovely white cake."
Andrea echoed this theme: she found the cake to be "incredibly simple." As well as praising the cake for being "wonderful" and the ganache for its "creaminess," Andrea was pleased with her pretty new glass covered cake stand--a Christmas gift from someone who got the hint after hearing her complain about her "ugly plastic cake container."
After I saw the other cakes, I was glad that I'd remembered to do some decorations. As I thought,some of the other cake bakers really tarted their cakes up--although many left theirs "plain," which turns out to be very attractive.
Maria's was most like mine--tiny white sprinkles on top of a ganache that she loved for its "slow, lava-like swoopiness."
Nancy B. calls her pretty piped-on lovelies a "token amount of decoration." I call it professional-looking myself.
Monica's cake took my breath away. And any baker who can make me stop breathing is a FEATURED BAKER. I remember the day when Monica did not consider herself a cake decorator. Now that she's started taking classes, though, she's really blossomed. Not only is her ganache perfectly beautiful, with artful spiky studs on the side, but she also used "leftover fondant" (see what I mean? Who has leftover fondant?) to make gorgeous ice-blue flowers. Always the sentimentalist, I gave Monica extra credit for making this cake for her BFF and writing a heartfelt tribute to her.
Speaking of extra credit, Jenn gets some. Jenn had baked this cake and blogged about it way back in November. Not wanting to be idle, however, she used this week to bake the Fruitcake Wreath (in cupcake form).
Don't be idle next week! It's yet another Free Choice week, and whether you make the Fruitcake Wreath, the Whoopie Pies, or the Pinecone Cake is up to you--but I'm sure you'll want to cross another cake off your list.
Coming up after that--the Genoise Tres Cafe: a "coffee cake" made with real coffee (and Kahlua, if you've a mind to). If you've already made the White Gold Passion Genoise, the cake will be a repeat for you, but the final outcome is not going to resemble the White Gold Passion. This cake specifies 53% cacao chocolate--I'm going to be spending this weekend looking for that. I may also look around for some chocolate-covered coffee beans, one suggested decoration.