Another round of catch-up cakes. As usual, most people go to the Quick & Easy list for their Free Choice. Nothing wrong with that--as Nancy (who did not choose the No Bake Whipped Cream Cheesecake from the Q&E list) said, "I am finding these multi-component cakes more of a struggle to tackle, probably in some combination of cake-of-the-week fatigue and a higher stress level from other stuff than usual. After the bake-along winds up..., I'll need a long break from recipes that need more than a couple of components, especially if one of them involves beating sugar syrup into egg whites." Well, we all have our particular bête noire: for some of us it's Italian meringue; for some it's piping.
Alice gets extra credit for veering away from the Q&E Route since she's new enough to the group that she still has most of them on her To Bake List. Instead, she opted for the tiramisu instead of the red velvet cake because it was "more of a challenge." It was her first attempt at ladyfingers. Most of you will sympathize with her struggles.
Both Raymond and Vicki baked the "She Loves Me" cake, which Vicki aptly renamed the "They All Love Me Now" cake, since we all know the way to anyone's heart is through their cake-eating stomach. "Simple and very satisfying," says Raymond. "Straight to the top of the Make Again List," says Vicki.
Jennifer also did one of the satisfying yellow cakes, in the form of Yellow Butter Cupcakes topped with leftover white chocolate lemon buttercream. What a great thing to have leftovers of! So much nicer than, say, tuna casserole. After "falling off the baking bandwagon" for a few weeks, Jennifer is back (and a force to be reckoned with, judging from her teaser photo of the Devil's Food Cake).
Jenn posted an even mini-er version of the Mini Vanilla Bean Poundcakes, turning the little cakes into cupcakes. Although the book's version of these cakes isn't frosted, Jenn thought it would be "fun" to make buttercream. She tried Lyle's Golden Syrup in neooclassic buttercream, "flavored with orange flower water and orange oil." Exotic! If that wasn't enough, she "took a bar of Green & Blacks white chocolate [she] had in the freezer and grated some over the cupcakes. The topped with little pink non pareils for more cute effect."
Maria was amazed by the simplicity and flavor of the Whipped Cream Cake. If you haven't looked at her photo yet, check out her version of "dessert paradise," the whipped cream cake topped with strawberries and figs, mixed with jam and a bit of Chambord.
Lois went in a different direction from these choices with her English Gingerbread cake, figuring it would be a good dessert for her st. Patrick's Day dinner. (Yes, she assures us, "the Irish make gingerbread too"). She was especially pleased at being able to find Lyle's Golden Syrup--"it took three stores, but it was worth it."
I've just changed the "Next in the Oven" section to list all the upcoming cakes. As you can see, we'll be finishing up with Zach's La Bomba cake on May 16. Rose said this would be a perfect cake to end the project with (except, of course, those of you who want to keep on baking with Jenn) because it would be a culmination of everything we've learned along the way. We'll also have two Free Choice weeks in a row, since I'll be in France for those two weeks.
But before we get to La Bomba, let's just concentrate on making the Orange-Glow Chiffon Layer Cake. Here in Minnesota, where we've just had a spring snowfall topped with gray skies, we need some glow. For those of you who've made the Bostini, you know how good this cake is--and it will be fun to try it as a layer cake. Especially topped with orange marmalade whipped cream. If Hanaa gets her way, there will be some chocolate worked in somehow.
Coming up: the Karmel Cake (both caramel and Karmel), topped with "a cloud of Coffee Cream." Rose, what are you doing to me? I'm afraid to step on the scale.