Mar 30, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

I believe I started my last post--on the Orange Glow Chiffon Cake--by noting, rather smugly, in retrospect, that I still read the recipe directions pretty carefully.  Not carefully enough to see that I was supposed to use unbleached AP flour instead of bleached.  And not carefully enough to remember to insert the rose nail in the batter until after the cake was already in the oven.

I was glad to see I wasn't alone:  not the only one in this group of careful, thorough, excellent bakers to have trouble reading.  Fortunately, I wasn't the only one to end up with a nearly perfect cake despite a less than perfect attention span.

What really tickled me is that I wasn't the only one to forget the rose nail--when the whole point of this cake is that the rose nail allows you to make a chiffon cake as a layer cake, and not in a tube pan.

Jenn, usually as meticulous as they come, did just what I did: "I had already taken out my flower nail before starting the cake, but had somehow forgotten about it (it was hidden behind the the book). And only after the cake's been in the oven for 10 minutes I remembered the flower nail. What to do? I quickly open the oven door, grab the pan and stuck the flower nail in the middle of the cake anyway." Her cake sunk a bit, which she blamed on the tardy nail insertion, but, according to Woody, the cake is bound to fall.

, also careful (and determined--remember when she baked the Catalan Pinch Cake four times, trying to get the eggs to behave?), did the same thing: "The cake mixed up quite easily and I popped it straight into the oven forgetting the flower nail. Five minutes into baking and more than five swear words later, I shoved it into the batter hoping the whole thing wouldn't deflate." (It didn't).

Like me, Jennifer "glossed over" the fact that the layer cake, unlike the Bostini, called for unbleached flour. No harm done. No, any harm that befell her cake was due to a bit of a cock-up on the cooling front (to paraphrase a character in The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin). You can see what happened when you look at her photo captioned, "Bakers of the world: do not do this."

Nancy also missed the part about unbleached flour and just did the cake flour version of the Bostini base; she attributed that little error to her cake's ending up with a "concave bottom." Nancy also recommends not using Seville marmalade in the whipped cream--delicious on toast, but not sweet enough to sweeten the cream. Even so, she liked the cake, finding it "nicely flavored and well balanced with the orange whipped cream."
Of course, if you don't have a flower nail in the first place, this cake isn't going to work.

At least, that was Lola's conclusion, after she tried to make do with a two-inch metal decorating tip instead of a flower nail. Or maybe it was her cake strips--she says she's been having trouble with them. Whatever happened, the cake didn't. Or at least not as a cake. Undaunted, however, she translated the messed-up cake into a trifle, where it looked beautiful.

There being no Michael's outlet in Poland, Lois opted to make cupcakes, as in the Bostini recipe, topped with the True Orange Whipped Cream. Lois has sent so many offerings to Ed's office that she figures "the Polish Air Force will think that Americans are dedicated bakers."

Kristina had the flower nail, but, when she saw that her springform pan was only about two inches high, realized that it wasn't going to work for this high and handsome cake, so she simply baked it in a tube pan, a la The Cake Bible's version of the orange chiffon cake. She too is taking the rest of her cake into the office. (Is there a luckier group of co-workers anywhere than those who work with The Heavenly Bakers?)

But I'm making it sound like everyone had problems with something, when that's not at all the case.

Alice, for example, didn't think she much cared for chiffon cakes. But now she figures she "just hadn't met the right one before." She liked this one so much that, after feeding it to her friends and neighbors, she promptly baked another one. " Yes, that's right...I made two orange-glow chiffon cakes within about 5 hours of each other."

Shandy, who posted both about this cake and the devil's food cake, "loved the cake, and loved the true orange whipped cream!" Shandy also had some nice things to say about the rest of the Heavenly Cake Bakers: we are "captivating, in-depth, enthusiastic, imaginative, and open to new ideas."

Like Sarah, for example. She's not a lover of orange desserts, which always "remind her of Flintstones chewables." Or, as she put it, she was just not "feelin' this cake." Still, she went ahead and made it. And ate it. Even though, while she found "the texture was glorious," "the flavor [was] not great. Again, not the cake’s fault. My palate was simply not designed for the combination of orange and sugar on that level. Just the thought of a creamsicle sends chills up my spine." What?? How can you not like a creamsicle. Oh well, Heavenly Cake Bakers are not judgmental either.

Our FEATURED BAKER this week is Raymond, who can wax rhapsodic over chiffon cakes more than anyone I know. He has yet to meet a chiffon cake he doesn't like, and thinks he likes this one the best of all. As he says, "It is light and delicate, almost like an angel food cake, with a bright and lively flavor of orange. It needs no adornment and can most definitely stand on its own. While I like it as a snack cake and to pair with a cup of tea in the afternoon, it can certainly hold up as a fine dessert when paired with the orange cream."

Dear Bakers, only five more scheduled cakes and two Free Choice weeks. And we will then have baked our way through the entire book (except, as Woody never tires of reminding me, the Wedding Cakes chapter). Woody, maybe you can talk Jenn into baking a wedding cake. But not me.

I am looking forward to next week's Karmel Cake, however. This cake as "soft textured and deeply flavorful." Well, that sounds good. And it also gives us another chance to perfect our caramel-making skills. Warning: the instructions say that "the mixture will look slightly curdled." Since none of us like to see things that looked curdled, it's good to know about this possibility. And the batter looks very simple once the caramel's been made.

The two cakes after the Karmel Cake are both from the "Butter and Oil Cakes" chapter; after they're done, we'll be done with that chapter too.

I'm always glad to be a baker, but this week I'm proud as well. This Saturday, April 2, there will be many Bake Sales for Japan. Jennifer has written about this on her blog, as has Rachelino.

If there's no Bake Sale for Japan where you are, you may still be able to find a way to participate. Hanaa's employer is having a similar bake sale, and she's contributing to that as well.


Katya said...

It makes me realize how much I like the round-ups when I realize I'm sad not to be on it! Late again. And lacking rose nails. But what can you do? It was nice and cotton candy delicious.

Jenn said...

Congrats Raymond on being the featured baker!

Marie, I wonder how many people also only have 5 cakes left...

About the wedding cakes. Well, I do want to try the Deep Chocolate Passion - but in a smaller scale, maybe a mini tier. Something to ponder about - maybe after I finish the whole book ^_^.

Marie said...

I'm sorry, Katya! I read your "Savory Kek" post, but somehow I missed the orange chiffon.

I think that Nancy B. has the distinction of being the only baker who has never missed a cake, so she's closing in. There are a few others who must be close too. (I have enough trouble keeping track of my own, so I haven't tried to follow anyone else's progress).

evil cake lady said...

I'm so glad you take the time to do these round ups, Marie, as I missed a bunch of posts this week! I can't believe how close to done we are getting--well actually how close to done the official bake through is getting, as I have enough left to keep me busy for another three months. What an accomplishment for all of us!

Sarah the Bear said...

Congrats, Raymond! I love hearing everyone's thoughts. I'm sad I couldn't share the love for this cake, but 1 out of many ain't bad.
I'm also proud to be participating in the Bake Sale for Japan here in LA. What a community we bakers are!

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

i've never missed a tuesday posting or thursday roundup and i'm already feeling the loss with so few cakes left to go. perhaps what will help is the imminent signing of the next book contract (rose's heavenly baking). we'll be very busy indeed testing and writing up recipes and hopefully involving all of you in part of it!

Vicki said...

Are you serious, no wedding cake? Ahh come on Marie, wheres the fun in that? We've come this far and I for one would like to know how many swear words it takes to bake a wedding cake.

Congrat's Raymond. You were so right about this cake. Love love loved it.

Monica said...

CONGRATS to Raymond!

Like everyone, I'm sad to see it end as well, but fortunately most of us have slacked off enough to continue on until we are all done (guilty as charge!)... we will miss the round ups from you Marie... (but I know that my main chica Jenn will do a good job as well)

But, Rose comment made me giddy.. I so hope we get to participate in the recipe testing and get involved in the new book.

Katya said...

Well, I AM making a wedding cake this august. I'll let you all know how it goes, and I'm sure components at least will be Rose's.

Rose, so looking forward to testing for the next book.