Apr 13, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

We were all crazy about our little Tomboys. I don't know why I waited so long to put this on the baking list, but all I want to do now is bake it again. And I'm not the only one.

According to Lois, this is "without a doubt the best chocolate cake in the book." (And that's really saying something).

Likewise, Shandy thought it was "the perfect size dessert and one of the BEST chocolate cakes I have yet baked."

Kristina "absolutely loved this cake. Soft, fudgey, moist, and delicious. The mousseline’s not necessarily my favourite buttercream, but it compliments this cake well. This is definitely on the “will bake again” list. I might just have to see how it does in a larger size for a party cake, too."

The cake was a "big hit" to Nancy's group of tasters: "lovely chocolate flavor, very moist, no criticisms there."

Lola made it for a ladies' lunch, and described it as "a lovely cake which is delicate and full of flavor at the same time.... [I]t was delicious and a perfectly charming cake to serve to my girlfriends."

Raymond pronounced the Tomboy "rich, dense and moist with an intense chocolate flavor and it keeps well for several days without getting dry." It's a "little gem."

But Raymond was more "on the fence" about the vanilla mousseline, which proved problematic for some bakers. It wasn't that Raymond had problems making the mousseline. "All worked out fine." But, although he thought it was "delicious," he also thought it didn't deliver "that hit of vanilla flavor I was looking for." Next time, he promised to use vanilla sugar and a vanilla bean as well as the vanilla extract and hopefully that will give me the vanilla flavor that I am after to pair with this intense chocolate cake."

Things did not go perfectly in the mousseline department for Jenn and Jennifer. In fact, they both despaired at times of ever coming up with an edible frosting. Read their posts for how not to give up on frosting, even when it's curdling, separating, and all the other sins that mousseline is heir to. It even drove Jenn to ladylike cursing: "$*%&^ $&#*%&!"

In the end, though, they were both successful. Jennifer described hers as "a delicious cake with an intriguing mixing process, bold in flavor and moist as they come with a silky, buttery, vanilla frosting. This Tomboy is welcome in my house anytime." And Jenn "felt really good to have a successful mousseline." Not to mention the fact that the cake is "so moist and chocolate-y. This chocolate cake is now one of my favorites in the book" (This is starting to sound like a theme, isn't it?)

By the way, we were all curious about the technique for making this cake, which is unlike any of the other cakes in the book. Any scientists out there care to explain why it works?

Vicki may not know why it worked, but she knows that it does, and that it's a great cake for your grandchild's birthday. And that is why she's our FEATURED BAKER this week. Not only did she make the Tomboy for her youngest granddaughter's first birthday (adapted somewhat for a little one who doesn't tolerate much dairy), but she also baked up an orange chiffon and a whipped cream cake. Rose's cakes have never been presented with so many sprinkles. As Vicki says, "Here's the best review of Rose's cakes: the kids at the party loved them all. Kids can't be fooled."

Honorable mention to Alice and to Faithy, who both baked from the book but were on somewhat different schedules. Alice thought we were baking the coconut cake this week--if you want to preview that, check out her blog. And Faithy thought it was time for her to make the Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache.

Finally, Maria will be missing from action for a while. She is looking forward to being a "bionic blogger" after her hip replacement. Have a speedy and uneventful recovery!

Our next cake before my own two-week hiatus is the Southern (Manhattan) Coconut Cake with Silk Meringue Buttercream. This, like Miette's Tomboy, has intrigued me since I first laid hands on the cookbook, but it somehow never made it in the rotation before now. This is a nine-inch layer cake, so it's going to feed a crowd. Lucky you if you've got egg whites in the freezer--the cake takes six of them. No worries if you don't, however, because the butercream takes five yolks (and two more whites).

The cake calls for several different coconut flavors: canned coconut milk for both the cake and the frosting, coconut extract for both cake and frosting; oiptional CocoRibe, and fresh or frozen coconut. Rose recommends fresh or frozen coconut so the frosting won't be too sweet. You can also sometimes find packaged unsweetened coconut at the grocery store, and I imagine that would do in a pinch.

We are going to France for two weeks, first staying in Brittany, and then finishing up in Paris. While I'm gone, Jenn has volunteered to write the "Last Cake, Next Cake" summaries. Thanks, Jenn!


Monica said...

Congratulations to Vicki...!

And Marie have a fab time in France! I could give you a huge list of thing to see, places to go, but I'm sure you handy list in your travel bag all set to go.. Bon Voyage!

evil cake lady said...

marie, have a lovely time in france! i'm a little envious, but i will drown my feelings in breakfast cake.

jenn, thanks for picking up the last cake, next cake slack. i guess it will be good practice for when you take over.

congrats to vicki!

faithy, the baker said...

Congrats Vicki!

So fun! Enjoy your holiday in France!! And have the best macarons and desserts there!

Vicki said...

Thank you Marie, for the tofutti vote of confidence! Can't wait to see your pictures from France. Have a wonderful and safe trip.

Anonymous said...

As far as booze goes, the cocoribe isn't very expensive.

Jenn said...

Congrats Vicki for the awesome showcase of desserts! Your littlest granddaughter is so lucky to have the Tomboy as her birthday cake!

Marie, have a fabulous time in France. Eat lots of pastries and desserts and drink the awesome coffee!

Like ECL, I will drown my sorrow in cake - which I think is not that bad of a place to be *grin*.

Jenn said...

Marie, I think it's good to have a few "oh this cake is so awesome" cakes at the very end. Otherwise it'd be even sadder.

I have a feeling Zach's La Bomba will be one of those cakes. For the Southern Manhattan cake, I've made it and I can tell you that it is AWESOME! (and I didn't even use CocoRibe).

Hanaâ said...

Congratulations Vicki. Your array of sweets was very impressive. Lucky granddaughters! :o)
Marie, have a safe trip and enjoy your vacation in France.

Katya said...

tomboy was a great cake!! I'll be making my frosted version this sunday so expect it lumped in with the coconut cakes.

Sarah Jo said...

Congratulations vicki. Tomboy was a great cake..

Nicola said...

Congrats Vicki,

Have a fantastic time in France! I am expecting to see lots of Jim's camera action in the coming weeks...