Nov 11, 2009

Last Cake, Next Cake

I'm always surprised by the ingenuity of the Heavenly Cake Bakers. I'm such a rule-follower myself that daring - for me - would be using 57% cacao dark chocolate when the recipe called for 62%. Not that I've done such a scofflaw thing.
But you--you just blithely substitute white chocolate for part of the dark chocolate, or make them in square brownie pans instead of the requisite muffin pans.
Bungalow Barbara, this weeks's FEATURED BAKER is a good example of such direction-flouting daring. First, she cut the recipe in sixths because she wanted only two servings. Good for her--she didn't have to try to get 10 baby oblivions away from her sight so as not to give in to temptation, but she did have to divide everything in sixths. I call that impressive. Then she added raspberry liqueur to the cakes and to whipped cream and served them with a black raspberry puree (from black raspberries harvested from her own canes).

Barbara, her husband, and her cats, seem to lead a pretty idyllic life in her bungalow in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, a little village close to Madison, Wisconsin--famous for having the only de facto nude beach in Wisconsin (called Mazo Beach) and for being voted one of America's Coolest Small Towns. Lest you think that Barbara spends all her free time gamboling on the nude beach, my guess is that she doesn't have a lot of time to fritter away on such nonsense. Not only is she a Heavenly Cake Baker, but she's also a member of Tuesdays with Dorie, and she's already got Dorie's Cran-Apple Crisp posted on her blog.

I don't think next week's cake would work very well divided in sixths, but I could be wrong. The upcoming cake is the two-layer Woody's Lemon Luxury Layer Cake, with lemon curd filling and white chocolate buttercream. Its claim to fame, besides being the cake requested by Woody's t'ai chi sifu for his wedding, is that it uses 17 eggs (mostly yolks). Yes, 17. I expect a noticeable uptick in egg sales this week. Farmers won't know what to make of this break from the law of averages, but we'll understand what's going on. Save and freeze the egg whites for the angel food cake that will be coming up in January.
If you like lemon, do not be tempted to skip this wonderful cake. It doesn't have any unusual ingredients nor does it require odd-sized cake pans. You just need the courage to break 17 eggs.

* * * * *
Two new cake bakers on the blogroll: Jennifer, my good blog friend, who has been baking cakes from The Cake Bible for many years (not that many, really). I know her as Evil Cake Lady, although she is not at all evil.
We've also added Joan. She has a brand new blog, and has, in fact, just posted her first blog entry ever.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Congratulations Barbara! My tastebuds were quite intrigued by your black raspberry puree, and wish I would have thought to thaw some of mine out. Don't you love wild black raspberries!

Sugar Chef - I'm going to head right out for one of those silicone brownie pans!

anitsirK said...

Just in case it helps any other crazy person out, I wanted to share my experiences with baking the cake part of the luxury lemon cake.

1) Even if you read the recipe 3 times, you may not notice that there is lemon zest in both the cake and the curd, and you might accidentally use all your zest in the curd. So don't do that.

2. This cake bakes up just fine after sitting on the counter waiting for a sourdough loaf to finish baking for about 15 minutes.

iii) If you want to bake this in a 12" square pan, it seems to work fine. Since the 12" square is 33.66 cubic inches bigger than two 9x2" rounds, it'll be slightly thinner layers, but it bakes up fine (no falling, no adjustment to the quantities) with a flower nail in the middle (like Rose shows on page 204, though I put mine in the pan before putting the batter in).

d) This cake is really, really good, even just the crumbs, and without any of the filling. Can't wait to actually put it together and try it!

gartblue/azrina said...

gee, thanks anitsirK for the heads up on the lemon layer .. i for one, would have dumped all the zest and then would gasp very loudly and start to kick own backside. hahahaha

faithy said...

I baked the lemon cake in advance as i will be going away for holiday tomorrow and my post is put on schedule to be posted automatically on monday. All i can say is i think i like the cake on it's own without all the other curd and buttercream..but i did mess up the cake though..hahahaha..:p

evil cake lady said...

Aw thanks Marie for introducing me! I'm really not evil, unless you are on a diet. In that case, you may blame me for leading you into temptation.

I also baked and served Woody's Triple Lemon Threat last night and it was an all-around hit. So awesomely lemony! I even blatantly disregarded Rose's warnings and used unbleached all-purpose flour, and it was still good! (Yes, it would have been better with cake flour.) Can't wait to see everyone's cakes!

anitsirK said...

Marie, I just noticed -- I think your URL for Evil Cake Lady's blog is wrong. It seems to be not

Can you confirm, ECL?

Marie said...

Thanks--I fixed it.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I've decided to sit out during the lemon luxury cake this week. I have to make a Death by Chocolate Cake for my hubby's birthday and that's more cake than we need for a little while. Looking forward to seeing the other baker's submissions!


Marie said...

I can see that you might not want a death by chocolate and what might be called a death by lemon in the same week. When you read about it, though, I'm sure you're going to want to bake it sometime.

Bungalow Barbara said...

Hi Marie, thanks for your lovely write-up! And please feel free to visit if you are ever down this way.

The only time I've ever been to Mazo Beach was in November. November in Wisconsin *equals* clothing is required unless you're a big fan of hypothermia.

Maybe someday I'll work up the nerve for a little "cavorting" but right now I'm enjoying baking more!

Marie said...

We have the same weather here--I'm just looking out the window and contemplating the idea of a nude beach. Not so appealing.