Jan 20, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

It was a little weird sitting this week out, and just reading the exchanges between the bakers. I kept feeling that I was not doing something I was supposed to be doing, and then I'd remember that I wasn't writing my blog. But Hanaâ was, and doing a fine job of it, I might add. Thanks!

The Tres Leches cake seems to be a love-it or hate-it kind of thing. A couple of bakers had an almost visceral reaction to the milkiness of the cake. Raymond, who can always be counted on for a forthright opinion, concluded that, "The taste wasn’t all that bad but I just can’t get past the sopping wet cake concept. When I sliced it and it was sitting in all that milk my stomach did a little flip-flop. I just found it gross."

On the other hand, Gartblue decided that the cake tasted "really really classy and nice." She said she "love[d] the milky taste, and although she thought it might be "overkill" to eat a slice with whipped cream, she ended up eating "ALL of the cream that came with my slice. It was that good!"

And Nicola kind of hedged her bets, concluding that, "I think I like this cake. Even with the buttery whipped cream on top. I can imagine eating this, straight from the fridge on a hot (but not humid) day."

I hope you looked at all the versions of the cake, and especially of the whipped cream topping. While I just slathered the cream on top, plain, when I made it, others of you did beautiful, imaginative, and decorative things with the whipped cream.

The FEATURED BAKER this week is Sherrie, who gets first prize for persistence and dedication. After she baked the sponge cake, she looked at it, decided that she did not like the way it looked: it was not tall enough (yes, she measured it!) and it was "as pale as [her] Canadian butt." So she simply baked cake #2. Yes, I am a huge fan of anyone who is so gamely up to the challenge that she just shrugs off a less-than-perfect first try and goes at it again. She was not fully satisfied with Cake #2, but since she'd invited her running friends over for cake and running, she said, "I had to serve them something."

Cake #2 looked beautiful to me--she made little decorative swirls with caramel left over from the pumpkin cheesecake. Although she's fixated on the height of her cake (anybody else measure their cake or know how high it's supposed to be?), she found the cake "refreshing"--the kind of cake that should be served on a "hot summer's evening"--even though she was enjoying it in not-so-delightful temperatures of 0 degrees C. (I feel your pain, Sherrie).

The next cake up is our first angel food cake--it takes a lot of egg whites (14, to be exact), so I hope you've been freezing all the leftover whites. Make sure that you bake the angel food cake until it's completely done. Bad things happen when even slightly underdone angel food cakes are placed over a wine bottle to cool. That's all I'll say for now, but I'll have more to report next Monday.

If any of you are seeking more NordicWare buying opportunities, the individual pineapple upside-down cakes that are scheduled for the following week can be baked in adorable little pineapple molds. They can also be baked in slightly less adorable, but equally serviceable, 5-oz. ramekins. Or whatever you have available.

The cake calling for the elusive Seville oranges is coming up quickly. Mendy, Jennifer, and Vicki have found them, and I have some too, courtesy of Vicki, wonderful purveyor of sour oranges.
You may have noticed that February 22 is a "free choice" week. What I have in mind is that this is a chance for you to bake one of the cakes that I made before we started this group, or one of the cakes that the group baked but you missed, or even one that you baked before and would like to try again. I wasn't thinking so much of one of the cakes that we haven't baked yet, because I think it's more fun if we bake them together, but I guess I'm not going to pitch a fit if somebody really wants to do that.

We have another new baker this week. Toni describes herself as being "giddy with excitement" over the prospect of joining the group. On the list of Heavenly Bakers, it looks like she hasn't blogged for three months--but she has. There must be some glitch in the feed. She's already baked the Barcelona brownies and the chocolate streusel coffee cake. So don't believe Blogger when it tells you that she hasn't been baking, and visit her blog anyway.

You may have noticed that I occasionally delete someone off the list of bakers. This is not like having your name erased from the family Bible. Sometimes people are just too busy or have something else going on in their lives, and find they can't be active bakers for several months. But anyone is always welcome back in the fold.

It may be a few weeks before Saira is able to bake again. Her father died, sadly and unexpectedly, and she is spending time with her family. She would appreciate it if you keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Jennifer has started a flickr photo pool. It's for anyone who wants to share their pics of stuff they've made from RHC; they don't need to be part of the the bake-along.
She says that anyone can browse through, but only flickr members can contribute. Becoming a member is free.

Finally, on a more somber note, several of you have talked about feeling some distress at watching news of famines and suffering while you're baking cakes. I've shared that uneasy feeling of having too much when others have too little. I don't think it's a solution to the world's injustices, of which there are too many, to stop baking. But, as Vicki said, "Maybe we should find a way to turn baking into fundraising."
According to a recent Zogby poll, 64% of Americans have already given, or plan to give, money to a Haitian relief fund. I invite all of us to consider, whenever we bake a cake, how we could also give to those who don't have cake, or even bread and water.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Note to Toni - I was unable to leave a comment on your blog because I'm not a "team member". So here is the comment I tried to leave on your chocolate ribbon post.

What a FANTASTIC way to make chocolate ribbons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love it and will make a note!

Btw, I felt the same way when Rose first responded to one of my questions (I called my mom, my sister, my best friend...). She's really a wonderful lady.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Congratulations Sherri - I loved reading your post this week!

Great idea Jennifer - I've added a bunch of photos to the flickr group.


Nicola said...

Congrats Sherri! Great post - even with the visual of the whiteness of your Canadian butt.

Welcome Toni. Hope that giddyness lasts and lasts!

I have been thinking a lot about turning these cakes into cash for those less fortunate, Haiti, Africa, South America, my neighbours near and far - sadly, too many choices. I think my Tupperware cake container is going to hit the delivery circuit!

Do Tupperware make a cash donation container??

Hanaâ said...

Congratulations, Sherrie. I’m glad you enjoyed the cake that much :o)

Marie, thank you. It was fun to hose for a day. Btw, how do we know which cakes you’ve already baked? Are they all on your old blog?

faithy said...

Congrats Sherrie!!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Here's a list of what Marie baked before the group (I didn't realize there were so many Marie).

May 2009
tres leches
yellow butter cupcake w/chocolate egg-white buttercream
black chocolate party cake
she loves me cake
spice cake w/peanut buttercream (recipe included)

June 2009
banana refrigerator cake w/creamy dreamy white chocolate frosting
golden lemon almond cake
chocolate raspberry trifle
financiers au chocolat
ginger cheesecake w/gingerbread crust

July 2009
Rose red velvet cake
plum round ingots
heavenly seduction coconut cake (recipe included)
apple cinnamon crumb coffee cake

Aug 2009
marble velvet cake
no bake whipped cream cake
deep chocolate rosebuds

Sept 2009
white golden passion genoise
german chocolate cake (recipe included)

anitsirK said...

The links to each of Marie's posts for the previous cakes can be found on my blog at http://www.eatsndrinks.ca/heavenly-cake-list/

Patricia @ ButterYum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Fantastic Kristina - I didn't realize your list included Marie's pre baking group posts.

Thanks again for going through all that work.


NancyB said...

Kristina--an additional recipe link for your list of the cakes: Joe Pastry posted the Golden Lemon Almond Cake recipe this week in his dialog with Rose about the cookbook. Here's the URL:

Hanaâ said...

Here's another one for this week's Angel Food Cake: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120565822.

anitsirK said...

Ok, I'm starting to feel kind of guilty about hosting a location where you can find an ever-increasing collection of the recipes from Rose's book in one place, for free.

Rose, if you read this, could you please let me know whether you would prefer me to:
a) Remove all the links to the recipes that I have on my site (at Eats n Drinks)
b) Stop collecting the links to the recipes (leave the ones I have there)
c) Continue maintaining the list, allowing more people to enjoy your recipes, hopefully enticing them to buy the book.

For now, I think I'll just stop collecting them, until I hear back.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

anitskirK, i think my editor will have a heart attack when she finds out that the actual recipes are being given out on the internet! thanks for asking. the rule is only three are aloud "out" and that is why marie is only giving out the recipes for three of the cakes on this blog.

please coordinate with her as to the choice of which three but also amazon was allowed three--one is the red velvet, another is the whipped cream and i forget which the third one is.

EVERYONE: i couldn't wait til tomorrow and tuesday and just had to sneak a peak. you all did so fantastically with this angel food cake--i'm so proud! and raymond--so glad you liked this one so much--even when you don't your work is always so stunning it's a pleasure to see. and i'm a big fan of honesty.

love to you all!

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

kristina, maybe i misunderstood--it's fine and wonderful to have the photos of all the steps to making the recipes--it's just the exact recipes themselves that have to be limited and i don't see where you put the recipes up on line--am i missing something? anyway thanks for being so considerate. i don't imagine that even if all the recipes were up on the internet for free it would stop people from wanting to have the actual beautiful book with everything bound in one place! but those are the publisher's rules.

anitsirK said...

Rose, I have been keeping a list of the cakes as we bake them at this location: http://www.eatsndrinks.ca/heavenly-cake-list/

For a handful of them (the ones Marie has posted, and the ones that people have found the recipes elsewhere online -- like at NPR as Hanaâ mentioned above or at Joe Pastry), I have linked to the recipes, when they can be found already posted elsewhere on the Internet. One of them (the barcelona brownies) even links to your site. I'm not posting any recipes, just links to them, which makes it easy to find them all in one place.

I just want to make sure that doesn't bother you, before I continue.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

thanks kristina. i've e-mailed my editor and will post her response as soon as it comes.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

kristina, my e-mail marked IMPORTANT got stuck in spam! just sent it again and editor replied that they really would prefer not having a list of recipes or where they can be gotten free on the web so that ppl will be encouraged to buy the book. i do thank you for the effort you went to tyring to make things more accessible for people and especially for being so considerate to ask how we felt about it. there is an extra reason not to have anything pointing to the recipes and that will be a surprise to be revealed in the next few months!

anitsirK said...

Thanks for the response, Rose. Links removed! I'm still linking to the blog posts, mostly for my own reference -- I hope that part's not an issue.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

kristina, i left a comment on the heavenly bakers as i had so many e-mails this week i couldn't find yours. just wanted to be sure you got it. my editor said to please remove the listing of cakes and thank you for asking.