Most of the bakers who did this cake had lovely and uneventful experiences with it. Only ButterYum and I were devastated by the sinking of our respective cakes. And thank you for your notes of sympathy on my cake's demise!
Kristina (and her husband and her co-workers) liked the cake a lot; her only problem was that 1) grating the chocolate was messy and 2) she didn't have a wine bottle that fit her cake pan (and she makes wine!). And Jenn turned hers into cupcakes. (Has there been a cake that someone hasn't turned into cupcakes? I hope that someone always does a cupcake variation with the recipes because I love to see how they turn out. It also occurs to me that if I had made cupcakes, my cake wouldn't have turned out the way it did).
Hmmm. Two bakers' angel food cakes failed. Maybe Woody was right when he said your chances of getting it right were about 90%. I'm just glad I was in such distinguished company with a fallen angel food cake.
Lois is this week's FEATURED BAKER. First, her cake turned out beautifully, even though she rarely makes angel food cakes because she thought--mistakenly, it turned out--that she didn't like them. I could be envious of her lovely cake, but my good angel is telling me to enjoy her success, so I won't succumb to envy. Second, she made it for her husband, who loves angel food cakes, which I thought was very generous of her (she must have been listening to her own good angel). Third, she made the cake while she was drinking Bellinis and while in the company of a picture-perfect bright red amaryllis. It's a recipe for an idyllic life. Fourth, she emphasized what a healthy, guilt-free treat this is (not counting the whipped cream, which she didn't make anyway)--and she even calculated the calories and the grams of carbohydrates per slice. If you're ever feeling guilty about the cake habit you're developing, just go to Lois's description of this cake and you'll feel practically virtuous.
Next week we're doing the Tu-Bishvat pineapple upside down cakes. I have never made a Tu-Bishvat cake before. This is clearly a holiday that did not originate in northern North America; with our February snowstorms and icestorms, we're not going to be planting any trees. If you were in Israel at this time, you'd be seeing beautiful flowering almond trees. (Don't confuse this with the recipe for caramelized pineapple pudding cakes, which we'll get around to eventually). For these cakes, you're going to need a nice, ripe pineapple and full-fat yogurt. Nothing too hard to find there. As I mentioned last week, you can bake them in the NordicWare mini pineapple pans. (I ordered them--I'm getting an insane collection of these pans!). You may also want to get yourself a squeeze bottle for decorating with the pineapple caramel drizzle (mmmm, that sounds good). I've noticed that some of you use these, and I think it's such a clever idea.
The week after that is when we're finally getting to the True Orange Genoise, the cake that's been causing us to search for the elusive Seville orange. And the touchy Seville orange. Like others of you, I've found that these little babies turn green without giving you any advance notice. I've squeezed mine and now have a stash of Seville OJ (serving a big glass of that would be a good April Fool's prank). If I have time, I'm going to make the orange curd this weekend so I don't have to worry about the juice staying fresh. According to the recipe, the curd is good for three weeks in the refrigerator.