Apr 21, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

When Raymond posts his cake-of-the-week, usually sometime late Sunday afternoon, it's the equivalent of the announcer at the Kentucky Derby shouting, "And... they're off!" From then on, I click on the blog every few hours to see who has posted next and what their results were. We had about a 50% participation rate this week, and a few people (Hi Sugar Chef! Hi Jill! Hi Elaine! Hi Rozanne!) who have been on hiatus for a while are back to baking. This week it was especially fun to read everyone's story because people generally fell into two camps: those who had heard of Whoopie Pies and had a favorite bakery or recipe and those who had never heard of them and who were a little bewildered by the whole concept.
Raymond, for example, has known them as Scooter Pies (in Ohio), Chocolate Goobers (filled with whipped cream),Moon Pies (Tennessee), and Whoopie Pies (California). Rose's version sounds like pretty much the best he's had in his travels, although he says that next time he'll just fill them with whipped cream.
On the other hand, Faithy confesses that she had never heard of Whoopie Pies until she started baking and has been "wondering what the hype is all about." Faithy ended making only three, large "flat as a pancake" pies because she mis-read the instruction. (Imagine that!) She also decided she might as well just fill them with marshmallow cream instead of making fake marshmallow cream. Her verdict: she'd make the chocolate pies again, only as cupcakes, not as Whoopie Pies, because she just doesn't "get the novelty of it all."
In addition to the excitement about the Whoopies this week, there was also a lot of hoo-hah about Rose sightings. Rachelino's got a great photograph of Rose making the chocolate lacquer glaze at a bookstore in San Francisco. Inspired, Vicki and her granddaughter trekked to the same bookstore. Vicki has notes from Rose's talk that are fun reading.
The FEATURED BAKER this week was definitely no stranger to Whoopie Pies. Kristina has fond memories of going to the Goody Shop Bakery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where her dad taught engineering. The bakery was "owned and operated by the same ancient man" who also baked all the treats. While other people went to the Goody Shop for the hot dogs always available on the roller racks, Kristina went for the Whoopie Pies, and she's never lost her taste for them. In fact, the Whoopie Pies are Kristina's madeleines, inspiring in her the remembrance of things past. In addition to photos of the Heavenly Whoopie Pies, Kristina includes a recipe for the WPs her mother used to make--a recipe that she quite possibly managed to "wheedle out of the guy who ran the Goody Shop."

I'm going to Detroit this weekend to see my younger daughter, and so I made the coffee chiffonlets ahead of time. I encourage you to bake them. I used Maryann pans instead of mini angel food cake pans because that's what I had, and they are just lovely as individual cakes. You could also bake the cake as a regular-sized chiffon cake, in a regular-sized angel-food cake pan, but I don't think that would be as adorable. Also it wouldn't be a chiffonlet. It would just be a chiffon.
The Saint-Honore trifle is coming up after that. If you want to get the optional beeswax to make the spun sugar, you can apparently get it at a craft store or a sewing supply store. But Woody says you don't need it. After reading the directions a few times, I hereby absolve anyone--including myself--of feeling any guilt if they decide NOT to make the spun sugar. You can top this quite nicely with whipped cream, and you won't end up throwing melted caramelized sugar onto your ceiling. We'll get a break the following week with the Gateau Breton, which, despite its fancy-pants French name, is on the Quick and Easy list.


faithy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
faithy said...

Enjoy your trip to Detroit! :)

Marie!..why didn't you say we don't have to make spun sugar earlier *pout*..i've already cut my new (but cheap) balloon-whisk out..lol!

BTW, i think you missed out Monica ...she made the whoopie pies too!

sorry..deleted earlier comment cos got typo..

Mendy said...


Just got my trifle bowl in the mail. Looking forward to it! :)

Jenn said...

Am undecided about the trifle and spun sugar. On one hand, I'm afraid of throwing caramelized sugar to my ceiling. On the other hand, I do like baking challenges and when else am I gonna make spun sugar. If I do make it, I won't use a cut whisk but will try to use 2 fork as Rose mentioned in the book. Mainly because I don't think I have the heart to cut a whisk, :).

Marie said...

Faithy (and all),
I missed lots of people, not just Monica. I read everyone's blogs, but don't always have time to include everyone in the mid-week roundup.
The idea of cutting a whisk is painful, isn't it? The whisk and the ceiling are just two of the reasons I thought everyone should be able to skip the spun sugar with a clear conscience. I'm going to attempt it if I have the time, but am not making any promises.
The trifle looks SO delightful that it would be a shame if spun-sugar-phobia stopped anyone from making it.

Monica said...

Faithy. .thanks for thinking of me, but I totally get what Marie’s is saying.. Its hard work to keep track of all of the bakers and I got everyone comments, so I know that you guys are reading me.

Marie... May I make a suggestion to make it easier on you? I also bake with the Tuesday with Dorie group (I know, I know, I'm totally double timing you guys!) They have come up with a good way to keep track of all of the bakers that bake that weeks' line up recipe. The blog owner creates a post about that's week baking recipe (simple 2 liner, with the recipe name on top as the header), and everyone that has baked that week, post in comments their respective links to their blog pointing to that recipe. This way there is one centralized way to keep all in one single place by recipe tittle. It may be worth a shot? Let me know what you think. You can even pre-arrange for those post to show up on the blog by pre-post dating them (let's say SATURDAY (before the due date, since we all know that Raymond will be the first on the list!).

Having said that, congratulations to the feature baker, I was touched by the story as well.

And I’m so ready to try the spun sugar on the trifle … I have not cut up the whisk yet, but I'm prep and ready to go, let it fly!

Katya said...

I want to spin sugar! I am not afraid!

anitsirK said...

Thanks for featuring me, Marie! Now I wish I'd plated my whoopie pies a little prettier. ;)

Funny, the thing worrying me about the trifle is finding a trifle dish (or reasonable substitute) that I like for relatively cheap. I may try to come up with some way of doing a smaller batch in individual portions. Also, I guess I'll have to make do with strawberries from California. It's definitely not strawberry season yet, here.

Vicki said...

It is like the Kentucky Derby on Sundays! I look forward all weekend to Raymond's post, then usually Mendy's and then Faithy's. All week I check in to see how everyone's turned out and can't wait for your Thursday Last Cake Next Cake. This baking group is so much fun. You really have a knack for hosting and writing. Well done! And that's not on the instant read thermometer either!

Nicola said...

I kind of like the thrill of seeing whether I get a mention from Marie... it wouldn't be the same if I was there every week. So feel free to randomly include me and know that it gives me a little smile!

I am bummed that I will miss the trifle, since I have been coveting it from first opening HCB. Maybe once I get back from Seville.

I made the whoopie pies - loved them! I miss them! Sorry for the late post, but alot going on.

Hi to everyone and sorry for not commenting everywhere...

Mendy said...


I agree with Nicola. Keep it random, it's more fun. :)

lanier said...

Hello everyone. I'm sorry to say that I can no longer keep up with 2 cakes per month and therefore will be leaving the Heavenly Bakers Group. I am still a Heavenly Baker at heart so will check back often to see how everyone's cakes are turning out. Happy Baking!

Hanaâ said...

In case you guys haven't heard, Rose's book won the IACP Cookbook of the Year award for Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Yay!!! Go Rose!!

Alpha Baker Joan said...

Greetings everyone -
I am very far behind, having just posted the Sicilian Pistachio cake and tomorrow set to do the Banana Cake. Next, I am looking forward to the Trifle. My trifle bowl has been sitting on the shelf a long time. It was never, however, the recipient of a flourish of spun sugar. Moreover, at present in a kitchen of 4 x 8 feet I don't think it will be in the cards. I will be envious, but we will make do with a wonderful whipped-cream flourish, and wish you all the loveliest of spun sugar and the cleanliest of ceilings.

Marie said...

I'm going to look at the Tuesdays with Dorie site and see how that works.

Thanks for letting me know--we'll miss you.