May 20, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

As usual, I'm amazed at the variations that people come up with in what's basically a very simple recipe: one layer of sponge cake, one layer of mildly lemony cheesecake, and a final layer of tart lemon curd. Except that Gartblue substituted a graham cracker crust for the sponge cake. Nancy B made passion fruit curd instead of lemon curd. Now that is an inspired idea.
Faithy substituted a cookie base for the spongecake AND orange curd for lemon curd.
Raymond has been getting worried about all the rave reviews he'd been giving Rose's recipes. As he says, "I was actually beginning to frighten myself, thinking I was getting soft in my old age but this recipe proved that I am still an ornery old cuss," and preferred his former teacher's recipe for "cheesecake in a glass." He included that recipe as well as another recipe for lemon cheesecake.
Katya, in an uncharacteristically restrained moment, baked only half a recipe of these babies, and sold them all at the bakery in no time. In contrast, Mendy doubled the recipe. Guess who was happier with his/her decision? Also, Mendy explained the Shavuot holiday: "Realizing that the new laws for slaughtering and preparing meat were complex, everyone just ate dairy instead until they got the hang of it." And that's how cheesecake came to be invented, boys and girls.
Kristina explained what biscuit means. She wrote, "This recipe begins by making a biscuit, which acts as the crust for the cake. It amused me that in this case, the biscuit name is actually literal — bis (meaning twice) and cuit (meaning cooked). It’s baked once on its own, then goes into the oven again as the base of the cheesecake. I’m easily amused."
Although Vicki includes pictures of her sadly overbaked (but only on one side!) sponge cake, her final photos of the put-together cheesecakes end up looking exactly like the pictures in the book. It's a good lesson on how not to let a minor setback like a burned bottom layer deter you from carrying on!
Jenn discovered, to her amazement, that she likes cheesecake, after years of not liking it at all.

called her versions "very little, as in non existent. These babies went out with the bath water. Let this be a lesson to all of you, just because your silicon muffin pan *can* float in your water bath, it doesn't mean that you should let it. Heed Rose's advice and put in that wire rack for them to rest on."

Our FEATURED BAKER this week is Elaine. Actually, it's both Elaine and her sister, "Little Miss HP." I loved it that Elaine had her very own guest baker, who baked a whole cheesecake, not the baby-cake rendition. Elaine gave this three stars for difficulty, although she said it was not so much difficult as time-consuming and four stars for "yumminess." She described the filling as "wonderfully creamy," not "dense and sturdy," as you'd expect. Elaine said her sister added a few drops of yellow food coloring to the lemon curd, because it didn't come out as brilliantly yellow as she had hoped it would. (The color must come more from the egg yolks than from the lemon, don't you think?) Elaine also reported that her fellow workers all liked the cheesecake, which she brought in to share--including Mark, who sent his high praises to H.P. I think it would be very romantic if one of Elaine's co-workers fell in love with H.P. because of the cheesecake and they lived happily ever after.

Next week is the beautiful Bernachon Palet d'or Gateau--the cover cake. This cake requires no special equipment and no special ingredients--unless you want to duplicate the cover cake. In that case, you need fresh currants and edible gold leaf. Good luck to you. I could find no fresh currants, and I priced edible gold leaf on the internet and decided against it. The cake, which uses the Rose's trademark lacquer glaze, is so gorgeous that it really needs no further decoration, but it's also so beautifully simple that it will accept almost any decoration, and my guess is that we'll have quite an array of presentations.

The following week is my birthday weekend. (It's all about me, you know). This means that it's Free Choice week, which means, in my house, it's Jim's turn to bake the cake. I'm sure you'll all be waiting to see which of the cakes he'll pick out. I told him to check out the Quick-and-Easy list. But the rest of you experienced bakers are not limited to the Quick and Easy cakes. Check out any of the cakes that I've already baked (and you haven't), and add it to your growing list of completed cakes.


Otava said...

You've done it! I finally caved and bought a copy off Amazon. Now to decide what to bake first...

Katya said...

Unsurprisingly, the Palet D'or Gateau was a big mothers day hit around the bakery. I didn't actually even get to taste any, but the scraps were excellent.I'm way too conflicted about what to do for free choice, but it's my sister's birthday so maybe I'll let her pick.

faithy said...

Can't wait to see photos of Jim baking and your birthday cake! :D Happy Birthday! :) I have gold leave somewhere - i bought it a while back and kept it in safe place..too safe until i can't remember where i put!

Elaine said...

aw.... thanks for choosing me as the featured baker :)

Happy Birthday :)

Nicola said...

Congrats Elaine. And yes, yellowy egg yolks = yellowy curd.

My Palet D'what what will be sans redcurrants and sans gold leaf.

I loved that cheesecake came about because life was too complicated. That is *exactly* when I crave cheesecake! I am going to attempt them again this week, this time with the rack.

How was the wedding? Photos? An MP3 of you and Jim toasting the happy couple? Four hours of wedding video?

So looking forward to Jim posting about your birthday cake foray. I am inspired to instigate that rule here too.

Monica said...

I'm so looking forward to baking up a storm this weekend... last weekend during all the craziness I miss it so much it was ridiculous. I'm actually thinking of doing the cheesecake as my free choice next weekend

I hope you had a great wedding day, because it just not all about the bride (or maybe it is, guess I will find out when Tom, gets on with it and makes an honest woman out of me)

Congratulations to Elaine!

Mendy said...


Congrats Elaine! :)

Matthew said...

Marie, I decided to join you all again this week. I posted my pics on Rose's forum:

Alpha Baker Joan said...

After having seen Matthew's cake, I was blown away. Breathtaking in the true sense.