Oct 20, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

Did the same woman who concocted the Apple Caramel Charlotte really devise the Many-Splendored Quick Bread as well?
It would seem so. And I guess that doesn't really indicate a Jekyll-Hyde personality, since both cakes are wonderfully delicious, in their own way, but it sure does point to the breadth (no pun intended) of what's available in this book.

Almost no one had trouble with this bread, except for poor Faithy, who painstakingly peeled her zucchini, substituted cashews for walnuts, and, after one bite, declared it inedible, fit only for the trash can, which is where it went.
More bakers were in Jenn's camp, who asked, rhetorically, "Doesn’t it look super yummy?" and concluded that she was "very pleased with the result." (Actually, Jenn's pictures do look super-yummy.

No one was quite sure what kind of bread this was.
Vicki called it zucchini bread, but thought that adding "carrots, banana and [her own addition of] lemon zest gave it a completely different flavor than ordinary zucchini bread."
Jennifer referred to it as the "zucchini/banana/carrot/oatmeal bread," and "wasn't sure" about the idea of it, but a group of enthusiastic doulas gave it solid ratings.
Katya dubbed the "banana-squash-carrot loaf" a "phantasmagorical concoction."
Sarah said she couldn't figure out why it was called "many-splendored" until she tried to describe it. Not zucchini bread, not carrot bread--she finally ended up asking her friend if she'd like "a slice of ... very special bread."
Mendy thought it was "splendiferous."
By the way, Woody said that there was some consternation after the book was published, when people found out that "splendored" wasn't really a word. I said, "But it's just like the old song, 'Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.'"  Blank stare from Woody. I guess that song was before his time.

As usual, there were a few additions or embellishments to the original recipe:
Kristina substituted chocolate chips for walnuts, and decided that next time, she'd add even more, for "just a bit more of a chocolate punch." (And congrats to Jay on his new job!)
Lynnette brushed it with honey and sprinkled it with a sugar-cinnamon mixture. She thought it was "tender, moist and colorful" but would add a few spices next time.
Lois pronounced it "perfect with a cup of tea," and that it might be even better with "more or darker sugar, maybe some chocolate chips or cinnamon."
Katya used winter squash instead of zucchini, and added a little tea from her teacup in place of some of the water.
Nancy B. added part of a bag of mini dark-chocolate chunks and substituted toasted pecans for the walnuts.

Monica--who beat Raymond to the "first post" punch this time--thought it smelled "tantalizing," and tasted even better, even though it had oatmeal in it ("not so yum").
Lola said it was "perfect with your second cup of coffee in the morning."
Raymond went her one better and said it's good to have around "all the time." "Perfect toasted for breakfast, a grab and go snack anytime during the day, perfect with coffee or tea in late afternoon, that nice little nibble after dinner and the go to snack for raid the kitchen in the middle of the night." (I think I want to live at Raymond's house).

Andrea loved "the green and orange specks in it" and thought it "almost looked healthy." Julie agreed that the ingredient list looked "pretty darn healthy," but then she did a nutrition check: lots of Vitamin A, calcium, and iron, but 341 calories in an innocent, vegetable-laden slice.

Nicola gets huge numbers of catch-up points. She blogged about the many-splendoured bread, but also gave us pictures and stories about 1) the chocolate-tomato cake, 2) the apple caramel charlotte, 3) the plum and blueberry upside-down cake, 4) the marionberry shortcakes, and 5) the lemon meringue cake.

You might not be surprised to hear that Hanaâ is this week's FEATURED BAKER. Really, how could I not give her that title when I saw first-hand what an excellent baker she is. (I totally and categorically deny that naming Hanaâ Featured Baker has anything to do with the fact that she brought me a delicious, prize-winning lemon cake.)
Hanaa omitted the walnuts and used dark brown sugar, which she preferrs to light brown, but thought she might try toasted almonds next time (she's not allergic to almonds, oddly enough.) Since her husband rated this bread 9.5 out of 10, she figured there would be more than one next time. She also thought a bit of orange zest would be nice, as would her favorite spice combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

A word about the next cake: Angel Food Cake (any way you like). When I first took on this project, I browsed the table of contents, counted the cakes, and wondered what on earth I'd gotten myself into. I couldn't figure out how I should count the Angel Food Cake Base Recipe on page 154. Should it be considered a separate recipe, or should I declare that the Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake was the only actual recipe that merited its own week.
I initially came down on the side of the Tweed cake only, but I had misgivings. When I finished the book, that meant I'd still have one recipe not crossed out. That thought did not appeal to the OCD part of my nature. And then I baked the Chocolate Tweed cake. Too painful to revisit, but for those of you who don't remember/care, it did not go well. That fiasco made me determined to try again, and that line of reasoning is what gives us next week's cake--the do-whatever-you-want with Rose's base recipe.

Just take that recipe,and let your imagination run wild. The base recipe has one egg white, and would make one mini angel-food cake. I bought a small (but not mini) tube pan with a 9-cup capacity. I'm going to multiply the base recipe by 8 (or, more easily, divide the quantities in Chocolate Tweed by 2).
You can make whatever quantity you want, in whatever shape pan you want to try. You can add any flavorings you want. You might want to use coconut extract in the cake, frost it, and cover the frosting with coconut. You might crush up some peppermint candy and use that for flavoring. Or lemon. Or chocolate. (My mother used to make a chocolate angel food cake that she slathered with whipped cream--and, later, to prove she was modern, with Cool Whip). I don't recommend the Cool Whip, but the chocolate cake was quite good.
I'm hoping we'll end up without any duplicates. But, frankly, what I'm really hoping is that my own cake doesn't fall out of the pan and collapse into a messy heap on the counter.

The following week, we finally get to The Bostini, which for some reason seems to hold the record of the most-baked cake that has not been assigned. Those who have made it have given it rave reviews.


Katya said...

Excellent. A home for the quart jar of egg whites in the freezer...

Mendy said...


Ha! Ladies and gentleman, the Bostini has landed. Love its track record.

Congrats to Hanaa!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Congratulations to Hanaa!!!


Hanaâ said...

Thank you, Marie!!! Especially for your kind words. And I'm glad my lemon cake had nothing to with the Featured Baker pick :o) I feel really blessed I can eat almonds and always try to incorporate them wherever I see fit.
I'm very much looking forward to the Angel Food cake. And I already have a flavor combo in mind for it.

Vicki said...

Congrat's Hanaa! Your bread was so pretty and light. I like the tip of adding lemon juice to bananas.

And, uh, Marie, I must have pulled a Rachael's Beef Trifle because I swear the recipe called for lemon zest!

faithy said...

Congrats Hanaa!!

LOL! Vicki, I still can remember the episode of Friends..Beef Trifle..and the fact that Joey actually likes it! LOL!

evil cake lady said...

Congrats Hanaa!

I can't wait to see what we all come up with next week. I have enough egg whites for a what feels like a million mini cakes. Think of the possibilities!

And FINALLY: the bostini!

evil cake lady said...

oh and PS: totally thought the bread name was a riff on "love is a many splendored thing!" splendored isn't a word? you learn something new every day.

Katya said...

Oh, come on...don't give up so quickly. Words are born from usage.

Jenn said...

Congrats to Hanaa!!!

Marie, I know that song "Love is a Many Thing." I love Frank Sinatra and his baritone voice!

I was planning on skipping the angel food cake but now you are swaying me. Maybe I will make a mini version.

Hanaâ said...


Check this out. Jenn's choc genoise caught Rose's attention and she posted it on her blog:


Congratulations Jenn!!

Hanaâ said...

Oops. Here's the link again:


Monica said...


And to my main chica as well, Jenn...

Look at you both, blazing thru here... with awards and special mentions. Setting the high bar for the rest of us.

Marie - as always, I live for your recaps, because I have no idea what happen, but I missed a lot of the other bakers post on this bread, oh wait, no cake... No BREAD... Whatever - it's done and cross off the list.

And as Mendy mentioned... We finally have The Bostini landing! And the recipe has been posted (with permission from the publisher) here: http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/ild/2010/heavenly-cakes/boston-cream-pie-bostini.html

Such an alluring winner deserves to be shared, I'm sure many of us are going to get the request of the recipe from our readers.

Angel Food cake... mmm, I'm with Jenn, though of skipping it, but a mini may entice me.

Andrea said...

Congrats Hanaa!! I loved the color of your bread, and the lemon cake looked delicious.

Congrats Jenn for getting recognized on Rose's blog!

If I have time to bake the Angel Food cake tonight I will. I have some caramel in the fridge leftover from my husband's birthday cake that I think would make a nice drizzle over the cake. If not, it will probably be a week or two before I'm able to bake with the group again because I'm having foot surgery tomorrow.

Rose Beranbaum said...

i know that "love is a many splendored-thing" is a song but what i was really thinking of was the book by han su yin called "a many splendored thing" and definitely recommend reading it. it's been many years but i still remember how romantic and moving it was. they even made a movie with jennifer jones playing the lead.

marie, i'm glad you're getting back on that bicycle of the angel food cake. i can't remember why it fell out of the pan but word to the wise to all of you--avoid drafts and avoid humid weather when making this type of cake.

just had to take a break and turn the soft white bread baking in the oven. i freeze slices to use for meatballs. probably if i bought wondra bread i wouldn't be able to tell the difference what with garlic and herbs and the meat but it's so little work to make and is the softest dough. it gives me such a good feeling always to make my own bread.

ps mendy your bread looked amazing--i can't believe you can turn out all these things in a toaster oven. all of your breads looked plus perfect!

Jenn said...

Thanks Hanaa for posting the link. I was over the moon yesterday (and still am today :)).

Thanks Rose!

Monica said...

That is it.. Rose just told me that I can not make the Angle food cake... and we all know how we battle the humid weather here in Florida.

So, I'm out! FREE PASS! jejejeje

Alpha Baker Joan said...

Hanaa, your bread looks sooo wounderful, golden and delicious.
Well, I just baked the many splendored angel food cake, took it out, turned it over onto the top of a colander, which i had read was a great thing to do, and, like Marie's -- plop in lop-sided capsize into the colander.
It was a bit too moist. Maybe humidity. It's color was good, but only 30Mins. So -- Try again in the morning.
I forgot to add the flour bec it was still in the fridge. That may have contributed in some way.
I think I remember Woody alluding to the fact that one usually loses more than just one -- lol

Alpha Baker Joan said...

I am really out of it:
oops - wrong: I forgot to add the chocolate not the flour to the Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake.
Sorry for confusion.