Jan 5, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

I got a little nervous after recommending this cake so highly, in case it turned out that everyone else hated it. But I didn't have to worry--almost all the bakers who tried these little beauties were as crazy about them as I was.
One of Nancy's tasters (who can be pretty picky) declared it "amazing!"

Mendy, who recommends listening to Glenn Gould playing Bach while making the cakes, describes them as "pretty fab." (Which could also describe Glenn Gould playing Bach).

Jenn's reaction? "Oh man oh man. This is so good. The sponge cake is so moist and boozy it's so good. The cream filling is so yummy and fit so well with it." AND you must look at the lovely butterflies than Jenn (somehow) piped as cake decorations. AND--for the second week in a row--Jenn made a second catch-up cake: this time the She Loves Me Cake. AND she decorated those with piping that said, "Happy Birthday, Jenn" because, as you might guess, it's her birthday.

A few people had minor quibbles:
Kristina, who ended up doing a double post with this week's cake as well as last week's cheesecake, thought that the texture was "almost gummy" but that it "sure tasted good." Kristina's blog also has a nice thank-you to Rose, written in response to Rose's blog post about the mistakes she made when she started baking.

Katya thought they were a "bit too sweet" for her taste but "intense." She used a Kahlua-based syrup and a strawberry-rhubarb glaze, but, other than that, she stayed with the recipe.

Cake pan envy was mentioned more than once:
Monica, for example, posted an "ENVY ALERT" before mentioning the Mary Ann pan. But her brand new KitchenAid might cause other readers to feel their own equipment envy.

Joan decided she just HAD to have the pans, and went out looking for them. She found a super-deluxe version, with a basketweave pattern, which turned out looking great (despite Joan's concerns that she'd "manhandled" the genoise batter). The raspberry adornments look great too.

Jennifer too invested in the Mary Ann pans: her "investment" consisted of the eight dollars she paid at a big sale at Sur La Table this summer. She said she was willing to fork over eight dollars for a "single-use pan." After eating these cakes, though, she decided it wasn't likely to be used only once after all.

Raymond definitely felt no pan envy. In fact, he almost passed on this dessert because it was "another of the dreaded mini cakes which everyone knows I loathe intensely." However, he persevered, making two of them in 6-inch springform pans, hollowing out the center, and he fell in love: "This is total bliss. And, I have to say, make this in the six inch pan and you have the perfect Valentines dessert for two."

Hanaa found a big Msry Ann pan at a garage sale--one of those things you pick up because you never know, it might come in handy someday. After sitting on a shelf for a few years, it did come in handy. Hanaa, who can never resist the orange/chocolate combination, slipped a layer of orange pastry cream under the chocolate cream, for a double-creamy version. Much appreciated by her tasting panel, who called the cake "light", "European-style", and a "good flavor combo, the chocolate and the orange."

I also want to mention Nicola. Although she didn't bake this week's cake, she posted last week with a summary of some of the cakes she'd baked but hadn't had time to post about. She also announced that she was pregnant--with twins. Her delicate condition gives her a permanent excuse to be late, or not to have time to post. But, as several people pointed out, she might as well bake now, while she's not a complete stranger to sleep. Congratulations, Nicola!

Lois is this week's FEATURED BAKER. How can she not be? She didn't just double, but tripled the recipe! She took them to her office for a birthday treat--I'm sure the birthday person never envisioned something like these cakes when she made a vague request for "something chocolate." Even with the triple recipe, Lois blithely described the cakes as being "quick and easy." How far we've all come!

Next week is a true Quick & Easy recipe--the White Velvet Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache. This is one of the few recipes that doesn't have a photo, so you're on your own for decorating ideas. In the spirit of quick and easy, however, the less decorating, the better. You will have no problems with this cake, with the possible exception of cutting it in half. Some people (me, for example) look at this instruction with trepidation; now that I've got my cake slicer, however, things are easier. You also need a big hunk of milk chocolate, something we haven't used much for our baking recipes. Rose has specific suggestions for kinds of milk chocolate to use.

After that, it's yet another Free Choice week. Yes, I know we just had one. But, as I keep reminding you, we're counting down to the last cake. If you didn't make these Bull's-Eye Cakes, I can't think of a better candidate for your Catch-Up week.

Hope you all had a lovely New Year's holiday, and that your resolutions remain unbroken.


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

how funny that you should mention issues with cutting it in half...i somehow managed to cut a scoop in mine, so that the top half had a convex bottom and the bottom a concave top. very tricky.

nice work, Lois.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Lois on your badge of honor this week.. you do deserved it... TRIPLE the recipe.. oh my!

I'm on the fence with this weeks cake... I still don't know if I'm going to do this or not...

Plus all that crazy weather we been having in Florida has finally caught up and I think I'm coming down with a cold... so we will see.

evil cake lady said...

Congratulations Lois!

I'm looking forward to the next cake--quick and easy hooray! Also curious how the white cake will match up with the MCG. Can't wait to see how everybody decorates this up.

Vicki said...

Congrat's Lois!

Looking forward to making something with milk chocolate.

Jenn said...

Marie, great write up! I think your recommendation of Bull's-Eye is right on. It is soooo good! I thought of investing in Mary Anne pans, but I have 6 ramekins at home that are hardly used, so they're my "Mary Ann Pan."

I have made the next cake so this weekend will be another opportunity to catch up.

Hanaâ said...

Thanks for the write-up, Marie. What can I say? I love orange so I'm totally loving the orange season right now :o)

Congratulations, Lois. Well-deserved. Triple recipe! That's what I call dedication.

Andrea said...

veryone's cakes looked delicious! Congrats Lois!

I'm hoping I'll be able to participate some over the next few weeks, but I"m not completely sure because I just lost my job today. My employer closed the office I work in and a few others around the world and laid off almost everyone in those locations.

Monica said...

Andrea... So sorry about what happen to you.. I'm sort of in the same boat.. except we have been given notice, our offices will be closing at the end of the summer and we are all looking for jobs - IT SUCKS!

Mendy said...


Congrats Lois! Looks great!

Marie said...

Andrea and Monica,
So sorry about your losing your jobs. With this economy, you're in a lot of good company, but somehow that doesn't really help. Good luck in finding something that you like even better!

Andrea said...

Monica, sorry to hear you're in the same boat. I hope you find something quick. It's nice that they gave you notice.

Marie, thanks! I think I may find myself baking some just to relieve some stress. I can't spend all day looking for jobs. :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

Feed back is a wonderful thing - both when its good and when its bad. I am relatively new to your site and stopped by for a quick visit. I wanted you to know how much I enjoy the food and recipes you share with your readers. They keep me coming back I hope you had a great holiday and that the new year brings you health and happiness. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Brown Cookie Blog said...

I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog. You make beautiful cakes and with such care! Happy new year to you! Keep us drooling. :) Julie

Marie said...

Mary and Brown Cookie Blog,
Thanks so mnuch for your good wishes.

Lois B said...

Thanks, Marie, et al. Your kind words make me forget that "what was I thinking?" feeling as I began the third batch. :)