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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

For this week's free choice, not only we have lots of participation but some people bake extra cakes. I wonder if people are getting psyched in their efforts to catch up.

Monica made both Golden Almond Lemon Cake and the Carrot Cake. Now that she finally own the Heritage Pan, she danced around her kitchen and put the Golden Almond cake together, all in a matter of minutes. This cake is not only easy but would make a "perfect gift-away gift cake. I really loved it.  This is one of those cake that if you wait they will taste even better the next day and the next and the next." For the Carrot Cake, she took Rose's recipe and went to town with modification, adding exotic ingredients like crystalized ginger, orange zest, and walnuts (okay, these aren't exotic ingredients, per se, but they sound exotic inside a carrot cake). The birthday girl -who she made this for -loved the cake, "and most of the guest loved it as well."

Vicki baked not only two but three cakes!!! First was Heavenly Seduction Coconut Junior Mint Cake, named so because she accidentally grabbed peppermint extract instead of coconut. Next, she made Blueberry Round Ingots (the original recipe calls for plums). These are her favorite out of the three financiers, "the beurre noisette really stands out in this recipe." Vicki ended her free choice with Spice Cake with Peanut Buttercream. She remembered her brother made Peanut Butter Cupcakes when she was 5 year old, thinking that peanut butter cupcakes seemed odd to her. She doesn't share her childhood opinion anymore, calling this cake "a nice spice cake, very lightly flavored.  The Peanut Buttercream has such a soft texture with the butter and cream cheese."

Alice also made the Golden Lemon Almond Cake. She was inspired to make this cake after seeing - in-person - Rose's demonstration of it the week before. The cake was a hit with her and her husband, with words like "sublime", "best cake yet and ridiculously moist." She liked it so much she's thinking of making it again this weekend.

Jane made the Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache. This cake is becoming her favorite because "it is so incredibly easy to make, easy to impress, and creates excellent dinner conversation as everyone tries to guess the mystery ingredient." Jane seems to have fun friends as they spent 15-20 minutes trying to guess the mystery ingredients and came up with interesting ideas: "Rum? Vodka? Citrus flavored liquor? Mayonnaise? Mustard? Cumin? Tarragon? Roasted Red Peppers? Paprika? Cream Cheese?"

Andrea, who is back after a 2-month-hiatus, baked a 6 inch German Chocolate Cake to satisfy her craving. This is not any ordinary craving, as she 4 months pregnant. Congratulations!!! The cake was a bit dented on one side, though you can't tell from the photo as she frosted the cake with ganache. She "liked how moist the cake was, but wished the filling was a little sweeter."

Lois made the Apple Upside Down Cake. She loved the toasted walnuts on the cake and made extra, knowing it will go on beet salad. She also can't wait to try "this cake with cherries, toasted almonds and Amaretto whipped cream."

Jennifer made the Hungarian Jansci Torta, a cake she's "been dying to make ever since the group made it in October 2009." Though admittedly she hasn't been "THAT dying to make it as I've waited until the last free choice of the bake-through to make it." Jennifer, who is always renaming her cakes with all sort of clever verbage named this one "Sorry Your Marriage Wasn't As Good As Your Cake." She frosted her cake with leftover raspberry ganache from May 2009 in the freezer and added this cake to her breakfast cake list. It is "lovely, light and chocolatey."

Katya made the Southern Coconut Cake with Silk Meringue Buttercream for her friend Jessica's birthday. "The icing was fluffy, the cake was fluffier." Katya was especially proud that she's "able to transport the perfectly frosted cake without a blemish through nearly an hour of bus and walking and street fairs, etc..." She considered the birthday cake a success due to the fact that a 3 year old at the party invited her to a sleep over.

Kristina made Tiramisu, which she said is one of the easiest cake in the book - once you have all the components ready. She calls the cake "the perfect late afternoon pick-me-up." She also admit that she is "slowly joining the dark side" as she started to enjoy coffee-flavored dessert.

Next week we have the White Velvet Butter Cupcakes. It uses 3 egg whites, so it's a good opportunity to use your stash of egg whites. If this cake doesn't interest you, keep in mind that you can make 2/3 or 1/3 of the recipe. Yes you can! All you need is a calculator and a dash of bravery. The frosting you can make ahead and you can flavor it 7 different ways! The harder route of fruit sauces (apricot, raspberry, strawberry), the easier route of citrus oil (orange, lemon), chocolate or coffee. Or you can keep it plain. I'm curious to see what everyone come up with.

The week after we have Zach's La Bomba. This cake calls for blackberry or blackcurrant tea, which you might think is easy to find, but not necessarily so. My local grocery store has 20 brands of tea (yes 20!) and not a single one is blackberry/blackcurrant tea. I've heard Twinnings and Lipton has this flavor but I don't see it (maybe it's one of those rare to find, only-produced-in-certain-season flavors). In any case, you might want to start hunting for those teas. I got mine at Teavana, the tea is called "Blackberry Mojito" (love the name). It's a green tea but it's not very green. They do require you to buy a minimum of 2 oz, so if you're not a tea drinker, $7.80 might not be a price you want to pay. In that case, you can always steep some frozen blackberries with a regular black tea. It should work.

The 9 sentences that I just wrote about tea ends this guest post of Last Cake, Next Cake. Marie is back next week - with hopefully a bunch of photos of croissants, macarons, and Brittany's scenery so we can ooohh and aahh over them.


  1. Man, you are good! Another hit over the park, I think Marie has got competition on the recaps! And let me say - Congratulations to the mother-to-be - Andrea!

  2. Ooh congrats Andrea! That's so wonderful.

    I love the post. It's so fun to read about everyone's baking adventure.

    And I could not agree with you more- I went to 5 different grocery stores in my area (including 3 specialty stores) and no one had it. That was smart to go to Teavana.

  3. Thanks Monica and Jane! I'm glad you liked the recaps :).

    Jane, Teavana has stores in some locations. It might be worth finding out if they have one nearby - if you're interested.

  4. Very nice write up! Thanks for the heads up on the tea.

  5. great write up Jenn!

    although the cupcakes use only egg whites the frosting is egg yolks only, so there might not be much waste.

    can you guys find republic of tea? they have a blackberry sage black tea i used to enjoy. also kind of expensive unfortunately.

  6. ECL, I forgot about the frosting using egg yolks - Oops. I was too focused on thinking on something smart to say LOL.

    Thanks for the blackberry sage tip! Yes republic of tea is not cheap.

  7. I found blackcurrant tea locally pretty recently--it's Twinings "Blackcurrent Breeze", and I think I found it at the regular Publix, not a specialty store. It's a black tea base.

    My cake-of-the-week post just went up--I timed my Chocolate Raspberry Trifle to serve at a dinner for some co-workers this evening. Too late for the Last Cake, Next Cake post, alas!

  8. Now I see why people like the Last Cake, Next Cake post! It is fun to read through what everyone did, and what adventures they had on their way to the perfect cake.
    Thanks for doing these roundups, Jenn! You did a fabulous job. Great practice for when you take over--which will be sooner than you think.
    We just got back from France yesterday, and Jim is sorting through the thousands of pictures he took. Really--his camera has become a permanent attachment.

  9. Marie, welcome back! It's my pleasure to do these round ups. I had a good time, and it's good for practice. The next 2 weeks will fly by really fast...

    I'm looking forward to seeing the photos of your trip and hearing all about it.


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