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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

There is not a lot of participation this week. Only 6 people - including myself - made the trifle. I suppose people have other plans that involved things more exciting than laboring in the kitchen making this trifle. My grand plan of scheduling it for the long weekend so we have more time composing it backfired? Oh well, I have no regrets. The trifle was made, eaten, and everyone happy.

"The day Rose's Heavenly Cakes arrived, this Chocolate Raspberry Trifle is the very first page I saw.  It stunned me" - says Vicki. She quickly added that she has dreaded making this recipe because her nemesis is genoise. Fortunately this time the genoise turned out great, "no hidden flour balls and it rose to the required height." She loved this cake - "the custard alone would make this recipe worthwhile" with eldest granddaughter wanting to "jump into a swimming pool of custard."

Lois celebrated US Memorial Day in Poland, invited friends over and served Spanish food and this trifle for dessert. She couldn't find raspberries so she used cherries, making her trifle "Black Forest-like." She made a 9x13 cake so they could fit into her "very flared salad bowl." Complete in her substitution, she used cherry preserved instead of raspberry. Though she noted that it takes more time to use fresh cherries, as they have to be "lovingly and patiently sliced and pitted." The trifle is a big hit with her dinner guest, with one friend said "you couldn't buy something like this: it's so special. It should be for a wedding or something."

Kristina halved the recipe and made it while her husband "was cutting the rafters for our shed’s roof." In the midst of that, she also did a couple of loads of laundry. If you're not impressed yet by her energy and multi-tasking ability, while the cake is cooling she went outside to help Jay with the shed. "Later, just before supper, I came back in for assembly of the cake." She loved the flavor combo of the trifle, though thought the cake was a tad soggy. She brought it to work, where "like always, it disappeared quickly."

Katya also made half the recipe and smartly used the content of her refrigerator. "The final product was composed of Moist Chocolate Genoise, apricot preserves, creme anglaise made with cream, milk, coconut milk and the dregs of the milk chocolate ganache syrup left over from the wedding cake prototyping (it was in the glass measuring cup I used, hence the brownish flavor), and raspberries." She brought the trifle to a picnic, where it was a hit.

Melissa, who proudly listed the new techniques she learned by making this cake "melting chocolate with boiling water, warming eggs, the mousse-like consistency of the batter, no butter in a cake," saying "it was fun." This is why she is our FEATURED BAKER this week. Melissa joined the Heavenly Cake Bakers to encourage herself to try out new cake baking techniques and to move outside her comfort zone. Her trifle looks grand, with voluminous piping of whipped cream that looks like it's crowning the trifle, instead of adorning it.

Our cake next week is the Swedish Pear and Almond Cream cake from page 58. This cake seems pretty straightforward, except it calls for a special ingredients: almond paste. Though you can substituted with marzipan as Jennifer and Mendy both did back in Nov 2010. I somehow had it in my head that someone made their own almond paste for this cake. My first thought was Hanaa, our champion substitutor, but upon searching on her blog I could not find it. I wonder who it is or if my mind is playing tricks on me, a much more likely scenario!

In any case, I plan on substituting the almond paste with homemade almond concoction, as I do not want to spend $5-6 on a tube of almond paste that I only use once. I think there's a frangipane recipe in the Pie & Pastry Bible that I could use. If my memory is correct, it's basically ground almond, butter, and sugar mixed up. Should be interesting :).


  1. Hurray! I've been wanting to try the Swedish Pear and Almond Cream Cake for a long time.

  2. I haven't made the Almond Pear Cake yet but at the time, everyone raved about it, so I can't wait. I happen to love almonds. I have a weekend trip planned though, so we'll see what time I get home on Sunday.

    I'm with you on the expensive tubes of almond paste. As for homemade almond paste, I thought it was Vicki who made it so I checked her blog for this cake. Although she didn't make homemade almond paste, she included a link to a recipe from Joe Pastry that she would use next time: It's pretty straight forward. I've made marzipan before so almond paste should be less work.

    Congrats Melissa! Glad you had success with this week's genoise recipe.

  3. Congrats, Melissa! Well done! :)

  4. Congratulations to Melissa!

    And wew.. since this weekend Tom and I will be soaking up the Florida rays in our beach cottage while the bug men takes care of getting rid of our rental house with termites, I will not be baking, all of my kitchen pantry is sitting in double plastic bags out on our dinning room table... but then I realized that I had done this cake (and it is good people, so don't miss out on it)..and like Hanaa, I went on the hunt you yes, you can make your own almond paste:

    1 1/2 cups (8 oz.) whole blanched almonds*
    1 1/2 cups (5oz.) sifted powdered sugar
    1 egg white
    1 tsp. almond extract
    1/8 tsp. salt
    Grind whole blanched almonds in a food processor. Add powdered sugar, egg white, almond extract and salt; work to a stiff paste. Store in refrigerator or freezer tightly wrapped in saran or disposable plastic bag. Makes 1 1/3 cups (13 oz.) almond paste.

    * Note on blanched almonds: it’s very important that the almonds you use in this recipe are blanched. You don’t want the brown skins in the almond paste. Unfortunately, the cheapest way to buy almonds is at Sams Club or Costco and those bags are unblanched. To blanch almonds yourself is easy. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the almond into the boiling water and let them boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Then strain the boiling water off the almond and dump them into a bowl of cold water. In a couple of minutes, you’ll be able to slide the skins right off the almonds. Let the blanched almonds dry a little before you make almond paste with them.

    Good lucks guys!

  5. Congratulations Melissa! I love that Jenn said your whipped cream looked like it was crowning the trifle instead of adorning it. Another great round-up Jenn!

    FYI: Since I used marzipan I omitted the sugar from that part of the recipe. I hope you like the cake, I do remember loving it!

    I will save my trifle for fresh raspberry season, which should be July. I'll be out of town and chasing a toddler this coming week, so I don't think I'll get a chance to bake. See you all for free cake week!

  6. jenn--great job! so funny: i saw the photo first and thought "where on earth did you unearth such mammoth raspberries until i realized you have to have made individual servings!

    re the almond paste--it freezes very well and you may, in fact, want to make this cake again and again. it was photographer ben fink's partner's top fav of all the cakes he tasted from the book.

  7. Lois, yay from me too!

    Hanaa, thanks for the link to joe pastry. I hope you'll have a chance to bake this weekend.

    Monica, thanks for the recipe and the tips on almonds. I do the same thing when I blanched almonds.

    Rose, how funny re. the mammoth raspberries! :).
    Thank you for your note about almond paste, it's good to know it freezes well. I'm excited about this cake and now you've increased my expectations hehe.

  8. Oh thanks so much for the Featured Baker mention! What an honour. I've been having a great week, eating trifle, reading everyone's trifle posts and now this - thanks. I'm looking forward to the pear cake!

  9. It's going to be quite difficult not making this cake again~it was that good! Hopefully I'll tackle La Bomba that I've yet to make.


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