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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

We have a lot of participation this week. I suppose it's true what someone (was it you Marie?) said a few months ago - that participation would increase as the weather gets cooler. At least around these parts it is cooler now. I now have to say goodbye to my summer sandals and resort to wearing stockings, socks, and boots. Nothing wrong with those except I love sandals!

Anyway, I digress :). Here are this week's roundup:

Lois baked the most beautiful cheesecake. Her crust is so thin and even and the cheesecake brown evenly. She splurged on the expensive Philly cream cheese and it paid off. "M first reaction was that it tastes like Christmas - I guess that's what ginger means to me. The texture is light and fluffy. It's very good but not the best cheesecake I've ever made. I would fix it again for someone who loved ginger."

Melissa had mixed feelings about this cake. First she was looking forward to it due to the beautiful gingerbread man and woman hugging the cake. Upon reading the recipe and discovering it requires 50 ml of fresh ginger juice, the nervousness sink in. "Raw ginger is a pretty intense taste and much as we love ginger in this house, I just wasn't sure if 50mls would be too strong." Melissa is not one to back off though and in the end it was worth it. "Rose makes it all worthwhile. It was beautiful."

Not wanting to have to consume 1 pound of cream cheese and 3 cups of sour cream, Lola made 1/3 of the recipe and baked them in custard cups."I did have a few rather stale gingerbread cookies which I placed on the bottom of the cup. They made a reasonable crust. I didn't try to unmold them, but served in the custard cup." An easy and straightforward recipe, resulting in a tasty treat.

Katya made three cakes in the last couple of weeks, though only have a photo of one of them. First was the Apple Upside Down cake. She wanted to gift to her cousin as a housewarming party but only half of the cake made it to her cousin's house. Then there was the Ginger Cheesecake. "My crust was oily, probably because my cookies were less austere than your average gingersnap, but the cake itself was excellent, and was devoured by hungry librarians at a training I helped conduct on Saturday." Her last cake sounded so interesting to me and I wished I could try a piece. It was Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake of some sort, which consist of the White Velvet Butter Cake, filled with pear buttercream and pear butter, covered with Sticky Chocolate Frosting.

This cake is a milestone for Jane, who finished baking over half the book. It is a big accomplishment, considering she did it in 163 days. Reflecting back upon her 163 days journey, Jane commented that she loved how cakes bring people together. "You never have cake for a sad occasion.  This bake through ensures that I will have at least 2 celebratory moments with friends each week. It's a pretty great way to live." Another great thing about the bake-through, is that she lost 5 pounds in the process - due to paying more attention about eating healthy. As for the cheesecake, it was "a deliciously tempting, creamy ginger cheesecake. It tastes like Christmas and kind of looks like earth day. Seriously."

Kristina, having missed out a month on baking, made up for lost time and made 2 cakes: Hungarian Jansci Torta and Deep Chocolate Rosebuds. Out of both, she loved the Torta more. "I had a piece of this last night, and it was delicious. Moist, chocolatey, and nutty. Just what you would expect from a torte made with walnuts and chocolate, I guess! I brought the rest into work today, and got rave reviews." The Deep Chocolate Rosebuds, baked in cupcake format, was good too. "I think they really hit the spot with friends we had over for campfire and s’mores."

I'm not sure whether Mendy has made the cheesecake but I'm including him in the summary as we've haven't "seen" him for a while.  Mendy also made Deep Chocolate Rosebuds, which he admitted he is "deeply passionate about." "Maybe it was because I was out of baking for so long, maybe it was because I had not had a really good chocolate cake in a while, maybe it was Paris... Whatever the reason, these cupcakes were absolutely moist, delicious and gooey."

Having made the ginger cheesecake back in April, our FEATURED BAKER, ECL, who made a modified version of She Loves Me Cake as a catch up cake. She used raspberry ganache instead of lemon curd, as it is her favorite pairing for this cake component.  Another modification she made was to bake this cake in a square pan. ECL also outlined her methodology for converting the recipe: "So, if you wanted to turn this recipe into two 9x1.5 inch layers, as in The Cake Bible, just multiply the SLMC by 1.2 and you'll be about right! If you want to turn this into two 9x2 inch layers, the cake flour needs to be about 400 grams, which means almost doubling the SLMC. Plus obeying the weird-ass rules of baking powder (the smaller the pan the more you need, proportionally speaking)." I have to admit that the whole Rose factor of TCB confused the heck out of me but ECL made it sounded so easy. And it's comforting to know that we have her to consult, if ever we want to endeavor to making any butter cake in a square pan. And if you're not impressed yet, check out the awesome 3 cakes she made for her friends' wedding celebration. I feel that ECL is on her way to having a side wedding cake business soon!

Our cake next week is the Individual Pineapple Upside Down cake. It is the last fruit cake on the schedule. There are 3 components to this cake: the caramel sauce, the cake, and the pineapple sugar sauce (I forgot what it's actually called in the book). Though there are multiple components, they are not hard to make so no excuses for skipping them (I'm trying on a more stern demeanor, is it working? :)).


  1. Congratulations ECL! And a word to the wise, but I believe that everyone had issues with the Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cake... so I suggest a good read up at Marie's old site.. because the caramel got modify and Rose posted it...

    Other than that.. they are delicious little cakes - around these parts it was "the little man" favorite cake in the book.

    Bake on guys!

  2. Thanks Jenn and Monica! You are very nice. If I were to turn this hobby into a side wedding cake business I need to learn how to frost better. And pipe.

    I messed up the pineapple individual cakes something fierce--burned the caramel and used the wrong sized ramekins--and was thinking of a redo. However I am going out of town on Saturday for a week and I don't think I'll have the time :(

    Monica, I think you are referring to the Pineapple Pudding Cakes, and yes everyone had major problems with that caramel!

  3. Congrats ECL! I'm always so impressed by the variations our bakers come up with.

  4. @ ECL - you are right it was the pudding cakes! After I wrote it, I realized my mistake.. but I knew someone was going to correct me - Merci.! In fact, the upside down was my second cake that I made when I joined the group... a LONG time ago.. wow, it seems ages!

  5. ב''ה

    Thanks for including me. Your cheesecakes look fantastic. Hope I can make them next week. Better late than never! :)

  6. Congrats ECL on the featured baker. Enjoy your trip out of town. I'm putting in a vote for your business as well. I'd need to order anniversary cakes and we'd need to do something about air freight but other than that you've got my custom.


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