Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This one has frosting....

So....we've made a few decisions....

Janet doesn't really care for chocolate. Those chocoholics out there, please pick yourselves up off the floor. It's not the end of the world. It just means that we'll have two options periodically.

For those of you who don't know Janet, she's made a list of upcoming recipes and she's VERY diligent. What we've decided is ok not to follow the _Cake Bible_ word for word. We're going to mix it up a bit so we don't end up with a string of chocolate cakes at the end of the butter cake section. Like I said, Janet is diligent and you know what, I'm happy she is.

Also, after our last episode, I arrived today and she had everything in place. Obviously, she learned from our past mistakes and definitely remembered her mise en place.

This week we made the Chocolate Cherry Almond Pound Cake and the Golden Butter Cream Cake. That's pages 33 and 34 for those of you who are following along.

Here's what's different:

1. We did them out of order.

2. We frosted one of them. This led to what's different #1. We decided that we wanted to frost the Golden Butter Cream Cake and it needed to cool so we did it first. Just because there are rules, doesn't mean we have to follow them. :)

Like I said to Janet, "I think of this like a Master class" -- After she smirked, I said it was more of a bachelor's class, really :) Really, she knows what she's doing and I just sorta muddle along.

The Golden Butter Cream Cake was a snap. It only had about 8 ingredients and it all fell into place. It became a dense hearty cake, that when we poured it into the springform pan, didn't look like it was going to amount to much. But, when it was done in the oven, it was a thing of beauty. Various times we thought it was to be the best cake of the bunch. I even said, "If we ever open a bakery, this will be the basic cake recipe for our cakes."

This led to a discussion of bakery names: Janet's suggestion: The Sweet Spot - Of course, I go to the "dirty place" and think of ribald comments (who really says ribald these days?) My suggestion was: Sweet Tart with a picture 1/2 of a virgin and 1/2 of a "lady of the evening". We both worried that Sweet Tart would be attacked by the candy company that makes the treats with the same name and we'd be involved in a long term lawsuit, where everyone would side with us, but the law would see it differently.

The Chocolate Cherry Almond Pound Cake threw us for a loop. First of all there are 14 ingredients and it's call an "Almond" pound cake and yet there are hazlenuts in it. Janet couldn't figure out why there weren't just almonds. Good point Janet. We vascilated between "I love this cake" and "I can't stand this cake".

Also, at step three, "Divide the eggs between two bowls, placing three eggs whites in a large bowl and one whole egg plus one yould in a smaller bowl." Janet asked if we had any eye of newt. It wasn't until I read these directions aloud that I realized it sounded a little like the witches of Macbeth.

However, with this cake, we did get to do what we'd been trained to do -- cream our butter and sugar!

Of course, we deviated from the recipe in that we didn't use cream of tartar, we used a copper bowl instead. Supposedly, it works in much the same way. I don't really understand. At this point, I just looked at Janet and nodded. Althought, I have to say she did manage a kickin' stiff peak.

This was the first in a series of questions for me:

1. Why does copper work like cream of tartar?
2. Why do you whip eggs at room temperature and cream cold?
3. Why do fools fall in love?
4. Why do women go to the restroom in pairs? (I found out the answer to that one -- To talk about the other people at the table.)

While we both thought the Golden Butter Cream cake was going to be the hands down favorite, it turned out that we really liked the Chocolate Cherry Almond Pound Cake. I did think that the Apricot Version would have been nice to try.

Janet, in her infinite wisdom thought, "Why don't we pour cream over the Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake?" Honestly, it was a supreme discovery. And, should be added to the next edition, it really was THAT good.

Frosting, yes, we did it....

So as not to have to make 18 cakes at the end to enjoy the frostings? Do I mean Icings there? We went with Ms. Berenbaum's suggestion of a Royal Honey Buttercream.

I have to ask, what is the difference between frosting and icing?

Unfortunately, we realized that we didn't have honey so we exchanged the clover honey with Cane Syrup. It was definitely a more subtle note to the icing to me. Janet said that she'd been playing with honey vs. cane syrup and found them interchangeable. I'm certain that we'll have time to make the comparison later -- we had about a cup of left over icing after frosting the cake, and it freezes! Who knew?. See the pictures. Janet is an amazing crumb coater.

We did have to chill the frosting a bit. While it wasn't too hot here, it was a bit of a spring/summer afternoon.

I have to ask, why does Ms. Beranbaum mention a liquid cup? When we measured a dry cup in our liquid cup measure, it was the same. Obviously there is more to this than we got.

Here's what I learned, I don't know very much, but I do like cake.
Michael's tastings always surprize me. He said that he thought the cakes were a bit dry and lacking buttery tastes. Remember he gets them after they have hung out a bit.

Another thing I've learned....

Sometimes cream can make it all better.

Bake Through,


1 comment:

Melanie said...

Did you hear my loud audible sigh when I saw the picture of that Downy Yellow Butter Cake with Neoclassic Buttercream? It would go so well with this cup of coffee at 8:29 a.m. Melanie