Friday, April 29, 2011

Heavenly Cake Baker: Golden Lemon Almond Cake (free choice)

heavenlycakeplace This week's Heavenly Cake Baker cake is a free choice. Since I was so bowled over by the Golden Lemon Almond Cake (page 37) from Rose's in-person demonstration the week prior, I had to try my hand at it. My bundt pan is not nearly as intricate as Rose's was, but the cake came out beautifully.

The cake has an amazing lemon flavor and delicious buttery undertones. The ground almonds add some texture to the tender crumb of the cake and, I think, also add to its moistness (it stayed tender and moist for a full week!). It really is a sublime cake and was very easy to make. Upon tasting it, my husband said this was the best cake yet and was ridiculously moist. This one is going on the "make again soon" list. In fact...perhaps this weekend!

mise en place for the cake. I didn't have cream cheese so used crème fraîche instead...delicious!

almonds are toasted and then ground with a little of the sugar.
Rose also recommended tossing in the lemon zest to break up the zest a bit more

the butter and part of the crème fraîche is added to the dry ingredients;
then the egg mixture is added in

one third of the batter is poured into the pan

and then smoothed out to force it into the pan's crevices

the rest of the batter is poured in

while the cake is baking, the lemon syrup is made: lemon juice and sugar...yum!

the hot cake is poked with a skewer and then...

a third of the syrup is brushed over the top and left to drip into the holes

after the cake is turned out, the rest of the syrup is brushed over the top of the cake and
forms a lemony-sugary coating. My crust didn't come out as well-done as the picture
in the book, but it was still fabulous!

so tender and delicious, it doesn't even need any embellishment!

Bye for now...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Heavenly Cake Baker: Meeting Rose Levy Beranbaum

heavenlycakeplace Last weekend, this Heavenly Cake Baker got a wonderful in-person demonstration with the one and only Rose Levy Beranbaum! Rose, and assistant Woody Wolston, came to the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts for the class and baked two delicious cakes: the Golden Lemon Almond Cake (page 37) and the Deep Chocolate Passion (Wedding) Cake (page 409), both from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

There were several other special guests there as well, including Joanne Chang, of the wonderful Flour Bakery (who I wished I had gotten the chance to meet!) and little Isabelle, from page 379 of the cookbook. And I even met another foodie/baker who'll be blogging soon at Eating In Or Out...maybe we can convince her to join the second round the Heavenly Cake Baker club!

In the end, while both cakes were - of course - delicious, my favorite of the two was the Golden Lemon Almond Cake. So good in fact, that I've chosen to make it again this weekend as my free choice for the HCB club.

Here are my pictures (lots!) from the event. My entry for the Golden Lemon Almond Cake will follow later this weekend.

mise en place, prepared by the CSCA chefs

Bye for now...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Heavenly Cake Baker: Southern Coconut Cake...oops...

heavenlycakeplace This week's Heavenly Cake Baker cake was Miette's Tomboy on page 145 of Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes, but for some unknown reason I thought this week was the Southern (Manhattan) Coconut Cake with Silk Meringue Buttercream, on page 23. I'm not sure exactly what happened but I must have had coconut on the brain and so it was coconut in the oven as well!

I was craving chocolate and thought it would be a good combination with the coconut so I made a ganache frosting instead of a buttercream. The combo was delicious at first, when the ganache was still pretty soft and liquidy, but I should have listened to the professional because once it set up, the ganache was way too heavy for the tender crumb of the coconut cake. So, overall - besides the fact that I made the entirely wrong cake - this week was kind of hit and miss for me. I am glad though to be able to read through the other HCBers' experiences with Miette's Tomboy before I get started on that one for next week.

mise en place for the ganache...a splash of framboise can't hurt

smooth and silky ganache

mise en place for the coconut cake

adding the coconut flakes

the batter made cupcakes...and

...two 6" rounds. That's a lot of batter!

smells delicious

the 6" cakes are so adorable!

topped with some ganache and coconut flakes

looks great!

a light and tender crumb

Bye for now...