Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cakes and Cakes and Cakes

On looking back, that last post seems very ambitious. Did I do all of those fun sounding things? Well, not yet. The bike is still blocking the side door, the African dance remains a myth. I did go to yoga, though, once, and I made three cakes. Although the photo above was the only survivor of the process (Matt deemed the others 'unacceptable,' and I have to trust his word), there were in fact three cakes, and all three were Heavenly cakes, it seems only right to have a little discussion of them, photo or no.

Two weeks ago, I made the Apple Upside Down Cake, one of the first recipes in the book but one that I hadn't gotten around to yet. Caramelized apples under a yolky, buttery cake layer, sprinkled with nuts...that one was good. I tried to give it away as a housewarming present for my cousin, who just moved back to town, but only half of it made it over (next time, Sophie). Luckily, my Aunt Nicki was down the following weekend, and as a fellow devotee of Dorie Greenspan, she instigated the making of a Swedish Visiting Cake, so all was well.

Last week, I made the much-awaited Ginger Cheesecake, a fairly classic cheesecake made with a ginger crust (in my case, crushed oatmeal cookies), and juice squeezed from grated ginger. I didn't have quite enough ginger to get the amount of juice recommended, but it was still clearly present in the final product. My crust was oily, probably because my cookies were less austere than your average gingersnap, but the cake itself was excellent, and was devoured whole by hungry librarians at a training I helped conduct on Saturday. 
This week's cake, pictured above, was a riff on the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake, which I last made for Liana's birthday the year before last. I didn't have white chocolate, which is called for in the cake, so I made Rose's White Velvet cake layers instead, and filled it with a pear buttercream and pear butter, then covered it with the Sticky Chocolate Frosting. The result, although it looked like Boston Cream Pie, tasted more like sheet cake. The pear frosting didn't really make itself heard, and without it the cake was, as Liana and Matt both admitted, somewhat boring.  My co-workers disagreed, and finished it happily, proclaiming Liana and Matt spoiled, to which they both readily and happily admitted. I thought it might improve with chocolate ice cream, but then just went for the ice cream and ignored the cake.

It's been a chaotic few weeks, at least under the surface of placid librarianship.There's a new year coming, and I'm not ready, but maybe I'll get there. Right now, I'm trying to remember what's best in life, and to hold on to it with a fierce grip.

Somewhat on that last note, I've had one more Rose Levy Beranbaum-related milestone. I finally got too annoyed at the broken binding and sticky pages of Rose's Heavenly Cakes, and bought myself a brand new copy. Time to make that one sticky too.


Anonymous said...

Three cakes and they all sound great. And I'm impressed you managed to pass the milestone of needing a second copy of RHC!

Mendy said...


Shana Tova to you! :)