Sunday, 6 January 2013

Opinions from the Kitchen: The Year in Cakes

In my 2011 Cake Review, I raved about three of our favourites: a coffee cake, an apple torte, and a chocolate stout cake. The year 2012 only brought two cake making opportunities, but they are definitely worth talking about.

Lemon Pound Cake

Can you believe this baby contains six eggs, three cups of sugar, one cup of butter and one cup of sour cream? Despite that, it didn't taste overly rich or heavy.

I topped the cake with lemon glaze as suggested in the reviews, and it must have been a success because hints have been dropped that another one might be in order for this year's birthday.

There are a few things about which a potential baker should be warned before they take on this cake though. First of all, expect this to take a while. This cake spends more time in the oven than the time it takes to prepare/cook/glaze and clean up after a regular cake. Secondly, be ready to deal with a huge amount of batter. The recipe asks for a 16 cup pan, and I have no idea what size this actually is. I used my regular cake pan, and spent half an hour watching it rise, almost sure it was going to spill all over the oven. It didn't, but it did rise several inches out of the pan. This leads to my final piece of advice: grease and flour the pan really well, because it isn't easy to get out of there! This is especially true when you've used a pan that's too small and it expanded like a mushroom over the lip.

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting …and a good amount of ganache!

This cake was made using the Bakerella Just a Cake recipe. It is not, however, just a cake. This is the Paris Hilton of cakes. It should have a big black CENSORED bar across it.

A cake like this needs a very special occasion, it's not a regular dinner party kind of treat. I made it to celebrate my 30th birthday, which is certainly a big enough event to justify eating a dish made almost entirely out of icing.

I used less chocolate ganache than the recipe called for, healthier sour cream/almond icing, and cut out the chocolate chips in the middle. It was still one of the sweetest things I've ever eaten. It was absolutely delicious, but definitely not the kind of dessert that leaves you able to think about a second portion. I wish I'd taken the time to get a better picture before we cut it up, but my inner child, jumping up and down in anticipation, would have none of it.

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