Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eggnog Pound Cake with Crystal Rum Glaze

Eggnog Pound Cake with Crystal Rum Sauce is another outstanding Flo Braker cake.  It is perfect for the holidays and is sure to be requested next year.  I made this cake twice.  It's incredibly easy. The first time was a for my daughter's horse trainer who gave me a leopard print high heel cake slicer for Christmas.  If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't believe such a thing existed!  I completely forgot to take any pictures before boxing it up and thus a second cake was made.  The family was quite annoyed they hadn't so much as a crumb form the first one.  The aroma  filled the house with a wonderful Christmasy fragrance.

The first cake was brushed with the Crystal Rum Glaze.  It was fairly heady stuff so for the second, I opted to forego the sauce in favor of powdered sugar since children would be about.  The remaining eggnog beckoned to be turned into custard for ladling over each slice.  It was ridiculously simple and required just a smidgen of   cornstarch for it to thicken nicely.  Heating the eggnog toned down the flavor resulting in a  mellow eggnog custard. Adults and children both liked the flavor of this cake.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tropical Wedding Cake

I fully intended to make the Groom's Cake for our finale, but then Evil Cake Lady posted a Wedding Cake Roundup. It was inspiring and I took another look at Rose's chapter on wedding cakes.  The Tropical Wedding Cake beckoned.  Maybe it's the shock of freezing temperatures that settled in California.  Besides, my daughter is now engaged and it seems fitting to wait to make the Groom's Cake for the future groom.  Whatever the siren call, I unearthed frozen, blackened bananas from the depths of my freezer and stirred up this delectable cake.  It's quite a simple recipe really.  The hint of lemon from the zest lingers behind that of the banana.  Cashews were substituted for macadamia nuts only because the grocery store did not have any at the moment.  There was also a batch of leftover buttercream frosting from a recent cupcake marathon and I used that as well.  It's a lovely, light banana cake that I will make again with Rose's use of passion fruit and mousseline frosting.

When I announced this was the last dessert there was dismay and cries of woe.  The next question was "Isn't Rose doing another book of cakes that you can bake with again?  You've gotten to be such a good baker. You can't stop now!"   And really, that is high praise for Rose Levy Berenbaum.  Without one lesson in person, she took a very inept, amateur baker, and allowed me to make unbelievable cakes.   It was the best course in baking.  Weighing ingredients, cake strips, accurate oven temperature and an instant read thermometer have permanently changed my errant baking ways.

It's been more fun than I could ever imagine baking along with the Heavenly Cake Bakers.  I've looked forward to everyone's cakes. more than I have my own, and loved hearing about your lives.  We are such a varied group geographically and culturally yet Rose cut through the barriers with sugar, butter and flour.  I thank all of you for your encouragement and comments.

Top of my Christmas List is a new Rose's Heavenly Cakes book.

A fresh packet of cake strips.

And maybe an elf to wash a dish or two.