Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cake Chronicles

Nine cakes in three days, it's not the premise of a reality show on the Food Network, but rather the sub-plot of my life right now. Thursday night marks the beginning of Shavuot. A lesser known Jewish holiday, but definitely a goodie-particularly because it is customary to serve sweet dairy treats such as cheesecake and blintzes. Being an ardent Celebrationist, I cried "Shavuot Cake Party!", so a cake fete there will be at chez nous on friday afternoon.
I put a lot of thought and effort into the cake menu. I wanted a variety of sweet flavors represented, and I was unsentimental when deciding what old faves were to be edited out- due to the redundancy of flavors (my lemon pound cake was bumped due to the appearance of a Key Lime Pie). I was also seeking to try out recipes that I've been meaning to attempt for a while. Three out of the nine "chosen" were from a cookbook called "Birthday Cakes" by Kathryn Kleinman. I've had this book for a couple of years, and I'll pull it out whenever I'm feeling a little aspirational. The cakes in this book are just gorgeous as well as slightly intimidating. I decided it was time...

*Pecan Streusel Coffeecake (Bon Appetit)
* Blueberry Cheesecake (family cheesecake recipe combined with Martha Stewart's blueberry topping)
* Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie (Bon Appetit)
*Key Lime Pie (Joy of Cooking)
*White Mountain Coconut Cake (Birthday Cakes)
*Carrot Cake (Birthday Cakes)
*Lindsey's Chocolate Cake (Birthday Cakes)
* Orange Chiffon Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting (allrecipes)
*Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting (Bon Appetit)

So far I've completed the Pecan Streusel, Blueberry Cheesecake, Carrot Cake (but not the cream cheese frosting), Lindsey's Chocolate Cake which looks and smells like dense dark chocolate heaven. And the White Mountain Coconut Cake which was contributed to the book by James Beard. This coconut cake recipe was an education in the making, baking, and construction of it.

There is an element of suspense involved in this cake party as I have not really been able to sample any of these cakes. I am slightly nervous, I've invited a lot of people-my baking cred is definitely on the line. Do I at least get points for trying?

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