Photo by Jen Knowles
Evil Cake Lady Blog
Not too many people felt the need to catch up this week, so unless there's a wellspring of demand for more catch-up weeks, I'll probably skip them. However, Jen's catch-up week was enough for three: she made the Strawberry Shortcake Genoise, the Kourambiethes, AND the 100% Whole Wheat Walnut Bread.
Jen, living in Berryland as she does, was not happy with the timing of the originally scheduled strawberry shortcake, so she waited until the berries were perfectly ripe. (In addition to the picture-of-the-week, Jen also has a great picture of the kazillions of various berries that all came in season at the very same time.) The strawberries were the star of her shortcake show, whereas those of us who made do with California strawberries may have ooh-ed and aah-ed more about the cake itself, or the strawberry-jam-flavored whipped cream.
Like everyone else, Jen was a big fan of the kourambiethes (I think this cookie is one of the few things that there was complete unanimity about). Her husband said they were one of the best Baking Bible assignments so far. Jen herself didn't think they were spectacular until "about the third day. Then all of a sudden, the orange flavor woke up and the nuts and butter became friends." After this Friendship Society was formed, "it was all I could do to keep from eating the rest of the cookies in one sitting."
As for the Whole Wheat bread, Jen had two things to say: 1) it was very easy and 2) her husband loved it. In fact, he said he'd like it if Jen made it every week. She did not think that was likely. Their son didn't love the walnuts, but he loved the bread, sans nuts and avec butter.
Orin also opted to catch up with the Whole Wheat Walnut loaf. In the course of reading her blog, we discovered that Orin had a job in the bread department of a local bakery, where they made hundreds of different loaves of bread every day, and that one of her favorite childhood memories was waking up to the smell of her mother baking challah every Friday morning. She loved the bread and loves The Bread Bible!
Catherine did a Red Velvet catch-up, although she didn't use the Rose pan (she used a "more staid but still shapely pan"), so it wasn't, strictly speaking, the Red Velvet Rose. Catherine chickened out when it came to the red food coloring, so her cake was more accurately called the Pink Velvet. (We were all terrible wimps with the red food coloring, weren't we? And yet, with all the bad press sugar has been getting, we should probably be more worried about the sugar we're downing). As of press time, there was no word about how the cake actually tasted because she took it to her office to celebrate her manager's birthday.
Although not exactly a catch-up because he's made it before, Tony made another Chocolate Oblivion Cake for someone named Erica (and the cake was topped with Erica's initials--Tony's signature method for decorating this cake). If you had any trouble at all baking this cake, you might want to check out Tony's blog the next time you make it; he has a good step-by-step tutorial, as well as explanations about why certain steps are necessary. It's also worth checking out his blog just for the pictures of the face of The Woman Who Doesn't Like Dark Chocolate as she tastes a bite and, you guessed it, discovered that yes, she does.
Next week: a pie I'm actually excited about making, the Perfect Peach Galette. I think I finally got the timing right on a fruit dessert. I saw the first crates of Colorado peaches in my grocery store, and I can't wait to try them in this galette, even though I'm a little apprehensive about rolling the pie dough so thin. I also realize that what's in season in the northern hemisphere is not going to work so well in the southern hemisphere, so I know that some of you face an additional challenge just in locating peaches. But you're all smart and inventive bakers, so I'm eager to see what everyone comes up with.