When I recently joined a group of Heavenly Bakers, who intend to bake their way through Rose Levy Beranbaum's new book, I didn't really realize the portent of that. However, now catching up to their calendar, I must say that it is a bit daunting for me who is a fledgling baker. Moreover, I am even a fledgling blogger as far as setting a blog up. Thank heaven for my friend, Leah!
After my initial decision, I made my way to the kitchen, i.e., the place from whence all these delectable creations would emerge. This stage for the mis en place carries most of the burden for the infinitesimal cuisine to the right of it. It is also my dining room table. Now, this aside is for Bill, who has long maintained his is the smallest kitchen/galley. Hey Bill!
I began my late arrival of baking for the series by choosing the Chocolate Baby Cakes Oblivion. I had a bit of jaundiced eye while wrestling with an undulating silicone muffin pan and boiling water and steam. There has got to be a better way to build a mousetrap. Nonetheless, the next day the baby cakes were fantastic.
Next, I decided to have some Halloween fun, and undertook the Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache for this purpose. I thought I would just add some orange-red to the buttercream for flames, and use the tiny star tip as Rose suggests. The cake is not really a difficult one to make. I did it the day before, using Green & Black's cocoa. The cake was frosted with the ganache of Valrhona Le Noir, and its mystery ingredient. So the perfect cake was ready and waiting in the morning for its embellishment.
This cake is fun and showy, accompanied by its little Halloween black Boo! napkins. Everyone was captivated by the story of Rose opening the New York Stock Exchange with this cake as part of the Campbell's celebration of their 100 years. It was really the hit of our party. However, needless to say, nobody got the door prize - a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup!
It takes about 60 of the rolled wafers for the candles. I used 'Creme de Pirouline' filled with chocolate hazelnut. It didn't take long to trim the wafers into staggered lengths with a small, curved serrated knife, that now had the opportunity to finally come alive. I removed the cake from the fridge for just a few minutes and the cookies went right into place in the frosting, in some cases supporting each other. The little flames were piped after the 'candles' were in place and looked very festive. [One suggestion, don't try to have the little wafer-candle be crisp on the cake side. It just isn't. So, just dunk it into a blob of ganache and crunch away. That's what I did.]