Cake Day has been going on for a few years now, and it’s a fun thing friends and I do to both challenge ourselves and to just hang out for the day. The most hilarious thing about Cake Day is that for 75% of it, all we’re doing is eating non-cake things. It’s only in the last four hours that people start assembling their layers, frosting their rounds, and placing them on their stands. Then it’s a frenzy of photos and slicing and boxing and finally… tasting.
This year’s round-up is probably our most diverse selection yet: colour-wise, shape-wise, and flavour-wise. It was a good spread. For myself, this was Redemption Weekend. Last year, I made Thomas Keller’s rum cake, but in my brain, what I really wanted to make was a baba au rhum. So THIS year, armed with my new bundt pan that Candy gave me, I would make the yeast-based baba booze cake. Because booze. And cake. Not only would I make a baba, but Tobey Nemeth of Edulis was super kind to give me their recipe – my favourite of all babas I’ve had in the city. Lots of testing ensued, where no one really complained about having too much boozy cake. I got the hang of yeast and am encouraged to make more bread. I was set.
The second part of Redemption Weekend was making Pimm’s Cup as part of the beverage line up. I tried for our Wimbledon Picnic (where no tennis actually took place), but I somehow didn’t read and failed to understand Pimm’s was an actual alcohol and wasn’t just the name of a drink. Ooops. Add that to the redemption list too. Thankfully, this was simple to achieve and tasty to drink – very refreshing and citrusy and not at all boozy. Dangerous.
And that was it. The most relaxing Cake Day ever, as I had no additional cake scheduled for the day. Oh, there were plans to do a crazy group cake, but that was ultimately scrapped due to time. So for most of the day, I just ate, did the dishes, and made food. I got a lovely fillet of organic trout from The Healthy Butcher and barbecued it simply with salt and oil on a bed of dill resting on a cedar plank. I also took over the task of making guacamole (that was on Bonita‘s redemption list due to ROCK HARD avocados last year), as Bon was making actual cake and I had nothing more to do.
But things got busy again once all the cakes were done. With the afternoon light waning, we worked fast to make the most of it. I think we did all right.
Yvonne’s refreshingly zingy yuzu cake (base cake (epicurious) using 3 whole eggs instead, and a swiss meringue buttercream recipe cut in half and yuzu curd added). Really enjoyed this simple yet intensely flavoured cake.
Edythe’s devil’s food cake with black pepper buttercream and chocolate ganache frosting (New York Times). Edythe used used 1.5 tsp fine ground black pepper instead of 1 tsp coarse. Loved the kick from the black pepper and admire the crazy layer action going on.
Edythe’s lemon olive oil cake (Bon Appetit) with pistachios and raspberries.
Candy’s persian fig, quince, and orange cake with pistachio and rose petals. Super lovely presentation.
Candy’s Prinsesstårta (princess cake) with her homemade raspberry rose jam (amazing), custard, chantilly cream, and draped with marzipan. And again, so beautiful to look at! Candy totally won the presentation prize.
The baba au rhum (Edulis). Topped with chantilly cream. Finally made one!
Vanessa’s stump roll cake with almond, salted caramel, chocolate, and matcha.
Andrew’s poppyseed and grapefruit cake (email me if you want the recipe) with white chocolate buttercream frosting. You can see the ombré action here.
Cindy’s pistachio cake with whipped cream frosting. There was to be an almond layer, but that got scrapped.
Bonita’s peach blueberry coffee cake. Super lovely.
Bonita’s chocolate espresso dacquoise. Loved the textures on this one.
JoAnne’s mocha rum cake (Epicurious). With 1 c. of rum and 1 1/3 c. of espresso. This bundt shape (Edythe used it a couple years ago) is amazing.
JoAnne’s kuih lapis – an Indonesian multi-layered spice cake (Homelife).
Thirteen cakes this year! A pretty good showing. Pretty pleased with the photo results this year, though we were remiss and didn’t take a group shot. As well, I’ll need to take note to take better slice shots – we were getting pretty tired by the end of the day, as we’d been at it almost 12 hours. Note that I was the only one left standing after we tasted all the cakes! I mean, didn’t anyone want more cake!?