Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's Your Favorite Cake?

Now that's a dessert table!
Our Cakes Cookbook is out!  On November 25th, the Book of Cakes hit, just in time for Thanksgiving.  It was truly a labor of love bringing these recipes together and out to all of you.

Of course, when we're talking about cakes, the first question I am usually asked is, "What's your favorite cake?"  If only I could answer that question!  Customers would ask me that same question at the bakery all the time, as well, and it always left me stumped.

My favorite cake literally varies from season to season, mood to mood, sometimes even day to day.  Each cake has its own unique flavor profile and is absolutely exquisite in its own right.  For the book, I tentatively picked the Colonial Jam Cake ... mostly because it's unique and so very delectable!  Delicately spiced raspberry cake layers enrobed in a rich bourbon frosting is a stunning taste sensation ... how can you not love that?  But honestly, that's just one of my many favorites ... and yours might be completely different.

The truth is that we really love all of these cakes, or they wouldn't be in the book.  These are cakes that we not only baked at Afternoon Tea, but that we continue to bake in our own homes year after year, birthday after birthday, celebration after celebration!  Even though we continue to try new recipes all the time, there's a reason why we keep "coming back home" again and again to these recipes.  They're our favorites for a reason.

I could probably wax poetic on each and every cake, but you can read the highlights in the book in each cake's introduction.  I will just say that you can't go wrong with any of them.  It really just depends upon what you're looking for.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Butter cake is classic, the most versatile, and the most often baked.  It's the base for a luscious sunshiny Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Chocolate Chip Cake or our absolutely scrumptious Southern Lane Cake.

The White Velvet Cake has a gorgeous texture and wonderful flavor.  I'm crazy about luscious coconut, so Coconut Cake is always a good choice, as well.

There's not a bad chocolate cake choice in the book, either.  From the classically moist and delicious Devil's Food to the wicked Chocolate Indiscretion ... from the unapologetically dense and rich Chocolate Decadence to the fluffy-textured Chocolate Mousse Cake ... each one will definitely satisfy that chocolate craving.  The Hungarian Rhapsody adds coffee and nutty flavors to the mix, and the German Chocolate Cake just sends it over-the-top!  But the Chocolate Cloud Roll is nothing short of pure ecstasy.

The Spice Cake, Carrot Cake, Hummingbird Cake, Colonial Jam Cake and Pear Preserves Cake are all absolutely jam-packed with flavor.  The Pumpkin-Orange Cake was a huge seller in the fall, and folks love how moist and flavorful it is.  The Williamsburg Orange Cake is deliciously elegant, and it was one of our most popular choices for wedding cakes.  The Lemon Yogurt Cake is a bright and luscious taste of summer.

The Savarin is elegant and unexpected, and high on my list of choices for entertaining.  It is surprisingly easy to make, and tastes very upscale.  The Rosewater Cake is another unexpected and delicate beauty, just perfect for bridal showers, wedding cakes, garden parties, tea parties and birthdays.

Jelly Roll / Sponge Cake
The Jelly Roll Cake, which is a Classic Sponge Cake recipe, is a wonderful vehicle for any filling you can come up with.  When you want to feature a particular flavor ... lemon, apricot, strawberry, dulce de leche, etc. ... a light sponge cake is the perfect choice.  Make it once, and you'll see all of the endless possibilities you'll have for a beautiful and impressive dessert cake in very little time!

The Peanut Butter and Banana cakes are sure-fire kid pleasers, but the Milk-and-Honey Cake is the one that reminds me of my childhood. Great recipes for Holiday favorites like our classic Old Fashioned Gingerbread or Sherried Fruitcake are an absolute must, and our cookbook is where you'll find the recipe you can rely on.  (And we should mention that the Chocolate Cloud Roll makes a magnificent Buche de Noel!)

And I haven't even started talking about the Cheesecakes!

The Book of Cakes could easily become your favorite new cookbook, as well as the trusted source you turn to again and again whenever you need a cake for your next event or celebration, just as we do.  It literally offers a cake for every and all occasions.

Southern Lane Cake
So, what's my favorite cake?  Last year, I chose our Old-Fashioned Spice Cake for my birthday.  This year I'm leaning towards the gorgeously speckled Poppyseed Cake.  That's just the mood I'm in right now.

After the photo-shoot for the cookbook, when friends and family were sampling all of the various cakes, someone made a comment about the Southern Lane Cake: "You know, this really is an excellent cake," they said.  Yes, it is!  Heads were bobbing in agreement, as folks took another bite.  I may just reconsider my choice for my birthday cake!

UPDATE 12/23/2013:
Yesterday was my birthday, so what cake did I finally end up choosing after all?  Our scrumptious Poppyseed Cake!  The first instinct is usually the right one, and it was absolutely dee-licious!  Thanks for making it for me, Ana!  ;-)

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