Thursday, December 20, 2018

Cake Slice Bakers December Cakes

I'm supposed to have a different title for the post, one which includes the name of the cake I baked, but this month I'm not able to because I baked two different cakes from our 2018 book, The Perfect Cake. In December we get to choose from the whole book. Turns out that I needed a cake for two parties so I baked two cakes! One was so good that I'll be making it again for Christmas with family. The other was spectacular looking, but wasn't as delicious. It's still a good chocolate cake, just not a great one. It didn't really have a strong chocolate flavor despite the fact that I used a large quantity of chocolate for both the cake and the ganache icing. Sweetie said that I've baked better and that's what I was feeling, too.

The first cake, the one that looked a little rustic but which everyone loved, is French Apple Cake on Pg. 182. It's pictured above and at the top of the post. Look at those thin apple slices interlaced with the custard. See how appealing the golden top crust with sugar is?  I used Granny Smith apples, just as required, some rum instead of Calvados, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. This cake is very moist with an apple and custard base and a bit of sponge cake on top. You get those two textures by taking some of the batter and setting it aside before adding the apples and egg yolks to the larger amount. The apples have been briefly microwaved first so that they are a lovely soft but firm texture when baked instead of crisp as they might be if not microwaved. The remaining batter gets some extra flour which seems to lighten it. The top gets nice and golden brown, too. That might be because of the sugar sprinkled on. All in all, a really delicious cake with great textural contrast.

The second one, which is the Chocolate-Raspberry Torte, is similar to a flourless chocolate cake, but it does have ground almonds and a bit of flour. It's very lovely to look at but disappointing when eaten. Even with a full 8 oz of best quality bittersweet chocolate and another 5 oz for the glaze, the chocolate flavor wasn't strong. I did use the called for amount of espresso powder, too. The other problem was the filling. By combining uncooked, crushed raspberries and raspberry jam, the filling was very liquid and it tended to squish out when I was cutting the cake. It did add a nice sharp note to a pretty heavy, uninspired chocolate cake. This cake looked really pretty, but left something to be desired in the taste. 

In case you want those glazed raspberries on your next cake, just melt a small amount of the raspberry jam in a small bowl (I used the microwave), then paint each berry with the glaze. This way you'll get the jam glaze on the berries, but not the ganache glaze. 

The toasted almonds on the side are fiddly, but look so professional. Just remember to put the sifted nuts in a small bowl to work from. 

I kept them in the strainer and then proceeded to sift tiny bits of nuts onto my beautiful smooth glaze as I patted the nuts onto the sides! Fortunately it still looked great, just not perfect. Perfect is overrated anyway.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through.  This year it is The Perfect Cake from America's Test Kitchen #atkcake.  We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes, or visit our blog where the links are updated each month. If you are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

No recipes, as usual, since the America's Test Kitchen folks asked us not to post any.


  1. It's always aggravating when the pretty, professional looking cake doesn't taste how you want it to - ! Still, it's beautiful, and I'll have to remember that little trick with the glazed berries!

  2. PS- finally found some Arkansas black apples at the Whole Foods to bake. Himself wanted to try one, and darned if it didn't smell like roses! Fresh, tart, and tasty.

  3. Sorry about the chocolate cake, it turned out great though! The apple cake does look delicious!