Sunday, March 27, 2011


Happy Birthday to My Man!

Something reminded me this week of the Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy. The thought suddenly appeared and hung there, suspended in the haziness of time, nagging at me, tugging at my curiosity. I don’t know what made me think of our long ago visit to this stunning monument, husband and I accompanied by our then two very young boys, but it popped into my head and stayed there, begging to be thought of, analyzed, written about. Built and painted between 1532 and 1535 for Federico II Ganzaga, Marquess of Mantua, this building, although rather staid and regal on the outside, is a tour de force of artistry and imagination once one walks through the doors, a remarkable, impressive array of frescos room to room, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, spilling out into one’s visual path and tripping up our expectations. The artists, Benedetto Pagni and Rinaldo Montovano, created something that will last for a long, long time, something imprinted in the minds and memories of so many thousands, not to be easily lost or forgotten, a feat desired by so many.

I remember very little of the city itself, Mantova, Mantua, as long ago as the visit was, but the memory of La Sala dei Giganti, the Room of Giants, within this grand Palazzo, is imprinted in my mind as if it was yesterday. It was a lovely day, sunny yet comfortably cool, and the wide-open space of the approach to the majestic palace was comforting in its grandeur and airiness. Upon entering the Sala dei Giganti, one is struck by the silence and coolness of the room. I have images in my head of columns and beautiful mosaic floors. Eyes glancing up and scanning the walls, straining up towards the ceiling and my breath was swept from my body; Giants and Grotesques tumbled from the walls, out of the skies wreaking havoc and fury among the ruins left trailing in their wake. Pushing, shoving, the room seemed to vibrate under their cries, the crumbling of pillars, the avalanche of rocks and the humans scrambling out of their paths in desperation and fear. The artists had depicted, captured, the struggle between the god Jupiter and the Giants of Ovid who attempted to scale Olympus and claim Jupiter’s throne. Above us, in the center of the magnificent ceiling, Jupiter emerges from the light, powerful yet calm, admired by those encircling him, exuding the power that will vanquish the Giants.

But what stunned me more than the incredible artwork, the imagination and energy of the artists who gave us such an impressive, universal creation, was the graffiti scrawled around the room. Names and dates etched into the walls, tourists and students from all over Europe, from as early as the 16 and 1700s! Four and five hundred years have passed since some young traveler, student, tourist dared scratch his name into the beauty of these walls, and for what? Posterity or simply a good joke? Whether the one or the other, each name left behind, still embedded in the stone and in these paintings, leaves a trace of some living person, each one leaving their mark for years, generations, quite possibly an eternity. Such a small gesture left behind, surely forgotten as they returned home as easily and as quickly as all of the other tiny, ephemeral details of a voyage usually do. Try as I might to understand and visualize the lives of each one, to grab on to something that will give me a peek into what they were thinking, living, doing that day is futile. But it is this that fascinates me, imagining the lives of the long gone and what remains of their existence.

And fascinated by all of this I am. Visits to museums invariably find me pressed up against glass showcases containing bits of jewelry or forks and spoons, mirrors or drinking glasses. I hang back as we stroll through rooms of furniture, arranged just as it was in the time of this King or Queen or simple schoolmarm or factory worker. I breathe in as my gaze shifts around the room and I try so hard to picture those who once lived among these relics, wonder what they thought and did everyday. Yet what for sure does remain except these few scattered objects?

How do we leave our mark? Today is my man’s birthday and we ponder over the rest of our lives, what to do, where to go and we wonder if indeed there is a way to leave a mark somewhere, somehow. Life is fleeting and what remains? A few photographs scattered across the tabletop or tucked into the brittle, yellowing pages of an album? A favorite piece of jewelry handed down across the generations, the story behind this loving token fading away over time? A box full of hand-written recipe cards or a tattered old teddy bear, what will we leave behind? Or maybe a book or a building with our name on it, the fruit of years of our labor, or some recorded act of heroism, still there after we are long gone, begging an unknown public to hold onto our soul and keep it alive? But, after all, do we really need to leave something of ourselves on this earth once we are no longer here, or is it simply selfish, this desire to remain? Or is our time on earth just our own to enjoy, do as we please during this short stay?

Life is fleeting; the sound of voices and laughter, the image of faces fading quickly into time, blown away on the wind with the passage of the years and what is left? A token object held dear, a hand-written letter, our children and our name. Maybe we should try and find some old building somewhere and scratch our names into the stone or wood followed by the date in the hopes that the impression will be found many long years later by some unknown tourists following in our steps, treading the same floors. And these visitors may stop, hesitate, glance quickly around to make sure that they are unwatched as they reach out and brush their fingers over the indentations. And they’ll smile and try and stir up the images of those others, wonder about the sound of their voices, make up a story about their lives before they step back and wander off.

This March 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was selected by myself and my friend Ria of Ria’s Collection and we chose a recipe left to me by my own dear father, a Yeast Meringue Coffee Cake. Luscious and light, this is some scrumptious Coffee Cake, the meringue filling melting into the brioche type cake and adding a moistness and delicate sweetness that is utterly perfect. I made two versions: on one I scattered the meringue with chocolate chips and chopped pecans before rolling it up and baking, the original recipe of the challenge. The second I made, halving the dough recipe, had an apple-cinnamon filling, the fruit cooked first in butter and brown sugar, then tossing in a dash of cinnamon and some finely grated orange zest. I blended some more zest along with some cardamom and nutmeg into the dough then drizzled the finished coffee cake with an orange glaze. Apples, as anyone who follows my blog knows, are my husband’s favorite addition to any dessert. I have made him Apple Spice Cake for his birthday, the Apple Flognarde that he requested himself and the Cranberry-Apple Wreath for the holidays that he absolutely adored! He simply loves my apple pies. So when I can bring apples into his life and make him happy, know that I will. And since it is his birthday, the apples have it!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Meringue Coffee Cake

Apple Orange Cinnamon Meringue Coffee Cake

I would like to send these fabulous yeast coffee cakes to Susan of Wild Yeast and her perfect weekly yeast baking event Yeastspotting!

Makes 2 round coffee cakes

For the dough:

4 cups (600 g) flour
¼ cup (50 g) sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 package ( 2 ¼ tsps, 7 g) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml) milk
¼ cup (75 ml) water
½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the filling:

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tbs sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (150 g) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup(100 g) sugar

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg, optional
Cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes

Prepare the dough:
In a large bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm the butter is just melted.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 4 cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover (I cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel) and let rise until double in bulk, 30 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixer bowl – I use a plastic bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the eggs whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Make the Coffee Cakes:
Line 2 cooking sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time, roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar evenly over the meringue followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate.

Now, roll up the dough jelly-roll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring (I tucked one end into the other and pinched to seal).

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. I made them rather shallow and realized that the next time I can make the cuts much deeper.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with both cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

RESULTS: Beautiful to put together and gorgeous out of the oven, the cake was brioche-like without being sweet and the meringue miraculously melted into the dough leaving behind just a hint of sweetness. Don’t scrimp on either the chopped nuts or chocolate as the crunch and the flavors are the focal point of this tender, moist, outrageously delicious coffee cake.

I made one coffee cake for these quantities, but can easily be used for two.

Add to the dough:
Finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbs (30 g) unsalted butter
6 Tbs brown sugar
3 - 5 medium sized apples*, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

*use pie apples that will hold their shape even after cooking, slightly tangy, sweet tasty apples. I’ve used Jubilee as well as Golden for pies, and thought they hold their shape and are the perfect texture when baked, they are somewhat bland in flavor to me. I use Reines des Reinettes in France which cook down the same as Goldens but have much more flavor, sweet and just tart enough. Use 5 apples for 2 cakes, 3 – 5 for one depending on how much filling you want. Know that since the filling is rather moist, the inside of the cake won’t be as fluffy as for the chocolate-pecan version.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until you have a thick, grainy sauce, about 1 minute. Add the apple slices, tossing until all the slices are pretty much coated with the sugar-butter. Cook until the apples are tender and the sauce has been reduced to a glaze, about 7 minutes. Mix in the grated zests and the spices and toss until the apples are evenly coated. Cool the filling at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs fresh-squeezed orange juice

Once the coffee cake has cooled, mix the powdered sugar with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice. Stir until well blended and a thick glaze forms. Drizzle over the cake.


Peter M said...

Yeah I mean Jamie...another delicious yeast cake. All you daring bakers got me mondo-hingry this morning!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

JP's a lucky man. I wish mine had worked out but you know me and yeast... I will just have to live vicariously through your and your beautiful creations.

bunkycooks said...

What a beautiful coffee cake! It is a perfect way to celebrate your hubby's birthday! This makes me want to go make another King cake, although I love the apple orange version for something different. Very nice DB Challenge. :)

Miriam said...

This is such a beautiful cake I MUST try it... and apple... OMG.

Asha @ FSK said...

Hey Jamie.. this would have been a lovely cake, i know.. my attempt turned into an amusing disaster but gonna make it again, and get it right :D

And, Happy Birthday to JP! :)

Shulie said...

This daring baker challenge makes me go gaga over all th eyeast doughs. Would have been perfecct for breakfast today. Yum!

zorra said...

Jamie, this was one of my favorite DB challenges! I love your apple version. I will make it soon, as my man loves apples, too. Happy Birthday to your man!:-)

Priya said...

Beautiful coffee cake, simply irresistible..

Simona said...

Mantova is a beautiful city and Palazzo Te is a remarkable work of art. I don't think it's possible not to have feelings rushing through us when standing in those stately rooms decorated with such intention and intensity of purpose. I remember also the feeling of having just come back from a different world when we stepped outside again. Thank you for bringing back this memory of a city that is in my heart.
And thank you for a great challenge. It was fun and very rewarding.

Aparna said...

Birthday wishes to your husband Jamie, and I share his partiality for all bakes apple! :)
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and introducing me to a yeasted dough with meringue in it. Your coffe cake looks beautiful.

Poires au Chocolat said...

Lovely post. I nearly tried an apple and cinnamon version, glad it worked!

Thanks again for being a great host and to your Dad for such a delicious recipe.

Deeba PAB said...

Ahahaha Petaaaaaah distracted me and I forgot my words!! Loved the challenge this month, was so much fun as I knew it would be! Happy birthday to Mr Man. Miss talking to you of late because of my silly net connection. Thanks a million for cohosting the challenge...I knew it would be wonderful!! xo

Mamatkamal said...

This is such a lovely sweet cake and it looks delicious!

Rosaleda (Maria BegoƱa) said...

I am delighted to have accepted the challenge that you have proposed.

I sign your proposal filled with apples ... should be great.

That you have good week

Pavithra said...

Happy Birthday to ur Man Jamie.. absolutely lovely challenge.. Thanks for sharing it. Yours looks stunning with absolutely delicious filling. Awesome !!!

PriyaVaasu said...

It was a joyful experience baking this!!! Looks amazing!!!!

Laura said...

I loved this challenge! Thank you so much.

Waiting for the saffron version to come out of the oven so I can finish up the post.

Have a great day!

natalia said...

Dear Jamie, I have such memories of Palazzo Te it's such a special place ! Happy birthday to your husband ! I really wish to thank you for the wonderful recipe you shared with us ! You see your father will be remembered by lots of grateful bakers !!! Ciao !

Jeanne said...

Thank you for a beautiful reflection on life and coffee cake! This recipe was a joy to create in my kitchen. I love your apple cinnamon version.

Now Serving said...

Oh My that looks SO SO delicious, sinful and edible!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A very beautiful post! This fresco is stunning and so impressive.

Like you I love to visit museums and try to imagine how people lived in the past or how their life was when they still possessed those objects...

Happy Birthday to your hubby!

I believe we have to enjoy life to the maximum and not stress too much about leaving a mark, otherwise we'll forget to live. Life is too short to waste it on endless ponderings!



alice said...

I love the sound of the apple and orange combination. What a great birthday cake this must have made too!

Alpineberry Mary said...

Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe for this month's DB challenge. The recipe is a keeper!

Suzler said...

This was a fantastic recipe! Utterly delicious. Thank you. :)

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Thanks for the challenge - really enjoyed it.
The story of you finding the recipe is brilliant.
And, what a great post. More cerebral than my usual thoughts when looking through blogs of gooey chocolate things to satisfy my cravings!

Lana said...

Those cakes look so light and ethereal. Reminds me of the Snow Queen story:)
I wish your husband a happy birthday! I assume he knows that he is a lucky man:)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Darling Jamie I hope you'll forgive the fact that I couldn't participate in this month's DB despite really wanting to. I really ran out of time this month! Every post that I've read has raved about this meringue coffee bread so I know I'll no doubt make it on my own sometime in the future!

LittleRed said...

I just wanted to stop by to say thanks for hosting such a wonderfully successful challenge! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing:)

Jenni said...

What a beautiful post to go along with your beautiful coffee cakes!

Ruth H. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe with us!! I loved this coffee cake, and made it a lot of times over this month! Your apple/orange/cinnamon variation sounds amazing, and your husband is a very lucky man!

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

I agree with Rosa....
Beautiful, beautiful pics and the apple version is calling out to me to make it.

Sheena said...

Jamie, thanks so much for hosting this month's challenge, I loved seeing all the creative fillings everyone came up with. You're chocolate and nuts filling sounds just perfect :)

chef_d said...

Thank you for hosting this month's challenge! I love the flavors you made especially the Apple Orange Cinnamon, sounds heavenly!

DebbieK said...

Happy Birthday and many happy returns to JP!!! As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

To this extent, you and JP have both succeeded. Live each day to the fullest and with no regrets. Your love and friendship and 2 wonderful sons are what you'll leave in this world(and some awesome recipes and stories). xoxo

Renata said...

Jamie, thank you for hosting this amazing challenge! The meringue filling a yeasted cake is something I had never heard about, and I loved it! Happy birthday to your husband!

shaz said...

Happy Birthday to your man Jamie. I loved this challenge very much, thank you! (And you're not advocating graffiti now are you ;P Just kidding).

Lisa said... of the best Daring Bakers challenges ever because you provided me with the best, most versatile dough 'ever'. Tonight I'm making a savory version with a bunch of leftover cheeses in my fridge, roasted peppers, chicken and spinach. I'm giddy! You have no idea how many times I wanted to leave you a comment raving about the dough prior to reveal day lol.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for a great recipe. And to think I was initially worried due to my experience with dry yeasted coffee

Barbara Bakes said...

Lately I too have been realizing just how fleeting life is. Guess we need to enjoy more coffee cake! I would love you apple version too. Thanks for a great challenge recipe!

Chef Lana said...

Your coffee cake so reminds me of spring. It would be perfect for an Easter morning brunch. Beautiful!

Nuts about food said...

When I started reading this post I was reminded of my school trip so many years ago to visit Palazzo Te. Right nearby I tasted my first Ferrero Rocher chocolate. Funny I would remember that...Then I nodded in agreement about your fascination with history and how people lived in the past. The minutiae of their everyday life. And why is past graffiti so interesting and thought provoking, when modern day graffiti is just maddening and disrespectful to art? By the end of the post I felt melancholy, a tiny speck of sand in the immensity of time. Who will remember us? What meaning will our lives have, our efforts? Thank you for all these feelings condensed into one post. Hope your husband had a lovely birthday, you made a lovely cake.

Joy, The Herbed Kitchen said...

I am usually such a chocolate fanatic but your Apple Orange cake has me practically licking the screen. I'm trying to behave myself with the baked goods but my all-time weakness is coffee cake and you have done a splendid job.

By the way, delightful story about Mantua. I remember walking through the Vatican and staring up at the scroll work near the ceiling, these beautiful and intricate vines with leaves and flowers that somehow managed to look like a sculpture. With a knowing glance the guide casually remarked, "Beautiful, aren't they? But they are nothing... painted by students."

Minu said...

Beautiful Coffee Cake.
I loved making it.
Thank You

Katerina said...

Regarding your thoughts, I guess is our need not to be forgotten, to be remembered that urges us to try and leave our marks in this life. The ancient Greeks called it "Easterofimia". I think it is our need to know that the people after us will keep us in their hearts. This is s beautiful cake and this is something your father gave you so as to remember him and you do remember him by making it!

juliana said...

lovely cake, and a graet challenge to make! thanks for hosting!

tasteofbeirut said...

This is the kind of pastry I would love to start my day with! Your hubby is one lucky man.

RamblingTart said...

I strongly identify with the thoughts in your heart these days, Jamie. With such great changes in my life, the uprooting of myself from all that is familiar, starting a new life on the other side of the world, all this has me thinking, analyzing, evaluating: what is a good life? A well-lived life? A life to be proud of? A dear friend told me: just create a space for yourself, a space that makes you happy. I like that. :-)

Lael said...

Ah... Palazzo Te, I love it and during the summer we are so close. Perhaps we can visit again this summer? Maybe we can meet you there? Mantua has wonderful food, I especially like the filled pasta and, of course, the mostarda!

Please wish JP a very happy birthday from your "virtual" friends :) Our family enjoyes apples too.

The Betz Family said...

Thanks for the great recipe! I made this for my husband's birthday as well, so happy birthday to your man! Both of your fillings look delicious. Nice job on the challenge!

Bobbie said...

Hi Jamie, I wanted to stop by and introduce myself, I am Bobbie of When my daughter found out this month challenge was yeast dough we were elated. Thank you for a wonderful and fun challenge.

Lexi said...

That looks absolutely scrumtious. I think this will be going on my list of need to make!

Jess said...

This is beautiful, I love the way you plated it!

Ago said...

jamie nice to meet you!!! Thank you to you, Ria and your Dad for this gorgeous recipe! One of the better brioche I've ever tasted! :-D

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said...

Wishing your husband a very happy birthday! I would love to know what was going through those people's heads when they left their initials there. Maybe they wanted to be a part of something great and to live on in that greatness? Or was it just an act of defiance and self-assertion? I would love to visit one day and see this great work in person it looks spectacular.

Lick My Spoon said...

Happy birthday to the other half Jamie. I love cookign /baking recipes taht ave been passed down from parents and grandparents and this cake looks great. Never heard of a yeasted cake before :)

Urvashee@Dessarts said...

This was a fun challenge. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us. Apples and cinnamonare one of my favorite combos too! I bet that cake was delicious.

A Canadian Foodie said...

Which one did you like best? I liked the sound of the apple one the best, but the look of the sliced chocolate one... That's when you know you have really found a winning recipe. When you take it and translate it into something you would love even more!
Clap Clap Clap

UFRV said...

Thank you for the great recipe you shared with us and thank you also for the challenge, it was so much fun.

Ah, life does fly by, so we better take advantage of every single day that goes by and make it worth it :-) Hope you and your husband enjoyed the day and enjoy every single day of what's yet to come!

Elra's cooking and baking said...

Happy Birthday to your husband Jamie!

Your coffee cakes sound marvelous. Love the one with apple :)

5 Star Foodie said...

Beautiful! I love both the chocolate chip pecan and the apple orange fillings!

Christy said...

I vote for the Apple meringue; it looks so appealing :)

LadyMacaron20ten said...

Italy is breathtaking and so is your lovely coffee cake.

sweetakery said...

Thank you for the great recipe you shared with us, it was so much fun.
Beautiful! I love both the chocolate chip pecan and the apple orange fillings! =)

Monique said...

This is so mouth watering!
Since you love French food I thought you might be interested in an amazing culinary tour to France throughout the Loire Valley.
There is one coming up in June, it is truly an incredible tour.

thedaintyapron said...

This looks incredibly delicious! Thanks for commenting on mine =)

Deborah said...

I've just stumbled on your blog and can't wait to try out some of your recipes!

Having just moved about six weeks ago from 15km south of Paris to 15km north of the middle of nowhere in west Africa, your blog is making me a little 'home'-sick.

Ilke said...

Just posted my challenge. I wanted to come over and say "Thank You"! I enjoyed making it and eating it! :)

©EpicureanPiranha said...

Oh.My. What a delicious looking pastry this is! Such delicate layers of feather light yumminess (is that a word?!) ...well, all that's missing is for the web to provide a button that enables the reader to instantly metamorphose what we see into the real thing :-)

I'm so glad I stopped by for a little visit. I also had a peak at your beautiful, elegant, pink macaron in your previous post ~ such gorgeous photography and styling! (I have the same cake pedestal by the way, in a vintage blue glass).

Congratulations on such a delicious blog, Jamie! Have a great weekend :-)

~ marie, the ©EpicureanPiranha ... enjoying life in tasty bites!

Sonia said...

Hi there, the coffee cake for db is looking so delightful and wud love to give a shot to ur version soon...thnks !

cream chargers said...

how about garnishing it at the top with whip cream

kellypea said...

You write so beautifully -- and such great things to talk about, places you've visited. Lovely. Thanks so much for hosting this challenge. It's the magic one that has got me back to Daring Bakerdom after a Year's absence. Much appreciated!

Mary said...

Thank you so much for a great challenge this month! I will be making this again and again.

cream canisters said...

wow!! it looks so delicious

asiangrrl said...

Happy late birthday to your man. That cake looks wonderful. For my next birthday, I request a yummy chocolate wheat-free, dairy-free cake, plz. kthxbai.


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