Tonight, a certain group I meet with monthly celebrates the end of summer by gathering for dinner. I have not seen them since beginning this blog, so will ask their permission to go into a little more detail in the future about what we do and why September is junk month.
I’m bringing two desserts for our potluck:
The coconut cake reprises my Easter cake, but I did a much better job of toasting the coconut more evenly.
The cake is a three layer white buttermilk number from The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather, who runs the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg, Texas. Her cakes never let me down. They are the equivalent of Texas hair – impressively big and tall, built to withstand gale force winds.
I used the lemon cream filling from Tartine between the layers. Divine stuff. For the frosting, I fell back on the standard seven-minute icing in Joy of Cooking.
Tartine does a similar cake, but in addition to the lemon cream, they add layers of caramel, and a meringue icing torched to brown, crispy goodness. We had 90% humidity here yesterday, so meringue and caramel seemed destined to fail.
The plum torte comes from Smitten Kitchen. Apparently, everything’s bigger in Texas applies to plums, so I only got a 3 x 3 grid going in my cake. The one on her site is 4 x 4, and it looks like she only used the plum halves that didn’t have a hole in the middle where the pit used to be. So, clearly, my career as a food stylist isn’t ready for take-off yet.
Looks really don’t tell the whole story here, however, as this was GOOD CAKE. I mean I am anxious to try it with all sorts of fruits and none at all. What a delicious, simple, and quick tasty treat.
People asked if it was a clafouti, but I believe that technically speaking, a clafouti would have more eggs and start with melted butter. I’m guessing, but that sounds impressive, yes?
I will explain more about Junk Month and the mystery group behind it later. I do love the positive reinforcement I get from this group for my desserts.