Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heavenly Cake - Pine Cone Cake


In an effort to put some Jewish twist and meaning into this baking exercise I searched the bible for pine references. About the only thing that came up was this verse:

...נטע ארן, וגשם יגדל. והיה לאדם, לבער, ויקח מהם ויחם, אף-ישיק ואפה לחם...

ישעיהו פרק מד

"...plants a pine and the rain makes it grow. Then man uses it for fire wood, takes from it and becomes warm, even lights a fire and bakes bread..."

Isaiah 44:14-15

I thought this a nice verse as a baker to reflect on. How nice that the only divine mention of pine also mentions baking! Heavenly, perhaps?... :)

I could not find glycerine so I had to skip the fondant. I also could not find a serving platter big enough to hold it, so for now, on the cutting board it remains. 

Le Cake: My wifes reaction when she walked in the room was, "my G-d, what is that gnarly pine-cone thing?!" Needless to say she loved it, asides from the fondant (which I did not make anyways.)

Mis en place: 

I used Richwhip so as to keep this cake parve as it was too big to attempt in the toaster and I did not feel like cutting down to size. 

Speaking of which, I just visited my grandparents in California (for Chanukah) after a long hiatus and found my grandfather had a double level toaster with a temperature thermometer inside. Above the toaster are posted the actual temperatures the toaster reaches on the top and bottom shelf for the different temperature settings. No, my grandfather is not an off the cuff Jewish baker, just a hardware engineer who worked for IBM for many years. Funny how these things work...

The "Ez Man" was with me for moral support.

The ganache cooling in a bowl. As this was parve I was able to use our food processor. What a snap! However, the nuts took 14 minutes, not 7. 

folding in the flour to the chocolate and egg mixture. I hate sifting!!

Ready to go in the oven:

This was the first time I made a roulade and I could not for the life of me figure out if it was done or not. I kept feeling the middle but it just felt like firm delicate egg whites. I finally felt confident enough to take it out after about 25  minutes. The bottom was only slightly overdone which means it probably really took about 20 minutes and not 7 - 10 as stated in the recipe.

Roll it up in a towel.

Spread the ganache.

My rocket ship.

After frosting:

This was a delicious cake but it was also a bit rich. The almonds in the ganache were a nice contrast. I did not have cognac so I used brandy instead and it worked nicely. Yum!


  1. LOL! Your cake looks great..and turned out looking like a pinecone in the end despite initially looking like a rocket! :) EZ Man is soooo adorable!!

  2. your cake looks great! kudos for taking on the challenge!

  3. Thanks for finding the verse--I love the juxtaposition of pine cones and bread. Where did you find the fondant? It looks like it was pretty easy to work with.

  4. What a pretty cake! And it looks very pine-cone like. Did you decorate the outside with the ganache, too?

  5. ב''ה

    Thank you all for your nice comments!

    @breadbasketcase: Yes it worked pretty well but I somehow doubt that you can get it easily outside NY as it is a small time local kind of thing.

    Check out:

    @Bungalow Barbara: I did not decorate the outside with ganache. The top picture in the blog is the final outcome. Sorry if it was confusing.

  6. Your cake definitely made the transition from rocket to pine cone very very well.

    Love that Ez Man helps you out - is that chocolate ganache on his fingers?

  7. Mendy, you are too funny! Your cake looks more like a pinecone without fondant than mine did with. And for the record, I applaud your skills with the toaster oven. I did buy one at Costco to get through the holiday and it made the pumpkin pie do frightening things. Oven fixed, I was ready to delegate it to the garage but granddaughter loves it too much; definite upgrade from her little Easy Bake oven.

  8. ב''ה

    You're very kind Vicki. I am sorry the toaster did not work out better for you. Lucky Granddaughter! ;)

  9. Mendy, the pine cone/space rocket turned out excellent. I don't consider the bought fondant a corner cutter at all.
    I love that baby!

  10. Oh Mendy, where to begin...
    first of all I love your Scripture reference! And so appropriate!!!

    Secondly, I think this is your best cake to date! Stellar job, really stellar!


  11. ב''ה

    Thank you ButterYum (and Nicola and Melinda) for your kind words.