Friday, December 18, 2009

holiday dessert wishlist item #1: cakes that have appeared on the cover of the december issue of bon appétit

Like most agnostic half-Jews, the yachtsman loves Christmas. Like most recovering Catholics whose parents are divorced, I don't. But being married to a man who takes such great pleasure out of listening to Handel's Messiah and shopping for his nieces and opening presents on Christmas morning (and one year getting a little drunk on Christmas Eve, putting a Band-Aid on his face, and insisting that I call him Nelly) has brought me around from relying on Valium to make it through the day to almost sort of liking it. And it certainly doesn't hurt that that husband of mine can bake.

So weeks ago I told the yachtsman that I'm pretty sure all Jesus wants for His birthday is this cake:

Doesn't this look amazing? It's called professional photography; please don't grow accustomed to it.

That beauty is the Peppermint Meringue Cake With Chocolate Buttercream that was pictured on the cover of December's Bon Appétit. Sadly, however, it's not getting very good reviews on, which will never do. The cake is for the Lord, for God's sake, and He deserves a dessert that received more than a three-fork rating.

Now I'm hoping to convince the yachtsman to once again attempt this glorious cathedral of chocolate, the Devil's Food Cake With Peppermint Frosting that was on the cover of last year's December issue of Bon Appétit.

Also taken by someone who knows what they're doing and owns a real camera.

The yachtsman tried to make this cake for Thanksgiving in 2008, only to have it collapse under its own weight (something I may be doing soon, as well). We ate it anyway, of course, and it was delicious: Chocolatey and minty with marshmallowy icing and what was essentially whipped cream between the layers. Perfect for the Lord Jesus Christ Our Savior who art in heaven, hallowed be His name, right? And because the only Jesus I would ever believe in is kind and forgiving and loves and accepts all of his children no matter what (this is sadly not the same Jesus I was introduced to at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception), He would not care at all if His cake collapsed or that it was made by an agnostic half-Jew. He would not even care if I ate most of it, because as it says in the bible, It is better to giveth than to receiveth, to which I say, Thank you, Jesus.


  1. that's all i want for christmas too. That sucker is gorgeous!

  2. This is a true testament that opposites attract and can sometimes even meet in the middle... when the middle contains chocolate, minty goodness. Please post semi-professional photos of the finished product!

    In the case of MeatMan & TheFace, the roles are reversed. I am holiday-loving, relation-gift-giving fanatic and he is stress-hating, Ramen-making, and sane. But when it comes down to it, MeatMan is the only one who can tolerate and improve a holiday-frenzied StephFace AND her family on the 25th. That's the true meaning of Christmas, non?

  3. Just tell Nelly that all he has to do is add a few glistening strawberries to that devil's food and he will have created a birthday cake to make Jesus smile.

    Oh, and tuck a piece in the freezer, well-wrapped, for me to eat in January.

  4. The peppermint concoction looks dangerously like Checkerboard Cake sans the painstaking arrangement of two different cakes (chocolate and vanilla)in checkerboard fashion; frosted, and usually completed @ 3:00 a.m. on Christmas morning (along with various kitchen sets and "easy to assemble" Viking Ships from Japan)... yup,those were the days. The Lord Jesus was referred to often in those early morning hours. BUT...wonderful memories abound as well...right Tonto, Julie, Jerry, Kater, Mo?
    I know I speak for all of us when I say I'm thankful the Yachtsman is with you to bake amazing cakes, sing wonderful hymns and be Nelly when necessary. Tell him that Tonto & Julie have the Checkerboard Cake recipe if he wants to recreate the 3:00 a.m. experience.

    Love, Yer Maw

  5. Kater:

    Maybe you should tell the Yachtsman to make some kind of an angel food cake so you can get over your Christmas spiritual malady without descending into the Valley of the Dolls. You don't want to end up doing the 9th Step in Heaven before the all-forgiving Lord Jesus Christ, do you?
    Wishing you grace over the Holidays.
    Saint Marcus of St. Albans

  6. Muzzer and Saint Marcus, I'm so glad you've finally conquered the internets and are able to post comments. I want to know who the hell got a Viking Ship for Christmas, because it certainly wasn't me.

    And perhaps the yachtsman will eventually quit his career as a Christmas Eve rapper and take over the middle-of-the-night checkerboard cake duties, but this year I'm hoping he'll be busy baking that chocolate peppermint shizzle and assembling my Viking Ship.

    P.S. Your comments made me LOL. Which stands for "laugh out loud." FYI.

    Yer Dotter

  7. I thought it was "lots of love." I don't think we've conquered the internets, just negotiated the googles. lol.

  8. well said Kate, well said. I hope that you get that big cake with all the layers, and that you will get sick of it and call me to take it away. I would do that for you.

  9. I have to say that I too was stung by the Bon Appetit wonderful chocolate cake from 2008. I changed the recipe because I am lazy and made it 3 layers instead of the millions that the picture was showing. Tell the Yachtsman that my cake also was too heavy and fell. I find it sad that you hear the expression "It doesn't matter what it looks like, just how it tastes..." which is code for "Wow this is one ugly piece of sh*t"!

  10. For the record: The youngest sis got the GD viking ship. Mom and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning one Christmas assembling that sucker. Come to think of it, where the hell were the rest of you people?!?!?!