We ended another season of Lost and another season of Thursday dissections and chats about this still-entertaining TV show. Maybe I'm a TV snob, but if I'm going to watch something on TV, it has to be compelling and demand my attention. Lost continues to do that. And for the past few years, it has given me a chance to make fun desserts to conclude our Lost chats at work.
For last year's finale, I made a toasted coconut-almond cake from Tish Boyle's Diner Desserts. This year, I wanted to do something similarly lush and extravagant, so I made Iced Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake from Lisa Yockelson's Baking by Flavor.
BBF might be near about my favorite baking cookbook. I love the structure of the book (chapters based on primary flavors rather than final product), I love the breadth of the recipes, I admire the specificity of the instructions. Of all the baking books I own, I think I've made more stuff from this book than any other (possibly upward of a third of the book). I can think of only two things that didn't turn out well (a lemon Bundt cake and some oatmeal cookies).
I'd made Iced Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake twice before, but never actually tasted it. Once was for Karen to bring in for a coworker's birthday, and once I brought it in for a work birthday during a pre-marathon taper period (so no sweets). I'd clearly missed out on something good. The cake is pretty straightforward chocolate, with cold brewed coffee as the liquid component. Between the layers, there's a filling of coffee pastry cream. The icing is a soft, chocolate frosting. All in all, this one is a keeper. The cake is lovely and moist; I wish I'd dropped the pans full of batter on the table to dislodge air bubbles before I baked them. Otherwise, no complaints.