Monthly Miettes

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Miette Tomboy Cake

Miette Tomboy Cake and freshly-cut pink garden roses

Tomboy cake sliced, with fresh roses

“It sure is nice, said Trixie. Jenny’s girls came over for Faye’s birthday cake and they couldn’t believe their eyes.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

I discovered San Francisco’s Miette Bakery during the Scharffen Berger Bakery Crawl last fall. The bakery is an oasis of shimmering pale pink and creamy mint-green, a celebration of sweetness in sight and taste. I purchased the Miette cookbook and after daydreaming about the multi-faceted recipes, set the book aside until Aimee started a blogging challenge—Monthly Miettes. The challenge requires baking a recipe of Aimee’s choice, from the Miette cookbook, each month. In doing so, I would challenge myself to become a better baker. Such ambition!

Preparing and baking the Miette Tomboy cake

Essentials

Aimee’s challenge was just the motivation I needed to actually bake from the Miette cookbook. The first recipe chosen was the Tomboy cake. The Tomboy is the cake featured on the cover of the cookbook—no pressure there! When my daughter agreed to have the Tomboy for her birthday cake, there was no turning back. I became anxious about the cake even before I began baking. The cookbook does not include instructions for making the signature Miette pink rose gracing the center of many of their marvelous cakes. My piping skills are basic. I did not have enough time to learn how to pipe a specific style of rose! I forged ahead; a special birthday was looming. Luckily the recipe makes two cakes. I used a real pink rose for my daughter’s birthday cake, and then made a white chocolate rose tinted with raspberry juice for the second cake. My family tells me this is the best cake I have made, which is fantastic! The dense rich chocolate cake is terrific paired with the light, sweet, raspberry buttercream. This is certainly a perfect cake for a celebration. And yes, I did have a piece one morning!

Slicing and frosting the Tomboy

If you decide to make this cake, read the directions several times. I suggest making the cake one day and frosting the next. It takes time. Invest in two 6 x 3″ cake pans as most of the Miette recipes use this size. After greasing the pans with butter and dusting with cocoa powder my cakes stuck slightly to the pan bottoms. Next time I will also put parchment in the bottom of each pan. When finished baking, the centers of my cakes had a dip in the middle, so I will also add another 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to the cake batter when I bake it again. A fellow food blogger, who made the Tomboy, had similar experiences. Any suggestions? The buttercream is fantastic and it should be with a pound and a half of butter! I am pleased we ate both cakes, as it was a commitment in time and expensive to make. And yes, I will make the Tomboy again!

Tomboy raspberries and roses

Freshly-picked pink garden roses

Miette's Tomboy with real rose

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35 Responses to Monthly Miettes

  1. I think your rose turned out beautifully! I loved making this cake and can’t wait for next month’s challenge. Good to bake with you 🙂

    • Deb says:

      Most definitely a very decadent delicious cake! I am so glad I joined Monthly Miettes, and look forward to our next challenge.

  2. Athena says:

    I bet your daughter was so happy to have this cake for her special day! My goodness, it’s even better the 2nd day.

    • Deb says:

      I am so glad she agreed to the Tomboy for her birthday! And that it is a very, very good cake. Yes, I will be making this recipe again.

  3. Pascale says:

    Those roses are so so pretty. And the beautiful cake too. I haven’t heard of that bakery, but when I make it over to California for a visit (which I intend to do as soon as I can) I must look it up. In the meantime, I’ll check out the book, and your lovely blog. Pascale (extra-relish.com)

    • Deb says:

      The bakery is breathtaking! A delight! If it wasn’t for the challenge I don’t think I would have attempted the Tomboy. I’m glad I did.

  4. ~ callee ~ says:

    Your rose turned out great! Looks like a wonderful cake and I really like the name :-}

  5. Your cake looks so beautiful, and I think your rose turned out beautifully! Such a beautiful cake. As soon as I saw the first photo I knew which book it was from. Miette’s book is on my wishlist.

  6. That looks like a real labour of love: So beautiful! Don’t do yourself down in the piping skills department, it all looks great from here. The centre rose is stunning. I still can’t tell it isn’t real. Wonderful, Deb. I couldn’t take up such a challenge but admire those who do.

  7. claire says:

    Oh my goodness, baker extrodinaire! And a very lucky daughter and family. I’m imagining the combination of raspberry and chocolate….. despite the butter and sugar 🙂

  8. Deb! I’m so glad you joined in for this event – thank you! How wonderful that you were able to make it for your daughter’s birthday, too, and with such great reviews 🙂 Your photos are beautiful and I love all the inspiration you derived from the pink roses. And I absolutely know what you mean about the apprehension before even beginning, as I felt exactly the same way. In the end, it was all worth it, and gave me the confidence to tackle the next one. I hope it did for you, too! xo

  9. PS – so envious that you and Athena have been to the Miette bakeries in real life! You’ll have to enjoy it for the rest of us! 🙂

    • Deb says:

      I am happy to be a part of Monthly Miettes! I am looking forward to picking a tart recipe for this months challenge.

  10. Gretchen says:

    Deb, your Tomboy cake looks picture perfect! I am thoroughly impressed. You have just inspired me to give it a go. 🙂

  11. ASHLEA says:

    I went to Miette bakery for the first time about a month ago! I had heard so much about it and was dying to stop by on my first trip to San Francisco. It is such a darling little shop and this cake looks perfect!

  12. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Gorgeous cake that is so pretty and pink:)Love the delicate rose on top:)

  13. El says:

    Amazing work. It’s beautiful!

  14. That’s such a pretty book. I’ve baked a couple of things from it but haven’t taken the plunge and bought 6″ pans yet. Your cakes look fantastic! Love the pink frosting.

    • Deb says:

      The bakery in San Francisco is just as adorable as the cookbook! I’m having a great time trying out the recipes.

  15. Wow, truly the height of baking, Deb. The contrasting colors are very playful and your rose is adorable. Allover, this is a very fine culinary creation!

  16. Foodiewife says:

    First, this cake is a stunner. Next, but not last, I’ve been to the Miette bakery at the Ferry Building– and fell in-love with their chocolate cupcake with Italian Meringue. Wow! I got better piping skills when I invested time at Michael’s for their Wilton cake decorating class. I don’t like over-the-top decorations, but think you did a great job. As far as the fondant rose– beautiful. I have not, yet, played with fondant. Our roses are budding, and I can’t wait to have them in full bloom. Personally, I love decorating my cakes with the real thing. So glad you shared this. I wish I had time to belong to a baking group– it’s fun to think outside the box.

    • Deb says:

      Thanks so much for the compliments! I agree that the cake with the real rose is more elegant but I just had to share the ones I made from white chocolate! (I think the white chocolate tastes better than fondant too.)

  17. Paula says:

    Such a pretty cake. So envious of your delicate icing rose! I love those smaller cake pans and I’m having a bit of fun with them myself.

  18. Looks gorgeous! Wish I had a piece right now. Can’t wait for the next special occasion to give this a try, especially given the testimonial provided by your family. I especially appreciate the cooking tips you provide. And, like I need any excuse to go out and buy new pans 😉 Love the smaller size cake!

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