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So, the more I thought about this cake blog, the more I thought of the memories I associate with cakes. Or rather, with certain cakes. We’ve talked about birthday cake, for instance (I’m still scarred that my mother does not have one single obligatory birthday cake picture of me).
Was your family the kind that always had dessert with dinner? Ours certainly wasn’t. A dessert usually appeared with the Sunday roast, though. I remember my mom, the best penny-pincher around, made this “cheesecake”; basically squares with graham wafer crumb, fruit and jello (remember those frozen strawberries that used to come out of that can thingy?), one block of cream cheese and whipped cream. It may not have been “authentic”, but we loved it and asked for it over and over again.
Speaking of birthdays, my brother used to ask for a black forest cake every year. Not the original, damned fine black forest cake that you can get in Germany. Noooo, the Safeway version. All sugar and fake icing. Eck.
And when is a birthday cake not a cake? Jimmy’s favourite birthday “cake” is pecan pie. Oooh, speaking of Jimmy, did I mention that my first birthday with him, he made me a cake? No wonder I married the man. It was a chocolate kaluha cake. He went over to our friend Debbie’s place to make it, and she claims to this day that he got cake batter on the ceiling of her kitchen. This is the best part, though: he put money in the cake! How fun is that? Debbie also helpfully inserted a condom right before Jim iced it (he had no idea), and then she called him every day asking, “have you finished the cake yet?” She finally had to confess; we were sort of done with the cake and ready to throw it away.
So, again I find myself waxing on about food memories, but let’s face it; many of our best memories involve food.
For tonight’s cake, admonished by Yvonne to not even consider buying one, I decided on this Epicurious recipe for spongecake (for the principle reason that it only used four eggs). Except that Jimmy and I are trying to cut back on the fat, at least a little, so I decided to pass on the rum milk syrup and all that stuff. So basically, I took the spongecake recipe, eliminated the cinnamon and added the zest of one lemon, and substituted some of the milk for the juice of one lemon. Then I just served it with macerated blueberries (with lemon juice) and whipped cream (before you give me grief about the whipped cream, look at the rum milk syrup again).
The cake never seemed done. I poked and poked it and it never really bounced back, but I took it out after 10 extra minutes so it wouldn’t be hopelessly dry. Of course it fell a little. * sigh * But it was actually… quite delicious!
Okay, hats off to Yvonne. The spongecake I made bore absolutely no resemblance to the yellow-died greasy crap you buy in the store.
It’s apparently been one of those months. You know, we start the day with the best of intentions, and the blog doesn’t quite go up first thing in the morning.
I was dragonboating yesterday in Steveston (a festival that I will remember as the worst-organized in history). Our team did… okay. They’re a great crew; they tried hard, but I honestly think the disorganization of the festival got to them. Our last race was our best one – we finally pulled it together.
Anyway, I’m supposed to be talking about spongecake, aren’t I?
Spongecake seems so meh to me, that I decided to take a survey of my team to see how they felt about it. Grace said, "it reminds me of childhood". Apparently her mom made an awesome spongecake from scratch when she was a little girl. Grace said she hasn’t even thought of spongecake since childhood; her taste in cakes has evolved since then.
Lisa credited her mother-in-law with the best spongecake in the world, then went on to say that she doesn’t even bother with pastries because she can’t hold a candle to her mother-in-law.
Yvonne shamed me out of buying a spongecake. She described store-bought spongecake as "crap, with yellow food colouring". Hmmm.
So now I have to make a spongecake.
Which I will do, but I’ll have to tell you about it later.
I have to go to work first.