I’m torn. Or, I’m of two minds. On the one hand, tradition is a great thing, offering stability in these troubled times (a bit of angsty saga there, eh?). On the other hand, some might consider baking the same cake (yes, we're talking about cake here) as THE birthday cake month after month, year after year is akin to being in a rut.
I think it depends on the cake in question. Some cakes deserve to be consumed on a regular basis. For many years the only birthday cake in our house was an old-fashioned cocoa cake with cocoa frosting. Three layers of OMG this is freaking amazing. (Hubby is a rebel and always wants an apple pie for his birthday “cake”.)
As a youngster quite often my birthday cake was a spice cake with Seven Minute Frosting (cooked egg white frosting = food of the gods). So when I think of that cake, spice cake with the meringue frosting, I’m transported back to the halcyon days of my childhood. And that’s a good thing. That’s what tradition means. Comfort and stability and damn good cake.
So which cake will I bake for the birthday this weekend? I’m torn.
Happy New Year!!!
How’s your headache? <grin>
The beginning of a new year means one thing for some people – resolutions. I’ve never done well with resolutions – I’m probably doing it wrong. I think it’s nigh on impossible to wake up on January 1 and BAM, start working out every day. Or POW, quit caffeine. Or SHAZAM, stay away from chocolate.
I read a blog post the other day that resonated with me. In it, the author talked about wanting to make positive changes in her life but she understood her limitations and was willing to compromise on the steps she would need to take. What she called half-assing a habit. (Go read the post and then come back.)
That’s how I’ll approach my resolution to eat healthier. I know myself too well to even attempt to go cold turkey when it comes to sweets and baked goods. It just wouldn’t happen. So my half-ass attempt at eating healthier will mean one cookie instead of four. Bread only on the weekend. And only one slice of this killer cake per day. (I baked this cake for a New Year’s Eve party and bonfire last night. Ridiculously delicious. But it didn't rise like it should have so was a little...dense. Still wonderfully rummy though.)
Are you one who makes a resolution every New Year? Do you stick with it for the entire 365 days of the year?
Happy December! How did that happen? said everyone everywhere.
As you read this (provided you’re reading this on Friday) I’m on my way to the mainland for a much- needed haircut. Also to conduct house business, and to visit friends. Hopefully, I’m also celebrating my “winning” of NaNoWriMo. (I’m writing this blog post early so all I can say is if I didn’t “win”, I came mighty close.”
We’re approaching intense baking season, at least in my house. All the seasonal recipes are being dusted off – cookies and cakes and breads.
‘Tis the season to get fatter, fa la la la la, la la, la la.
Ah, but it’s only once a year and we all deserve a treat. Especially after this past year of craziness, national, international, and personal.
Just remember moderation in all things.
In the spirit of sharing, I’m a guest blogger today and am sharing my favourite recipe for sugar cookies. Come visit me at Karen Doctor's blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card. Perfect for holiday shopping, or to buy one of my books if, you know, you want to.
Do you go all out baking for the holidays? Or do you let other people do all the hard work?
Fruitcake, to be precise. Who likes it?
Well, I do. I love fruitcake and I’m not ashamed to admit it. The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a slice or two of the dark, moist, fragrant confection.
The best fruitcakes are baked early to allow flavours to develop and intensify. I start mine at least a month before Christmas.
Firstly, dried fruits are dumped in a bowl and doused with a glug or two of booze. Some use rum. Some use brandy. I use whisky. Canadian Club Rye Whisky to be precise.
Tasting of the fruit at this stage is mandatory. <grin>
After allowing the fruit to soak up the booze for at least twelve hours (I give it an entire day [more time to taste test the fruit]) it’s stirred into a batter rich with butter, eggs and sugar. Also those warm spices that scream holiday baking – nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice.
The batter is plunked in a lined baking pan and baked at a low temperature for hours. 285 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours to be precise. The house smells divine. It smells like the holidays of my childhood.
Then the cake needs to cool completely. Given its density, that takes a couple hours.
To help keep the cake moist, and to aid in its longevity, the cake is “fed” with additional booze, whisky in this case, at regular intervals. I feed mine weekly by sprinkling a few tablespoons of whisky over the top of the cake before tightly re-wrapping it in parchment paper and tin foil. Normally I’d store the cake in a large cake tin but IT’S STILL IN STORAGE!
Perhaps it’s time for another cake feeding. And I might just have a tipple, too.
Do you like fruitcake? Have you tried a homemade version that’s nicely steeped in spirits?
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow to all my American friends and relations!