Okay, yes, I disappeared for another week. But I have an excuse. A really damn good excuse. An outrageously decadent, completely indulgent, fussy-fussy fancy-fancy excuse. An I-stayed-up-until-one-in-the-morning-on-a-Thursday-night-up-to-my-elbows-in-butter excuse.
I made you a tart. But I eated it.
But wait, you say. Isn’t this a blog about, like, making food that doesn’t kill you? And didn’t you just post about birthday cake not too long ago? And didn’t said cake involve a veritable orgy of butter and eggs? Why, yes. Yes, I say.
So what’s my excuse? Well, it was my mother’s birthday on Saturday. (Happy birthday, Mom!) So of course I had to make a cake. You wouldn’t begrudge my sweet, lovable mama a homemade cake on her birthday, would you? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
And besides, this cake is even healthy. Kind of.
I know I just wrote a lot of pretty words about cooking, and health, and fresh vegetables and herbs and spices. But my birthday was on Friday, so that’s all on hold. Today, I’m talking about cake.
First, let me make a confession. I am not a great baker. Only rarely can I summon up the patience to pull out the measuring cups. I’m a freewheeler in the kitchen, working in pinches and splashes; scooping, fluffing, leveling and dumping a cup and two-thirds of flour is not my idea of fun. But birthdays are different; I’ve had enough indifferent supermarket cakes in my life to overcome my disdain for precision in the kitchen. And when I can find an interesting recipe, it actually becomes…fun. There’s something satisfying about taking the traditional fluffy-buttercream layer cake and turning it on its head. For my birthday, I want a sophisticated and memorable dessert, something that makes you linger just a little longer over that last lick of your fork.
And let me tell you, this year’s cake delivered.