This is the story of a girl who was hungry.
For what, I am oft unsure. But after decades of turning down dessert, of declaring a war against sugar, of craving salty over sweet at first glance, well? It appears I’ve changed my mind, and very much so.
Just this week, I have pulled the following from my oven: a lovely lemon blueberry crumble, lightly browned and rising inches beyond its’ aluminum girdle. A smooth, decadent flourless dark chocolate cake, a pint of macerated strawberries nearby for glazing. A milk and wildflower honey cake with hand-whipped maraschino cream, packed lovingly into a picnic basket with plastic forks.
In truth, I can’t tell you what’s come over me. I can only tell you that my enamel bowl once reserved for an occasional hand-kneading of bread now has deep scratches from dripping whisks, metal mixers, golden tasting spoons.
I can only tell you, too, that I plan to stop never.
12 cakes, then. One per month, although I’ve admittedly been “testing” roughly three a week. I’ll save my favorites for you, my leftovers for (very pleased) neighbors.
The first crowdpleaser is up next week, and in preparation, here are a few supplies I’ve been ever-reliant on since this phase (obsession?) sparked last January:
I live by a 3×3 rule for investing in cookbooks, and it’s simple: If, after borrowing it from our local library, I find at least 3 recipes that I happen to cook at least 3 times each, it’s worth the investment. An arbitrary rule if ever there was one, but I do love a good made-up rule, and this one works for me.
And so, in the spirit of delicious simplicity, these made the cut (click image to peruse):
Four months ago, I didn’t own a mixer. (Fun fact: it was not an unlikely experience to see Ken mixing cookie dough with a power drill.) And yet: is this newfound hobby just a phase? Do I want to invest in a pricy stand mixer in the name of a 4-month obsession?
Short answer: nope.
For the novice bakers out there, here’s all I’ve needed to dip my oven mitts into the world of cake, cake, glorious cake:
Don’t ever let anyone tell you baking requires schmancy supplies. Just add parchment paper, deal?
Up next week: milk and wildflower honey cake, or more aptly named – The Thank-Your-Weary-Church-Staff-Cake. Best served with a side of hugs and plastic forks.
But first, a reminder for us all — May we be ever-surprised by our own capacity for change.
Here’s to licking the batter, every last bit of it.