Friday, May 16, 2014

how dangerous tis.

I am really only interested in cakes that can be breakfast, dessert, or your birthday cake -- equal parts homey and celebratory.  This is not an easy combination to pull off, so discovering something that checks all of those boxes is cause for immediate action.  

I started researching recipes for lemon raspberry polenta cake on my phone after ONE BITE of the lemon raspberry polenta cake at Federal.  Literally while still at the table in the restaurant.  Publicly googling cake.  It was crazytown moist, so bright and fruit-studded, I couldn't stand the thought of not having it whenever (day, night, or partytime) I wanted it.  

Growing up my grandma would make lemon cake with lemon filling for my birthday, so anything baked and citrusy makes me think of turning 5, and also of my grandparents' kitchen in San Jose, which is all 70's yellow and brown, much like the cooked edges of a lemon cake itself.  This is a gluten free and frosting-less variety, sun-colored and tart enough to be nostalgic.  

Lemon Raspberry Polenta Cake
adapted from Nigella

for cake: 
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft, + extra for pan
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup polenta
1 cup almond meal
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
the juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 package raspberries

for syrup:
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar

for serving:
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter a springform pan and line the base with parchment paper.

Beat butter and sugar together until creamy (if you don't have a mixer, very soft butter and some muscles work fine), and add then the eggs one at a time, whisking between additions.  Mix in the rest of the cake ingredients (minus the raspberries) and stir until well combined.

Pour half of the batter into dish, then spread half of the raspberries out in a layer.  Cover with remaining batter, and then the rest of the berries, pressing them in slightly.  Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until golden and set.

While cake is finishing up (ETA 10 minutes), heat the remaining lemon juice with 1/2 cup sugar in a sauce pan, simmering until the mixture reduces into a thick syrup.  Use a skewer to poke holes all over the finished and slightly cooled cake, and brush the top with syrup, letting it soak in and get dreamy.  

Allow cake to cool completely before un-springing the pan and removing the sides. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.  This cake melds well, a technical term my dad uses to mean "gets even more delicious after hanging out for awhile."  If you can, cover the cooled cake, stick it in the fridge, and wait to eat it tomorrow. 

"They will find the cake and they will gobble it up, because, having no mother, they don't know how dangerous tis to eat rich damp cake." Peter and Wendy, J.M. Barrie 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

sleeveless and posi.

H&M kimardigan (kimono + cardigan? I'm gonna make this term a thing); Zara tank; Betsey Johnson pants; espadrilles that a man made me in his shop for 8 euro

Got hit in the face by a really awesome bit of America yesterday when I walked into a coffee shop to find a dude in a Hossa jersery straight up shouting to the girl at his table about wanting to grow a "power stache as an ode to the 90's."  She looked a little embarrassed about his lack of volume control, but mostly interested in his theories.  "Its the funniest thing you can do to your face, hands down," he said.  "Cuz then every girl like gasps and is totally shocked when she sees it."  I almost hugged him, that lil slice of silly bro-dom in this wash of Euro hombres.

I cannot grow a power stache --- believe me, I have been trying --- and instead will have to honor the decade of my birth with a pair of harem pants and some nearly floor-grazing layering.  Looks like I'm going to bed but actually am entering the real world?  Sign me UP.