lets talk about pancakes...just kidding. As recently discovered, and since emphasized, i not only like, but like to talk about pancakes. Not tonight. Tonight i want to talk about cake. "Pan" free. Just cake.
Not just cake. To me, the epitomy of cakes: toothy with almonds, just sweet, and so moist it is as if squeezing a sponge each bite. Ok, that is disgusting. What a terrible simile. I take it back, no cake should ever be compared to a dirty, porous, cleaning utensil. Lets get back on track...
The cake i am thinking of is so moist it yeilds to a fork, rather than breaking apart, relunctant to a mouthful. It is dense and lovely, holding together yet as tender as a pat of melting butter. And yet it is made of olive oil.
This was my birthday cake, love/from Cindy. An almond polenta cake, the perfect, and i cannot believe so long kept secret, rendition of my cake fascination as of my birthday before this birthday (honestly, i hunted down the ideal piece, trying four different coffee shops versions, one restaurants, and two of my own including one vegan, audition--no, not edition or addition, audition, as each cake was trying out for the cake of my dreams. And all along, Cindy had it.)
I should have known, the gal not only surprises me continually, but seems at large to get me. It is only natural that someone who can literally live with my idiosyncracies, follow suit if not lead in my crazy moments, show compassion and empathy for what is often hidden, more often obviously missing from life, should have the recipe to fill a particular idiosyncratic void. And fill it i did, with several pieces that night, my first at her home for my second birthday spent with her in her home (it feels so good, i think it will be my custom--especially if this cake is involved), and several more over the next couple of days. I had the last piece for breakfast back in my own home, five days later and it was just as moist, crumby, wonderfully nutty and citrusy as the first slice.
But that slice was savoured far longer than five more days ago. And i long for it as i sit at home with a different cake, one from the book cind bought me to go along giftingly, with her gorgeous cake. The book is Moro East, the cake a rosewater tropazini--a Spanish, brioche style cake laden with pine nuts. The book is wonderful, a wealth of moorish meals...the cake is not good. It is dry, dense, and the pinenuts hardly lend themselves as flavour to it. Bland, perhaps at my rushed hands in baking it, though. Certainly not made with the sort of love i imagine Cind baked right into hers.
Which leads me to the real point of this post. I mean, i could go on because i certainly have plenty to say about the cake i am currently forcing myself to eat--how i tried to jazz it up over the last several nights with goat yogurt and honey, or rhubarb jam, or poached apricots from my freezer...unsavable--or past cakes loved and longed to revisit--Heidi Noble's ginger pound cake perfect for spring and befitting my ginger obsession of late; my ma's black magic cake, a beauty i willingly suffer the chocolate migraine for after, the poppyseed almond cake i make as a vessel for lemon curd--or how i love to eat cake after the first glamorous slice of just baked--in three bite slices, standing, right from the cakestand, ungarnished. So that covers that then--talked about cake. But i would also like to talk about the cake baker who inspired this story.
I recently past-posted a...well, post...about Cindy. But i hardly felt like it did her justice. Most unfortunatly, i also included a thought about a dirty, porous sponge in that bit of writing, and like the ill comparison that is to lovely cake, no matter how moist, it is a terrible association to my lovely Cind. All i meant from it was to exemplify how something i once threw in the hesitated to even touch before throwing into the garbage has suddenly become a staple household tool because of Cind. More specifically, because of how i admire her. Here is a girl who does everything she does with integrity; with wonder and strive for excellence; with a dedication that has her waking early, calling it a night in the morning, only to get up and do it all over again. Cindy is inquisitive and understanding, one of many dichotomic descriptions i have for her. She is splendid to me in this balance she hardly realizes she possesses. She is at once driven, tightly wound, demanding of herself, searching, overthinking, while being too relaxed, open, lightened by ideas, cognizant, present. The last is a bit of a hangup of ours, for around the time that we were together for my last birthday, we were both in a bit of a dark place (an understatement, but i dont want to talk about gloom--im trying to spread joy via cake here...), and wandered around through current life together in what we referred to as "bubbles," oblivious to the moment--certainly not in it, the moment, that is. But you know, i think she was, i think she was in her moment of gloom. Cind is far to in tune with her thoughts and emotions, far to contemplative of them to not be. Perhaps no moments were seized, but certainly they were analyzed with a great presence. And you know, i think moments were seized--i think we latched right onto our compatibility. I have never met someone who gets me without analyzing me. We are so similar emotionally, mentally, yet with differences integral enough to learn and grow from and with eachother. There is no one i can be with at the same time as i can be with my thoughts. And i can share these thoughts with her. Nothing has to make sense, because Cindy gets that nothing really does, and sense doesnt matter or have to exist to explain how you feel. The gal is wise. She is beautiful and talented and admirable. She bakes a perfect cake.
I will ask if i can share it with you...(wow, that is like the worst ending to a story about a cake, the recipe suspended mid air like whether the hero of an action story lives or dies, if the couple in a romance live happily ever after or worse...sorry). For now, a picture: