March 24, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

This will be quick today (baking takes a lot out of me), but I wanted to drop in and say hi to you anonymous readers that I recently discovered are invisibly perusing this seemingly barren space. (Speak up, why don't you.) This is especially for the few in particular who say I don't update enough - you know who you are. Welcome and thanks for reading! Pour yourself a cup of coffee and here's some cake.

This isn't any ordinary cake, mind you. I've come to the conclusion that it's a big fudgey brownie disguised as a cake. Don't be fooled. It's from a new book that my new Seattle friend, Molly Wizenberg, wrote. She served several of these little rounds of heaven at her wedding a few years back. For me, the book was more of an indulgence than the cake - I must say.

I have a signed copy of it coming from Seattle by way of another Seattle friend, Mi Ae, who will be promoting her cookbook. On my way to a Lynne Rossetto Kasper event, I realized daylight savings time threw me off an hour, and as I drove by Borders - I just couldn't help it. Mi Ae's visit wouldn't come soon enough. I found the last copy they had, managed to scrounge up the exact change for the thing, and sat in the parking lot for an hour reading until Ms. Kasper's event started.

And now that exact book sits half-way across the world the apartment kitchen in 'Spictytown' (translated, of course) - a charming city in Bavaria. It is the college-town of my German sister, Tanja, who baked this cake with me for the first time (for our Aunt RoseAnne's birthday) while she was visiting with her brother over my spring break.

Since we had such a good time baking it (and eating it) we decided we'd let the book connect us through our kitchens. Tanja would take my copy and when I get mine in a few weeks, we will start cooking for ourselves and friends out of it together, sharing our triumphs and failures. I knew there was a reason I had to get my hands on this book so early. Waiting until April would have made this plan impossible.

Although I imagine her European ingredients are far superior to their American counterparts, which I will be forced to use, I anticipate good stories being shared in our future via these recipes. Although the simultaneous occurrence of driving away from the airport after dropping them off and Sarah McLachlan's Angel playing on the radio made my eyes welled with tears (usually, I am not a crier), it was a little less painful saying goodbye, knowing that we have future experiences together in the book, our kitchens, and our hearts.

Now it's time to put away the Kleenexes and pull out our aprons. You may know that baked goods are not commonplace around here, and even more foreign are recipes for them. But given the celebration of new readers and the new sentiment attached to it, I'll give it a shot. If you forgot already, I don't actually have the book with me, so I don't have the recipe. Nor did I have it this morning when I baked it a second time. But that's suffice to say how easy it is. 5 ingredients, FIVE.

(This is from memory, be patient. And send me the remnants if it's a flop.)

Molly's Wedding Cake and Our 'Hello, Goodbye' Cake

7 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate - I used Ghirardhelli chips
7 ounces butter ( 1 3/4 sticks)
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 Tbs flour (you read corrently, 1 Tbs)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cube the butter and combine it with the chips (or roughly chopped bar) and place on top of a double boiler. (I don't have a double boiler so I heat up an inch of water in a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl over it. Place the butter and chocolate in there.) Stir until completely melted. Add the cup of sugar and thoroughly combine. Take the chocolate mixture off of the heat and let cool for a few minutes, until you know the eggs won't curdle once you crack them in. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the 1 Tbs of flour.

Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and butter the sides, as well as the paper. Pour in the batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Since there are so many eggs, 25 minutes might give you a jiggly center. That's ok, just work with your oven and adjust the time as needed. When you take it out it should be mostly set, but it's fine if there is some movement. The book, of course, has a detailed description about when you know it is done or isn't done - but I forget.

Let the cake hang out in the pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. To get the cake out of the pan, right-side-up, there are two flippings involved. First put a plate over the top of the pan and flip it. Remove the pan from the cake. And then put another plate (or the serving platter) over the 'top' (which really is the 'bottom') and flip again.


Godlesscook said...

Hey Melinda

This is Darrin from the KW.. Longtime reader, first time caller. You're actually on my RSS, so i get every update. You write very well, and I really enjoy your photography.. do you use natural light? or do you just have a well-lit kitchen? I've always got lighting issues in my dark as night kitchen, and the flash obviously doesn't cut it for food photography.

I've also got a pseudo food blog, though it's in need of a serious update and redesign... check it out if you're interested, it should be linked from my profile.
See you soon!

Melinda Feucht said...

Hi Darrin, thanks for checking in. On your RSS! That's a big step for Sprout - I don't think she's gotten that treatment before :) Thanks for the kind words. As to the photography, I find the best food shots are taken between 11a and 3p. You're right, the flash is awful for food photography, and I'm very fortunate to have a well-lit kitchen.

I saw your blog, nice! You are quite the avid cook, Darrin. See you at KW sometime.

Hyedi said...

Hey Melinda, I'm one of the anonymous readers! It's Hyedi, I used to be in your online web design class. I really like your blog, keep up the good work!

Melinda Feucht said...

Hi Hyedi, thanks for dropping in! We miss you in the class, where'd you go ? My site is up and running now if you want to check it out:

Hope your semester is well. Given you are a health journalism student, I bet food is a passion of yours too ?

Bethany Ann Khan said...

I want some of that fudge cake like no one's business. Seriously.

I am also a longtime stalker and I think that you should make it easier for people (like moi) to comment on your blog. Take away the word verification, sound good? :)

The word verification is making me type: "gloosoc." That is not a word. I checked.

Melinda Feucht said...

Bethany, you rascal - hiding around here like that! There's half a cake in my freezer, waiting to be thawed for a lovely afternoon on our plates :) Alas, I can't take away the word verification - Google sets that. And 'gloosoc' - it looks as though it could be some obscure French ingredient. Who knows.

Melinda Feucht said...

My bad, Bethany. I just found the setting option and changed it. No more obscure French ingredients for you.

Bethany Ann Khan said...

Haha. Oh, Melinda! I only googled the word and found nothing, next time I shall know better -- ask you! :)

Hyedi said...

Most definitely, that's why I love your blog!

I had to drop the class, I just had one too many things going on this semester to fit in building that site, I do kind of wish I had stuck it out though. Your site looks great!