cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Figues Sèches

"The God-given inheritance of our mother country, the darling of my heart, a dried fig." - Alexis of Thuria

The eyes feast before the stomach has the chance, but what then when the eyes are fooled into discontent? They say "adventurous" eaters will take the dives; sling back an oyster, dare to attempt blood sausage and scorpion legs--but food does not have to take on the image of an epic crusade of danger and adrenalin (leave that to the little bald man on the Travel Channel) there is another way to train the eyes, it is called the brain. Think for just a moment before putting (or not putting) something in your mouth. Try to reason out why there is hesitation. If, in the end, it comes to appearance and only appearance, then it is undoubtedly something you need to sample. I came to this sad conclusion only yesterday with the underestimated, undervalued, and overlooked dried fig. When offered a figue sèche by a French girl in the kitchen last night I hesitated, but took one not wanting to offend. Praise and good fortune be bestowed upon that girl from that moment on. Dried figs are candy in disguise of a begger's rat pill. Their appearance resembles the textbook case of an ugly duckling, they are shriveled and exude an air of desiccation and storage rivaled only by a grandmothers faux fur coat. The truth, my darlings, is there is nothing more perfectly sweet, chewy, crunchy, and satisfying as a dried fig.

What to do with a dried fig. Besides eating a whole pack (not difficult) I thought of baking a tribute to my new candy, a baked good only the Salty Cod would and could carry. I thought of biscotti, the ever ready confection able to adapt to any added ingredient, and decided to proceed to the super marche to finally, after being in this country for two weeks, build my baking arsenal. On y va to carrefour, the "fred meyers" of France--alors, this American's heaven. Flour, sugar, butter, anise seed, figs, baking pans, whisk, baking soda (though allusive for nearly a half hour) carrefour has it all. While choosing a loaf pan, I noticed the madeleine pan, the shell shaped cake dish I have pined after for months. I am in france, I reasoned, I will make madeleines, fig madeleines.

Je suis prete. The espresso is made, the batter mixed, the pan set and filled, now to the oven. What oven. This foyer is sans oven, though there is an electric toaster oven large enough for a small pan. Needless to say Celsius is different from Fahrenheit, and toaster ovens are a wee bit different from conventional ovens. It will take, I fear, more than this attempt to work the oven like a pro and bend it to my every will. It won the battle this time and murdered my madeleines and instead producing a flat loaf resembling french toast sticks when cut. Though the other filles of the foyer consumed every last piece, I am determined to make them appear in the form of madeleines. If, however, a flat fig cake is desired by you my reader, then I wholeheartedly implore you to attempt such a recipe in ode to the pretty little treat, the dried fig.

Madeleines des Figues Sèches

  • 4 chopped medium sized dried figs
  • 130 grams flour
  • 130 grams sugar
  • 130 grams melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 2 eggs
whisk butter and sugar, add flour and bp, melted butter, figs, and anise. Fill madeleine pans and bake for 8 minutes (or cake tin for a bit longer).

Eating a box of dried figs may be just as if not more enjoyable than a cake of their name. Suffice to say dried figs are now nestled among my edible loves, they will be available by the parcel at the Salty Cod, and hopefully so too will fig madeleines.

A bientôt

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chicklets from Señor Oscar

Riddle me this: what do you get when you stuff a family from Barcelona, a Portuguese speaking East Timorian, and a French speaking American on a train in Paris without the luxury of English? Answer: Happy hour.

Paris is well known for the reliability of its metro and public transportation, as in most western European Urban areas, the grand majority of population leave the cars to taxi drivers and trips out of the city. The metro only goes as far as the Paris city limits though, therefore to travel outside to the suburbs and neighboring towns one must take the much slower RER train. Therefore, to get to the Palace of Versailles, the RER it was. The Palace was breathtaking to say the least. It was almost too much to comprehend physically being in a location saturated with so much history. Although I did not actually go in the palace it was satisfying enough the stroll the gardens and gaze at the Sun Palace that drained France of nearly every franc. Louis the 14th may have sent his kingdom spiraling towards ruin, but he knew how to commission beauty beyond comprehension. Leaving the gardens it began to rain, pas un problem as the RER station was but 7 minutes by foot. Once on the train, though, American patterns in transportation began to materialize: delays, I nearly felt as though I were back home in Seattle.

The term "overcrowded" harbors connotations of discontent; emotions that here have no place. For while the train was well overcrowded, "cozy" would be a more appropriate term. Next to my friend G who was lucky enough to get a seat, I sat on a stair step in one of the cars squeezed in beside a brightly beaming garandmama. across from us (about a foot) were the rest of her family--7 traveling Spaniards chirping in Espagnol rapidly enough so as to create a melodious illusion of song. The only one not singing was teenage son, no doubt embarrased by loud traveling family, the teenage trait that traverses all borders. G, a fellow student from Gonzaga, has an affinity for conversation--reserve is not often found in her vocabulary. G's hyper excitement for life is endearing; a foreign student at Gonzaga, G comes from East Timor, a small Island north of Australia with a chronic history of political and social strife. G's primary tongue is Portuguese, as the Portuguese were the first colonizers of the Indonesian Island, however she also speaks the local language Dili, English, minimal Spanish, and is learning French. As such G loves to talk to anyone, no matter what language.

On the train with the Spaniards G relentlessly tried them on Portuguese, they understood and replied in Spanish, she understood and replied in Portuguese. Incredible. Soon they were all bubbling about this or that--turned out to be football--I sat there grimacing until one of them looked at me and I piped in laughingly "Je ne comprends rien!" "Ah tu es Francais" he replied, to which I admitteded in a bout of honestly, "Actuellement, Je suis Americaine, mais je parle francaise." To this their eyes lit up. Americaine and you speak French? French is hard for Americans is it not? Are you from New Orleans? And so forth. Of course this conversation was in French, as not a single one spoke English, the 16 year old son being the only one who could "my English good not". Refreshing I must say. From then on we were the loud and infectious bunch drawing looks from every direction. Espagnol, Portugaise, et Francaise all mixed into the conversation. Senor Henrique Bug and his son Junior, Amigo Oskar, Grandpa, Grandma, and the others. Bug loved the makeup of the group; "strange mix strange mix" he would laugh. Seattle Seattle hmmmm, I have a friend in Chicago! Then Oscar brought out the gum. Chicklets are chicklets in every language and every culture. Gracias! The family came from Barcelona, visiting Paris 3 days for the Padres business adventures. Whatever the conversation started with, it would end with football. Bug Junior's only English was "I want be Football player." Ah yes. G wondered how it was they did not know Portuguese as the nation shares a border. Our Amigos explained that Barcelona lies far to the East in Catalonia, and no one speaks Portugaise. "What is Catalonia?" She asked, I replied with my limited knowledge of "its an autonomous region in Spain, like the Basque region." Hmm, no cigar for G. But the topic deserves further inquiry.

Catalonia is the eastern most autonomous region in Spain, sharing a border only with Southern France and the Mediterranean (the others being the Spanish regions of Aragon and Valencia). There are 8 "autonomous" constituents in Spain; Catalonia, Basque Country, Galacia, Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Aragon, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. These 8 regions are guaranteed statutes for self government while still belonging to the nation of Spain. 1469 is well regarded as the birth year of the Kingdom of Spain with the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. As part of the Kingdom of Aragon, Catalonia began to lose its sovereignty over the proceeding centuries which eventually led to a centralized Spanish Empire. Catalonia's attempt to regain sovereignty came with the war of Spanish Succession in the early seventeenth century when the former kingdoms of Aragon sided with the losing Habsburgs against the French Bourbons. Needless to say Spain fell to centralized rule under the Bourbon dynasty beginning with King Filipe V. Catalonia remained part of the Spanish empire until the early twentieth century when it bounded between bouts of autonomy several times, gaining autonomy in 1932 only to be crushed by the Spanish Civil War seven years later. Under General Franco not only was Catalonian autonomy destroyed, but Catalonian culture and language as well. However, life brightened for the Catalonians with the death of Franco and the adoption of the Spanish Democratic Constitution in 1978, Catalonia was finally granted autonomy with recognition as a nationality or nation in Spain. Catalonians are as proud and distinct a Spanish culture as the politically raucous Basques. The capital province, Barcelona, is a thriving metropolis of history, culture, beauty, and passion. Something tells me Catalonian cuisine is something to be discovered.

Each passing day in Europe presents me with a change of plans. A chance encounter with a traveling family from Barcelona has instilled in me the need to add the region to my travel list. This, I am beginning to discover, is the excitement of my year abroad. Each experience, each encounter changes my views and instills me with new ones. Chicklets on the hot stuffy train; safe from the rain washing the city around us. I did not curse the hour delay, but for once relished in the time it provided us to just be happy, and well live. Getting off the train was a chorus of "chiao" as I forgot Spanish for goodbye (Dora I have failed you). G and I waved through the rain distorted window as the train pulled away with our new amigos. Though I will never see them again, I have no reserve in indeed calling them friends.

*gastronomic side note: raisin flavored yogurt--find me that in the United States.

A bientôt

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

feuilleté d'andouillette

So. Lunch was on Madame again as we are still doing our get to know the city bit, and the restaurant was as French as it comes. Lunch is usually not as much as dinner, oui c'est vrai, so one has a choice here of entree and main plat, ou main plat et dessert. Uh, entree bien sur! Alors, everyone opted for dessert and I and Renau, our Frenchie who is spending a couple weeks with us to teach us how to live in this city, had entrees. Three choices for l'entree: Jardiniere de legumes (salad ok), feuilleté d'andouillette embeurree de poireaux et moutarde (what I had), and lentilles. Alors! Renau told me I picked the most classically French dish, so I knew it had to be something I had or would probably never want to eat.

Four sausage slices came on top of a mustard sauce of artichokes sandwiched between puff pastry (very easy to remove pastry). The verdict: that meet, couchon, or pig has to be the best little fun meat I've ever tasted. I asked Renau what part of the Couchon it was, he said beaucoup de partie (lots of parts). Ok I thought, Anthony would be proud of me, I ate first without knowing what it was. And, that was for the best. Feuilleté d'andouillette is a French specialty of Lyons, it is very common throughout France and is usually served cold, but many restaurants serve it hot so as to make it more enticing to foreigners. The reputation is a bad smell and an acquired taste, alors I loved it. As it turns out sausage of pig stomache and colon is quite good, if i had known what it was prior to eating it i may have hesitated, but Anthony would be proud. Je pense que je suis la seul personne qui aurait la courage de manger quelque chose different que poulet. Demain, un autre. (I think I am the only person who had the courage to eat something other than chicken, and tomorrow another.) Alors, Luch here was good, et feuilleté d'andouillette is very good. La tarte au salmoun et crevettes etait aussi delicieuse. Et le kir (et le kir du Gabby aussi) etait tres bon. Very well, I know it is different, mais it is France! C'est still bizarre that I am here, and it is so hard to not write in francais!!!! Et ca suffit.

A bientôt

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Ca va. C'est ma deuxieme journée a Paris, et finalement je mange: un vert du vin, blanche bien sur. Je sais, mais je suis en le pays du vin, alors qu'est ce que tu prevois? 4€. Ce n'est pas trop cher, mon amie Gabby a bu un chocolate chaud, et il était jusqu'a 26° aujourd'hui! Mais aprés ca j'ai flanné sur la rue Exelman, c'est ou je me suis perdu hier soir. Mais je la domine maintenant. Non, pas vraiment. Mais le Office Depot et tous les pharmacies et super marché sont fermer aujourd'hui parce-que c'est dimanche. Ca ne va pas. Je besoin d'acheter des porteaumanteaux et des bandeaux pour mes pieds, parce que je suis une flip flop fille, et mon neuveau ballets tuee mes pauvre pieds. Pour le diner j'aurais le Chinoise. 1.50€ pour un petit plat du riz. Bon marché je pense. Les ne les écris pas jusqu'a je prendrai des photos. rien de rien. Alors, c'est tout pour maintenant, desolé que je n'ai pas plus d'information de la cuisine.

A bientôt

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mojito Mirengue--aka Jake Cake

Sunday marked my last day at Mora Iced Creamery, and as much as I doubt a future bout of scooping nostalgia, I am aware already of how I will miss many if not all of my coworkers. Ok I lied just a few. As I have mentioned before there are a few I call my ‘little buddies,” my high school lot of under-18’s whom I’ve become quite attached to. I’ve already mentioned the blueberry coffee cake for L, brownie cake cookies for H, beer cake for M, but now the most difficult one for J (ok Jake) to celebrate his last day (what would the point of working if i'm not there anymore? ha!) When working Jake actually made the hours put in at Mora a treat. As you all know, my writing is sappy, drippy, and windier than Chicago (though I’ve never been) but I want to say thank you to my mates, my new little brothers and sisters; the Mora family whom strangely I feel I am not losing. In the least, I have had excuses to make up baked goods. hehe. Jakes favorite flavor is mojito sorbet, which, to the owners’ credit, tastes damn similar to a real mojito. So I had to bake a mojito, and it had to be a cake. A mojito cake with the three components: lime, mint, and rum.

Perusing the internet, I could not find a mojito cake recipe. Doesn’t exist. Didn’t. googling produced a few recipes for mojito cupcakes, which, when examined had really nothing to do with a mojito. I have made basil shortbread in the past, and well herby baked goods are herby baked goods—substitute the basil with mint. The frosting, naturally, is where the rum would enter. I needed a three-part cake though, cake and frosting is only two. Meringue made the third. My first meringue attempt was to yield a lime meringue grown from the cake itself. Mint cake sandwiching a rum butter cream crowned by a lime meringue is mojito. The mojito cake is here born, but I like Jake cake all the better.

Mojito Meringue
mint cake-
  • 4 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
cream butter and sugar together, add eggs. Sift dry ingredients together, and alternately add to butter with milk. Set aside.

Lime Meringue-
  • 4 egg whites
  • zest of 1 whole lime
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
beat whites and tartar until foamy, add sugar by the tablespoon until glossy with soft peaks, add lime zest. Preheat oven to 350, line 2 round cake tins with wax paper. divide batter into tins, and on top of one tin of batter spoon half of the meringue. bake both for 20 minutes. (there will be a lot of meringue left over, either halve the recipe or use it to make cookies) Once cooled, spread naked cake with rum frosting, add cake with meringue to top, and smooth outer edges with more frosting.

Rum frosting-
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup soft butter
  • 2 tsp rum extract
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
Now, drink and eat your mojito. This is always going to be the Jake Cake, a seasonal treat at the Salty Cod perhaps. This bakery is starting to take on no theme at all.

A bientôt

Saturday, September 8, 2007

To Pick a Peck of Pickled....Pickles

How, I used to think, did peter pick pickled peppers? Peppers are not grown pickled, I would muse, where would the jar come from? Until a few moments ago I kept to the explanation that the nursery poem was just a silly conglomeration of words that rhymed and didn't necessarily make sense. But in those few moments ago I learned that peck was an actual word with meaning and not mere gobbled-y-gook, henceforth my entire relationship with Peter changed. Peter was not picking peppers as one would pick carrots from the earth, he was picking, in the sense of choosing, jars of pickled peppers to the equivalent of eight quarts or one quarter bushel. There now I have tied a simple rhyme to a chair and beaten it with a garden hose, the matronly fowl is rolling her eyes in perturbance at my attempt to analyze and quantify everything into sense. Now I know all Peter did was choose a few jars of canned peppers {a peck, if using pint jars would yield about 16 jars. Peter must have had a trolley}. Either way, why is there a nursery rhyme about this? And in further contemplation, why are there so many nursery rhymes about food? Little miss muffit was disturbed while eating her curds, to market to buy a fat hog, 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie, Mr. & Mrs. Jack Sprat licking the platter clean, St. Clements bells ring of oranges and lemons, the abusive husband Peter Pumpkin Eater, the plumb on the thumb of little Jack Korner, Patty cake patty cake, the muffin man, etc. While yet there are many others that have absolutely nothing to do with food, there are more in the category that do. I view it as food is something we can all relate to, and particularly for children most of these foods represent a treat; i.e. pies, fruits, and cakes--treats that when the majority of these rhymes came into being were by far rarer in appearance than they are today. How much a child of yesteryear pined for a pint of pickled peppers though may be in need of debate, however, fresh fruit and sweets were rare treats in Europe during the 17th century when the majority of the traditional English rhymes emerged. Scholarly analysis of the conte de fee has proffered the genre's true meanings as cleverly disguised representations of political and social strife of the time. Innocent rhyming subjects play the decoy of sickness and disease, corrupt political figures, and the realities of class and station. Though not all, as I am in want of an analogy for Peter's pickles. Food is a facile stand-in for these subjects, innocent, appealing, and understood by the children they may or may not be for.

Peter Piper came to mind as I, for the first time, made pickles. The process is near enough to jam that it was neither a daunting nor difficult task, though my half-peck is not without quirks. Traditional pickling of vegetables is done in large open faced vats, where the produce is steeped in brine for a time and then packed in jars. Lacking pickling vats, my homemade pickling adventure consisted of stuffing as many small gherkins in pint jars that would fit, sprinkled with a medley of spices, covered in hot brine, and hot water processed until sealed. The yield per jar is quite minuscule, as 5 raw cucumbers were all that would fit prior to shrinking. The pickling spices used range from black pepper corns, mustard seed, dill seed, red pepper flakes, cloves, and the like. The process was time consuming, and the vinegar made for the feel of a science lab. However, the 8 jars that emerged are excruciatingly quaint. Though unready until near November, the pickles will be a "hey, remember Mallory" dish at the family thanksgiving dinner. Have you made pickles? Undoubtedly it would be cheaper and less toilsome to purchase pickles form the market that not only are more uniform in taste, but crisp and packed tight. First attempt, as I tribute.

A children's rhyme, I believe is in order about a cod. If ever one can find or write one, the honor would be of mine as it hangs framed on the wall in the bakery. Food as a literary decoy--the cod, perhaps a dead one, representing modern commercialism, or perhaps a dancing cod discovered and enslaved as a court jester. Moving on. I do intend the Salty Cod to offer of a line pickled something, whether pickles or not, I must keep experimenting until something unique, or rather just quite tasty emerges. Perhaps a relish. But for this first attempt it is joyous, and perhaps if Peter were around he would drop the peppers and pick a few pints of me pickles.

A bientôt

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blackberries - Mûres

I've spoken of berries before; how sniper-like reflexes are paramount features in the race for their harvest. The competition: birds {unless one considers the retired island population of baking grannies with their copper picking pots as threats...come to think of it, they are quite ruthless.} In a previous post I noted my failure to preempt the salmon berry season and vowed to conquer the ensuing Blackberry at the close of summer. Summer is closing. And the blackberries: raped. August is gone; the sun's rays spent and trapped in a thousand plump purple berries that burst upon the slightest touch. Here me world; for I have beat the birds {and grannies.} Four buckets in under an hour. Give credit where it is due; K the fearless hunter gatherer braved stinging nettles and sticky leaves to help bolster my bulging baskets of berries. Berry picking is heavy labor; dirty and dangerous. I pricked my finger, stained my nails, and won a pretty prickly bracelet of nettle bumps. As such why am I still in want of a purple heart. Woe was our struggle; though the fruit of our toilsome labor made the perilous worth the risks. Our voyage yielded a bounty of preserves: 8 jars of Blackberry Mango Jam and 6 jars of Blackberry Jam, with just enough in reserve for a little ol pie. And no I did not accomplish said feat alone--I had singing woodland creatures as my sous chefs.

A few years ago I was at dinner with a visiting friend from LA and his mother and the subject of blackberries arose. Apparently mom had no recollection of acquaintance with the berry, aside of course from the cellular device. Euyh. She claimed blackberries a foreign commodity to Southern Californians. Humorous I thought, though to have never heard or tasted of one seemed unlikely to the extent of impossible. Coconuts are foreign to the Pacific Northwest. I will astound you now with the revelation that I have indeed not only heard, but have yes even tasted of the fruit. As such I arrived at the resolution that she was in fact familiar with the fruit, but by another name. Bramble berry is quite common, as is black cap. No luck. This invasive weed found in nearly every corner of the globe in locations such as New Zealand, Chile, Canada, and Scotland, was actually a foreign specimen to this woman. Bizarre. It shall be a goal of mine, therefore, to make the blackberry weed a product known world-wide. What's that you say? It already is? Hmmm, yes I thought so. One soul at a time. In the meantime, blackberries and mangoes marry well, though oftentimes the purer form is an overlooked beauty.

Blackberry Mango Jam
  • 4 cups mashed blackberries
  • 3 cups chopped mango
  • 1&3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp pectin (plus calcium water)
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
Blackberry Pie
Too simple to make a list. Aside from two crusts, the filling is merely the berries seeped in a pinch of sugar, cinnamon, flour, and pear syrup. Simple. We are doing this for the blackberries my friend. As it is September, leaves are more than appropriate decorations for the crown.

The riddle comes to this: take advantage of local bounty. Blackberries are northwest weeds that choke and destroy pretty primped rockeries. They are old news and overlooked by the vast majority. Que, if any, to squander the market. There is something even more self satisfying than wearing a sweater of ones own knit {god help those poor souls} and that is harvesting and canning a product from start to finish. Hell bake bread to spread it on just for the concept. But leave out the whole grain so as to eliminate the appearance of granola hippie. That we do not want. For good measure sprinkle the pie with a bit of Splenda.

A bientôt

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ein Beer Kuchen

Serial Blasphemy.
Or so my actions of late have been dubbed. The iniquitous product: a beer cake of Guinness with sour whiskey icing. "Puh," was the sound that escaped from my dad as he explained, "Guinness should be poured cold and drunk purely from a glass, not muddled with in pastries." Or something to that measure more or less. The tart reply: "It's my beer, I shall so with it what I please." Erm yes, I do not drink beer {wheat and all}, for me it is an ingredient as much as any other. But out of respect for the regal libation and its many patrons, I would never imagine wasting it in anything other than a truly 'worthy' Salty Cod creation. Guinness cake with Macallan whiskey icing--the second party foul as apparently said prize whiskey maintains an exorbitantly large monetary value. Alas! Je m'excuse. Notice that we are here yet again at dramatics. Every time I write on a baked something or other it takes on biblical description--what I bake is never a cake, but always a cake.

The Beer Kuchen was a birthday treat for a work mate. Any excuse to bake eh. You see I have trapped myself in somewhat of a baking bind with my coworkers: everyone gets a special something on their last day reminiscent of their favorite ice cream. It started with L, who, for her last day, requested a goodbye goody to remember me by. How charming. Edibles always make for memorable keepsakes I must say, at least until they are digested. For her the flavor was blueberry, and a blueberry coffeecake with a strudel crumble made of sugar cone bits emerged. Next was H's; whose fondness for chocolate mousse called for fluffy chocolate cake cookies, but for M's birthday, euh, I couldn't recall a flavor. I knew he was keen on beer and cigarettes; and drawing the line at a ground cigarette ganache, (though rumor has it our mocha cream is a bit reminiscent of smoky tar) I stuck with the beer. Something bitter, only slightly sweet, and most importantly with a bit of flair.

I knew it had to be Guinness, any company with gall enough at startup to initiate a two thousand year factory land lease from the Crown is a well founded business. Beer that tastes of coffee and toast deserves a place in baking lore. So the cake--as an Irish stout it would be dark, so might as well add cocoa. Research on chocolate stout cakes produced a perfect recipe; though, as my luck has it, no eggs. Just bloody fantastic. Cursing the baking deity of mal chance, I swapped my recette for egg less improv. As I am quite self absorbed and boastful, I will say that it turned out perfect. I think. Guinness, bitter cocoa powder, buttermilk, vinegar (?)(I read somewhere that when one lacks in eggs...) and a few spoons of sugar and a stout cake is born. The icing: traditional Irish pound cake sour whiskey glaze. What's beer without a little whiskey.

Cocoa Stout Cake
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup bitter cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp vinegar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
Sift together flour, sugar, salt, and soda. In small saucepan bring butter, beer, and cocoa to a little boil. Add beer mixture to flour mixture, stir until combined. Add vanilla, vinegar, and buttermilk. Mix well, but not too much (it is a cake.) Butter and flour a bunt pan, bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Sour Whiskey Icing
  • 1.5 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbs water
Such a cake seems more proper for St. Patrick's Day. Perhaps it should be named Irish Pie. I tend to use the phrase 'pie' more times than not to describe things that really are have nothing to do with the word. It's a bunt. But pie has a more relatively home grown ring to it, whereas cake draws me toward images of red boxes and pink easy-bake logos. Beer Kuchen will suffice, though it is not German. Aber ich kann auch Deutsches sprechen, weisst du den? Also, Ich bin nicht so gut weil ich nur drei jahre in der Schule hatte. Es ist spass nichtsdestoweniger. I won't drag my precarious (English) verbiage on longer, needless to say M loved his birthday Beer Kuchen, and the Salty Cod has gained yet another recipe for the window display, and as a result of my want for beer-enthusiasm, my dad has inherited a 5 pack of Guinness, condolence for the noble lamb whose selfless sacrifice aided in the heralding of a confectionery gem! Aye, verse. Et ca suffit.

A bientôt