the pound-caking objection of mistress anisette
It is starting to get cold. Not chilly, not brrrr, not wow maybe i should put on a jacket because my nose is sniffling, but cold. I won't lie, I do not fancy this cold unless chairlifts and powdered moguls are involved. Morning is dawning at seven. November gives the Spokane sky a picturesque glow--it is bright, but not sunny. A sad bright, if oxymoron may be called upon. It looks cold, if cold is a look. A beautiful coldness. The sun sits hovering behind wispy clouds stretched far too thinly over the Tiffany blue backdrop, the look is quite promising, though the skeleton trees and frost stiffened grass cry silent intimations through the window pane of no! do not let him fool you, your day has dawned sub-zero! How unfortunate that tricky sun gloating above us in all his mockery--you may see me but you can not feel me. To leave one building means only a race to get into another. That is the winter game. Well we will play our own winter game mr. sun, with smarties of your likeness. Orange in America is a winter fruit. It grows in the real sun of the south. The rays are bottled in its sun-tanned rind; thus sun made orange in his own image. The savior is then sent northward to we the vitamin D deprived. Why, little glowing citric orb of heat; you are my sunshine. So on y va.
So what of this lentil and orange business? That is a good question. No one really knows why they are together, but there they are all the same, in a cake. Lady Lentil is quite the jewel; small and bubbly, a protein, a staple, versatile and malleable. Could you ever imagine her in a cake? Orange did not, but what could there possibly be to lose. Orange lentil cake, what a perfect idea; healthy and yet sweet, is that not the divine marriage of flavors. But perhaps flavor divinity is in the eye of the beholder, for while the butter whipped and the flour sifted, a little seed spilled onto the counter, shouting in her controversy to be taken along. Orange and anise, they were made for each other. A striking slap of bitter licorice, yet there is some power of sweetness dissolving her bite. Anise, a tricky little spice. You either love her or you hate her, there is nothing in between. Orange and Lentil stared at one another, unknowing of what to do. But Miss Anisette could not be shaken, and tipped head first into the batter. But what could be done? To pick out a million specs is impossible, there's no getting rid of her now. Lentil and orange, though they sound mysteriously unique are not enough on their own. Lentil as flour is too void of flavor and personality to compliment citric orange. Thus we must remember that it is not the surprise ingredient that stands out, but rather what you do to it (who saw that ostrich egg on top chef last week?) Orange lentil cake--no. Orange anise lentil cake--now we're talking.
Now that you have been wrung through a poorly written and seemingly unnecessary pastry soap opera of personified foodstuffs, perhaps there is some splaining to do. Lentil cake! Yes lentil cake, but why? Why--because I am me. And my fridge is empty and I am starving. I see a bag of lentils. There are bean cakes, so why not a lentil cake? A cake without gluten, a cake I could eat. So in Salty Cod fashion, we crossed our eyes, hailed mary, poured a glass of wine, and played baking god. And what do ya know, my Frankenstein, he lives!
Orange Anise Lentil Cakes:
Ingredients: 1 cup pureed lentils ~ 1 cup gluten free flour mix like bob's (or if you could give a damn about gluten, just use a cup of regular old flour, any flour actually) ~ 3 eggs ~ 1.5 cups powdered sugar ~ 0.5 cups butter (1 stick) ~ 1 tsp baking powder ~ 0.5 tsp salt ~ 1 packet vanilla suagar (or extract) ~ 0.5 tsp almond extract ~ 1 tsp anise seeds ~ zest of whole orange
method: 1) combine butter and sugar, add eggs, extracts, zest, and anise 2) in another bowl combine flour, bs, and salt 3) combine wet mixture and flour, add lentil puree 4) divide into sprayed muffin tins or a loaf pan 5) bake at 350 F until done.
You are correct, orange and anise do sound of classic biscotti, but now they are lentil pound cake. deal with it. You wish to know if the cake tastes of vegetable? If you are yet doubting, which i do not blame you for, I will here gloat that none of the cake's consumers were told of the ingredients, none, and yet eyes fluttered back in pastry ecstasy of palatable bliss! And well, because I am so full of myself, I will say these cakes were quite successful. Sorry Lentil, Orange is nothing without Anise. So on a cold sunny day--we found our sunshine.