dichotomy of the perfectly lousy birthday cake
A dichotomy, in Salty terms, is a division in distinction between the thought and action in reference to the same object or event. For example, the dichotomy of the French Revolution, the action: terror reigned, heads rolled, and royalty dethroned. the thought: liberté, fraternité, égalité! The dichotomy of waking up in the morning, the action: shower, eat, dress (unquestionably in that order). the thought: must be presentable for work, to make money, to survive. Action sans the other is futile; nothing but robotic mimicry of movement. What is the point without a purpose? My point exactly, a playground of p's, a circular logic that speaks for itself. But touché around the other coté, for thoughts without action produce nothing but poetry, day dreams, and CNN broadcasts. Ergo one cannot exist without the other. Volition amounts to nothing if there is no result of product. And so, where my round table adjectives will eventually lead, is to the simple fact that a cake is never just a cake. Just, being the most pathetic adverb in the English language--will never do. In cake, as opposed to in life, there is always method to the madness. A cake is never just a cake; a cake is an action and a thought. A cake is my cake, the cake, your cake. our cake. on y va.
What of this cake then; let us dichotomize. Part one, action: a chocolate almond flour sponge cake rolled with a swirl of dark chocolate and port ganache to form a pinwheel jellyroll which is then tightly rolled in red marzipan and covered with white marzipan polka dots, all of which is then placed on a raspberry and port syrup reduction. chouette non? can you breath? Part two, thought: wherefore cometh this here cake of mine? Today is my best friends birthday, and this is his cake. Yes you heard my little kid cliché right, my bestest friend, who also happens to be the perfectly lousy editor of this here blog, grabs twenty five candles today--a quarter century! Ahk! it's all down hill from here buddy. That being said, let us embarrass all members involved and faire une discussion sur le gateaux stream of conscious style. You're awfully fond of roll cakes (this i actually know) so hooray we have the frame. Almond flour, of course so i can eat it. The filling, let us see, chocolate (who doesn't like chocolate) and hmmm porto do vinho ganache (don't worry not that bottle!) Excellent, now all rolled up, but oh so ugly atop. Marzipan--do you even like marzipan? Well i do, so that's what counts. And oh how you love red with white polka dots! Attends-- i suppose that is me forcing red with white polka dots on you yet again. But pas grave. Not enough port i agree, so some more; a syrupy sweet bed for our petite baby cake. Et voila! A cake just for you, though it looks half like me, mais tout est bien! So Joyeux anniversaire! Eu só agora percebi que eu fiz soar como se tívessemos tido um bolo bebê juntos - qual seria o nome dele?
And that is how you make a cake, and--in the word's of my 11th grade poetry teacher--tie it to a chair and beat it with the garden hose of analysis.
cake ingredients: 1 cup (100 g) ground blanched almonds ~ 0.25 cup (50 g) corn starch ~ 4 eggs ~ 0.5 cup (100 g) sugar ~ .75 stick melted butter ~ pinch salt ~ 0.25 cup cocoa powder
cake method: preheat over to 400F/200C 1) beat 3 egg whites and salt until stiff 2) meanwhile whisk the yolks plus the 4th egg and the sugar, add corn starch and almond powder, add cocoa powder, and then the melted butter. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites 3) grease a cookie sheet or tray with at least .5 inch sides, line with parchment (not wax) and spread cake batter evenly 4) bake for 8-9 minutes, do not over bake or it will not roll. 5) immediately after you take it out sprinkle a clean towel with powdered sugar and then transfer (cover and flip works) to a flat surface and slowly peel off the parchment 6) using the towel, roll the cake slowly like you would roll sushi, but roll the towel with it, and then let it res for 30-60 minutes to cool.
dark chocolate port ganache: 1 cup heavy cream ~ 8 oz good quality dark chocolate ~ .5 cup port wine 1) boil cream in a saucepan and pour over chocolate in a bowl, mix until fully melted, add port, and let cool to room temp 2) when ready, whip in mixer or by hand until thick and creamy.
to assemble: once cake is mostly cool, slowly unroll, spread chocolate ganache, and then roll back up. To make the marzipan cover, sensually massage food dye into almond paste until the desired color is achieved. to roll flat, place marzipan between two layers of wax paper and then roll, your life will be so much easier. Wrap around and cut, or cut then wrap around. Make polka dots out of undyed marzipan, and attach.
Am i silly? yes, you would have a plausible case in such an argument. Do i like to make dramatic cakes for people who are sadly a world away only to feed them to my neighbors, roommates, and visiting vagabonds? yes. Would i do it for you? prolly not. Do i have the best editor in the world? Sim meus bons amigos, sim. For I have something that is better than a dog, and dearer than a horse--i've never actually understood what that means, and neither do i think did Tennyson, but i have always liked the ring of it, and whatever it does mean, i am sure that i have it--a something that is perfectly lousy.
happy birthday dearling!