Did you miss me? (o:
It’s been a while… quite a while, but I’m back. Where have I been? Well, lots of places, quite frankly. It’s been an amazing break from the work portion of Sift!. I’ve had the opportunity to reassess, make new stuff, release a few boundaries, make other new stuff, travel, become inspired, venture into some unknown territories (more about that in a later post), and return to a different place of peace. I put the whisk down for nearly a year, and decided it was time to see/do something different, but I only found that dessert/pastry never really goes anywhere as far I’m concerned. I could take a break by going to the woods for 6 months. But you better believe you’ll see a post at some point for Cinnamon Bark Leaf Cake – or something to the tune of that. (wink!)
Anyways, I hope you’re having an awesome summer so far. I hope it’s hot in the best way, full of swimming pools, laughing friends/family/you, get-togethers, barbecues, margaritas, porch lights, flip flops, and so much more!
I went to Europe, and while there, I laid eyes on some beautiful & fancy desserts. Stuff like this made me swoon. It was everywhere. A dream!
I partook (is that a word?) in one special caramel one. If you know anything about me, you know that caramel and I have had a long standing love affair.
It is layers of refined caramel madness & moussey goodness from the vanilla mousse, burnt caramel mousse, thin layers of cake with caramel, all the way to the crunchy caramel feuilletine bottom. Super rich. Super yummy!
As time went on, I found myself wanting something simple but just as good. So I present to you this here cake… (duh duh duuuuuhhhnnnn). Don’t be fooled. She may not wear a ball gown like the gals above, but the flavor she packs makes her red carpet ready.
It’s my Vanilla Love Cake, and it’s perfect for the season. A quick bake in the oven, and then you’re done. What you choose to do with is your business, just so long as you do it. Smile! This is the perfect cake to have when you want to serve up something delicious without having to invest a day and a half. Enjoy.
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, warmed
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make that 4 teaspoons if you don’t have any vanilla bean paste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour, Sift!-ed 3 times
14 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Oven 350F. Spray your pan and line it with parchment, spray it again. Set it aside.
Those eggs need warming. Not room temp, but warm. Run some tepid tap water, and put them in the water for about 5-10 minutes while you melt your butter. Warm eggs beat up to be volumous, exactly what we need to achieve proper texture and crumb.
Beat your eggs and sugar until mixture is pale,doubled in size, and like I said – volumous. Lift the beater. Does the mixture form thick ribbons? Mine actually came out like a really light mayonnaise. That is what I wanted, but the ribbon outcome will work just as well.
Add the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract and salt. Mix very gently.
Sift about a third of the flour over the egg mixture. Use a spatula to gently fold the flour into the batter until no streaks remain. Move quickly, but gently doing another third, and then a final. The point is to incorporate the flour without deflating all of the precious air bubbles you just beat into the eggs and sugar. Air bubbles in this batter = gold!
Add the melted butter to the batter and fold gently but thoroughly using a spatula until the batter is well-mixed. You’ll have a nice shiny, and smooth looking batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and finish with another 10-15 minutes. The cake should start to pull away from the sides.
Let the cake cool for about 10 or 15 minutes. Turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. this is essentially a sponge cake. Those dry up quickly if not wrapped. So especially after slicing, wrap it up or place under a dome.
I would like to suggest a dollop of lemon curd, and a full-bodied Americano.
Look for me online. I’m doing new and incredible things these days! From pastry to painting, and back again. Creativity is a beautiful thing.
Until next time!
Love & Hugs,
My New Instagram: @artfulhouse
A few pics from London…
Thank you for your continued Love & Support. Not sure I can verbalize my gratitude. I’ll be sharing my Paris photos soon on http://www.artfulhouse.wordpress.com.