his is the easiest, most foolproof chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made …
And because every cake deserves to be tarted up with frosting, I made this intensely flavored roasted pistachio buttercream frosting. The color is real, not artificial, from eight ounces of pistachio nuts. The frosting is very soft and fluffy at room temperature, but firms up nicely in the refrigerator, so plan accordingly, depending on how firm you like your frosting. [...]
The result is a cross between a Swedish Midsummer Cake, a French Macaron or Dacquoise (the big sister to the macaron), an Australian Pavlova and my weird imagination. A very good cross. Let’s just say that four people demolished the entirety of this eight inch cake in one sitting. The edges of the meringue stay crisp, while the cream and the juicy strawberries soften the center into a creamy, light cake. It’s the very essence of summer — light and almost insubstantial, but deeply satisfying. [...]
Last week was my birthday, so I baked myself a birthday cake. I do realize how pathetic that sounds, but baking my own birthday cake is actually something I like to do — I get exactly what I want, I get to bake, which I actually enjoy, and I can milk the pity for all it’s worth (I had to BAKE MY OWN birthday cake!) (and lest you still feel sorry for me, my mother also baked me a birthday cake for the family celebration we had a few days after my birthday.) I do love all kinds of cakes, but after making both a yellow cake with chocolate frosting AND strawberry cupcakes for the Nuni’s birthday, I wanted something a little more adult for mine. Something a little more complex. Something that wouldn’t be devoured by a little person within minutes of baking. And that something was gingerbread. [...]
One year ago today, I was sitting around with nothing to do, and so I started a food blog. OK, it didn’t exactly happen like that. If you’ve been reading along, you have probably realized by now that I have a life that’s rather full, what with my full time (not food-related) job, a wild monkey of a two year old running my household, and a husband to boot (though given his childcare and dishwashing contributions, I think the husband nets positive in the time calculations). But I still make the time to cook. It was my hope, when I started this blog, that I could give a little insight into how real people prepare their meals. Cooking good food, from scratch, can fit into a busy life. And I hope that in this past year this blog has inspired you — to cook when you otherwise might not have, to change up your routine, or to try something new.
This blog has certainly inspired me. It’s challenged me to figure out how recipes can be made more flavorful, more streamlined or more consistent. I’ve gone outside my comfort zone and discovered new foods. And I’ve been able to write down and record some of my family favorites.
So happy first birthday, Savour Fare!
Now let’s talk about a party.
Where would a birthday be without cake? Since I and all of my immediate family members have fall birthdays, I never get to indulge my yen for a creamy, dreamy light springtime birthday cake … until now. This cake is four layers of fluffy orange butter cake, sandwiched together with fresh strawberries and the simplest fluffy whipped cream frosting. The whole thing is not too sweet and very satisfying. I served it to the ladies in my book club (sadly, a blog can’t eat its own birthday cake), and not to brag, but almost everyone had two slices. These are Los Angeles ladies who lunch people. We are talking serious cake. [...]
They say you are either a cake person or a pie person. While I think that this is a somewhat loaded dichotomy, and the “cool” answer is nearly always to be a pie person, since pies represent down home cooking and Americana and real cooks and cakes are Frenchy or something, I am unequivocally a cake person, both in the eating and the making. Pies are fraught, with all that rolling and transferring, and the end result is pretty much what you put into it, but cakes are magic. Butter, sugar, flour eggs and you end up with celebrations, or nostalgia, or dreaminess. Did I ever mention I made my own wedding cake? That’s a story for another time, but suffice it to say I love baking cakes. When family birthdays come around, I eagerly jump on the cake making occasion. For me, cakes are best saved for parties, because it’s dangerous to have leftover slices of frosted layer cake on the lam in my kitchen. But sometimes the party is small, but the occasion is still worth a full on celebratory multi-layer cake. That’s when my favorite cake cookbook comes in handy: The Wedding Cake Book by Dede Wilson. I love this book because not only does it have multiple interesting and delicious recipes for different flavors of cake, each recipe is given separately for the individual tiers, which means you can make a 6 inch cake, or a 12 inch cake, and you don’t have to make the whole thing. I particularly love the 6 inch cakes — they’re perfect small celebration cakes for just a few people. [...]