Hello. It's been over a month since I posted. Whoops! I was traveling and working and blah blah blah. But I have also been cooking and have lots of blog ideas and pictures. I will start with cake.
The cake's backstory is that horridly, my friend Beth is moving! To a northern city far, far away. She is a good friend and great artist and she is the reason that I joined up with my knitting/sewing group and consequentially met a bunch of other fabulous ladies.
So even though she isn't going quite yet, we had a farewell dinner for her last night at Vino Vino on Guadalupe here in Austin. (We kinda had to do it soon as there are a couple of babies getting ready to make their grand entrances into this world, which doesn't leave their moms with a whole lot of time for hanging out in fancy restaurants!) It was so much fun and very tasty. I had scallops with broccoli, cauliflower and mustard greens, and mayhaps a tiny bit of pancetta. We drank Portuguese and Languedocian (is that a word?) wine (except the aforementioned pregos) and chatted and laughed. And since Beth won't actually be leaving for awhile, it wasn't actually that sad.
And since nothing is really fun unless there is also cake, I brought a cake. Beth prefers cheesecake, so that's what it was. It was a basic recipe from my Gourmet cookbook, which tells me it is originally from a cafe in Santa Fe that is now out of biz. It's basically just cream cheese, eggs, sugar and, in my version, orange zest and juice. I put it on a ginger snap crust. There was supposed to be an additional layer of a kind of sour cream topping, but because I don't have a springform pan and instead used a short round pan lined with parchment paper, the cake quickly swelled beyond its confines and was in no way willing to accept another layer. In the end I did an uncooked sour cream layer poured on the next day when the cake had settled down. This nicely covered its horrible cracks, as well.
I decorated it with chocolate covered sunflower seeds, which I have used a lot in my Christmas cookies. Their teardrop shape makes them perfect for symmetrical round designs. It looks kind of fancy, but was so easy.
Cake and friends. Sad as it is, I am happy to know Beth and my other kitting/sewing circle ladies at all. It seems every time I move (as I did to Austin just a couple years ago), or join a new social group or whatever, I am worried that I won't click with the people or somehow it will be a disaster. But time and time again, people are nice, fun is had, and friends are made. It is always very pleasing to reflect on this. WITH CAKE!