starring the swedish chef

swedish chef take one from andrea davila on Vimeo.

grace and i made this one lazy saturday afternoon. the storyline is a little weak, i know, but it's our first try at stop motion, so be kind. i'm envisioning a whole cooking show with the swedish chef as the host, and puppets as special guest. and he'll teach real, useful, easy recipes! what do you think??

blackberry jam cake

one of the few really vivid memories i have of childhood is of getting all scratched up while picking blackberries at circle z ranch in grass valley, ca. my parents were the caretakers of my uncle's ranch in grass valley for most of my elementary school years, and we spent countless weekends staying in the log cabin there. there was a wide, shallow creek that cut through the property, lined with birch trees and flat pale stones perfect for skipping. the sun would predictably dapple through said trees, producing that golden, buttery light that flashback are made of. it was on the banks of this creek that the blackberry bushes grew and my brother, my cousin, and i would spend hours and hours sorting through the rough tangle to get a few handfuls of anemic berries. my whole childhood was a quest to get enough blackberries to bake a pie and despite many, many scrapes and many, many hours, this never happened.

so when i saw this blackberry jam cake on 101 cookbooks, i was hoping for a revelation. i've grown up enough to no longer crave the sticky sweetness of a traditional blackberry pie, but not really enough to resist a caramel-like glaze on a dense, blackberry jam-infused cake. grace was duly skeptical, but the picture on the website convinced her (imho, all recipes should have pictures) and there we were, 2am on a Saturday, making this cake. somehow that was the only time we had.

luckily, the cake was easy, and from what i could tell from the murmurs of contentment from friends who ate it, i think pretty good.

blackberry jam cake, adapted from 101 cookbooks

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 taspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup blackberry jam
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

reheat oven to 350. butter a 7-inch Bundt pan. mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

cream butter and brown sugar until light. beat in eggs, one at a time. beat in sour cream. stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until barely blended. stir in jam and nuts. pour into buttered pan. bake until done, about 30 minutes. when cool, invert the cake onto a platter and ice with quick brown-sugar icing.

combine brown sugar, cream, butter, and salt and cook slowly until it just bubbles. remove from heat. cool slightly, then add vanilla. beat the icing until it can be spread.

oh and (sorry for the burying-the-lede part!) ummm, columbia business school accepted me as part of the class of 2011. they must be a little crazy, or not realize that i'm terrible at math, but in any case- yay! i felt like i've been on the precipice of something lately, and it was either going to be school, a house, or a baby. i think my parents would have had a heart attack at the latter two, so for now, school will suffice. my brother thinks i should get an attaché case- hahaha! i'm sticking to my beat-up tote bag with bacon and eggs on the front thankyouverymuch. but don't worry, not much will change here on caketime and i promise to never use the word amortization.

sadie + money

one part of the exciting news at caketime is that i have a new online finance column! yes, that sounds super boring, but i'm targeting teenage girls, and i'll try to make it a little fun.

i've always felt that the teen girl demographic is one of the most important ones for financial literacy educators to reach, and yet the most elusive. they only care about money in order to spend it, and they really, really, don't have the patience to sit and listen to some ol' boring person blabber on about interest rates. but they are extremely heavily marketed to, and have mostly disposable income, and so very much internalize messages the media sends about shopping creating your self worth, and needing more, newer, stuff constantly. and obviously this also very much applies to the post-college woman as well, i think. if we approach learning about money just like we approach any other health/wellness topic, women would jump right on the finance bandwagon. what is needed is a way to reach them that's familar, and integrate finances into everyday life seamlessly, while still teaching them the basics.

so when sadie magazine invited me to start writing a regular column on money, i was thrilled! go check out the first column now!

may day donuts

before i inundate you with the many baked goods we've made in the past three weeks, let's mix it up and try these on for size:

maybe i should have posted these sometime ago, on april 20th perhaps? (mom, dad, if you're reading this, you should probably stop here...) those days are far behind me now, but there were quite a few april 20th's and may 1st's (may day is jay day, at least it was in san francisco when i was in high school) when eating this whole plate of donuts was totally, completely, possible (and pretty probable too).

now, my association with these donuts is much more respectable. two saturdays a month i teach a class on money management to adults who live in public housing. grace picks me up after the class, and after 5 hours straight of talking about money, the only thing i want to do is stuff my face with jelly donuts, washed down with chocolate milk. i usually get through about one and a half donuts- although not for lack of trying. the ones above are from peter pan bakery in greenpoint. they are some of the freshest, most authentically donut-y donuts in the city, the donut plant not withstanding. maybe the best aspect of peter pan is that there are two different creme filling options: bavarian creme, which is thicker and more custardy and white creme, which is fluffy and similar to frosting. get both. and a jelly too. i know i've blogged about these donuts before, but i think on this day, if you're 'celebrating', they're worth a second mention.

peter pan bakery

727 Manhattan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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