First Cake

I just made my first cake.

I used the 4-3-2-1 recipe on p. 212 of Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. I’m a real fan of her cookbooks and her cooking style. I’ve even used a number of recipes with my Cooking for Boys group.

This cake? Simple, it was not. Separate four eggs. Cream butter. Whip egg whites. Sift flour. Mix. Measure. Mix again. Wow.

The resulting cake, though, is quite lovely. I took a picture of it with the camera in my cellphone.

It is such a lovely cake, that my cellphone no longer works. Oi. (Update: Now it’s working again, and we’ve had the birthday party.  Here are the remains of the day’s efforts.)

My first cake!
My first cake!

I also made chocolate frosting. Have you ever creamed butter in with sugar, and then mixed in semi-sweet melted chocolate that you hand-melted in your grandfather’s double boiler?

I may have to make chocolate frosting more often.

The occasion, you ask? Oh, one of the kids on my dormitory has a birthday today. He’s fourteen. His mom shows up tomorrow, but she wanted something nice to happen for him today. I think I managed to make something nice.

It’s also October 15, and we are having our first snowfall of the school year. Welcome, winter. I wasn’t really used to the idea of autumn, though.

3 comments

  1. Sounds like a cool recipe – I’m not familiar with Alice Waters, but it sounds like I’d like her book. It seems unusual to have an egg white foam with a solid fat. Was it hard to mix it without deflating it?

    • It wasn’t, but I was given the impression that the batter would be enough for three cake pans, and yet it seemed

        a) very thick; and
        b) not sufficient

      to fill one cake pan. But I may have used the wrong sized cake pan. The actual cake looks great. I worry that I didn’t make enough frosting to cover it, as well.

      Alice Waters is supposedly one of America’s preeminent chefs, and part of the Slow Food Movement, which emphasizes locally grown and local cuisine. Sometimes I find her recipes don’t match each other very well; in this case the cake recipe looks woefully large compared with the amount of chocolate frosting I whipped up (ha! Whipped! get it?! Remember to tip your server, and try the veal!). Her regular cooking recipes, as well as her recommendations about setting up your kitchen so you can cook any time, are excellent.

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