In case you are like me, and like instructions that are a little more explicit than Auntie Leila’s description of her English muffin technique when you’re trying to make something new (love you, Mama! and your English muffins look better than mine, so…), I thought I’d pass along this recipe, from the King Arthur Flour site. (Which, as I’ve mentioned before, is one of my go-to sources for reliable recipes for baked goods.) It can tide us over until we get the full Auntie Leila tutorial.
I’ve made them several times, and they’re great. I can do the whole recipe in one batch on my big electric griddle, which is awesome. I’d recommend leaving out (in an airtight container) however many you’ll eat in the first few days, and (if that’s not all of them) freezing the rest, because they don’t keep very long.
In other baking news, I’m thoroughly obsessed with this plum cake from Smitten Kitchen. I’d pinned it back when she first posted the recipe (and Deirdre did make it then), but didn’t try it until I happened upon those little plums at my grocery store a few weeks ago. I made the cake on a Saturday when Capt. P was on overnight duty, since he doesn’t like fruity desserts (I know, poor him, but let’s not forget what a great cross this is for me to bear). I tucked into it while he was gone, and immediately started texting him about how delicious it was and how quickly I was going to eat it.
I quickly decided I would make it again on Tuesday, when I was due to bring a meal to a family with a new baby from church. But then I realized that if I did that, I’d have to bring them the whole thing, which meant I wouldn’t be able to eat any of that one. Should I make two on Tuesday, so I can have another one?
(Remember, I am the only one eating this cake, it’s Saturday evening, and there is an entire cake minus one piece in the kitchen. I am nothing but rational about desserts.)
With a scoop of ice cream, it’d be a perfect company/feast day dessert. On its own, it’s not so sweet that you couldn’t eat a slice after lunch and still feel moderate. And if you wanted to add a dollop of plain yogurt and call it breakfast, let’s just say I’d certainly be in no position to judge.
My kids would have helped me with the plum cake, if there hadn’t been birthday cake too. Chocolate wins.
This is my husband’s favorite cake — actually, I was making it while in labor with Molly, which I didn’t remember until I went back just now and read her birth story. He’s already convinced Pippo that it’s his favorite cake, too, and together they pressured me into making it for Molly’s birthday.
(Not that I don’t think it’s delicious, too. But sometimes it’s nice to have a different chocolate cake, right? Why can’t we have lots of delicious cakes? Am I alone in this? Please tell me I’m not, and then come over and visit so I have someone to help me eat all the other cakes.)
Since Captain P was on duty on her actual birthday, Pippo helped me mix up the cake after Mass on Sunday (note his technique: stirring with both hands! Very fancy!) and we had a little family celebration then.
She was both concerned and delighted when it turned out that the cake was close enough for her to touch.
We were at a birthday party a few months ago, and another mom with a baby Molly’s age made some comment about how we would never give our babies a piece of cake. I laughed a little sheepishly as Molly, who had spotted the slices being passed around, was making noises like a little piggie who found a patch of truffles. “She knows that anything that color is delicious,” I explained, as I shared my piece with her.
That’s my girl.
So, her slice of her own birthday cake wasn’t her first, but she sure did love it. I don’t know that it’s her favorite, necessarily — she strikes me as a girl who appreciates delicious desserts of all types.
Can you believe she’s one?
(This sweet baby doll was a gift from her Habibti — Auntie Leila — and the very first thing she did when she unwrapped her was give her this sweet little kiss. If that’s not gratifying, I don’t know what is.)
And then she was off. I love the way little babies are alternately maternal and cavalier about their dolls.
Anyway, that’s enough about cake for now. What have you been up to?