June 12, 2012
I’ve been going and going. I’m tired. But, then again, I’m always tired. What’s new? My exhaustion isn’t notable, but I do have to take a seat.
Wait. I can’t take a seat. There’s too much to do. But there’s always too much to do. This isn’t notable. But, really, this time I have to take a seat. They’ll be back soon, and then my chance will be gone. I have to sit. Now.
Maybe I need to lie down. Yes! Lie down. Or is it lay down? Jesus, why can’t I keep that one straight? So frustrating. I should look it up—look it up and remember it once and for all. I should do that. Now. If I don’t, I’ll forget. They’ll come home, my chance will be gone and I’ll forget. Hell, I forget even if they don’t come home now. I always forget small things (big things, too), even when they matter. Forgetting things is not notable.
Is that them? Oh no! It’s them, isn’t it. I should get up because it shouldn’t look like I was sitting or, god forbid, lying down (or IS IT LAYING down?!). No, when I’m not with them I should be productive. There’s no time for rest. Or, apparently, looking up small things for the 500th time. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired all the time.
I’m just going to do it. I’m going to lie down (lay down?! damn it!). Let them think that I nap all day. Who cares. Shit. Let me them think that I eat bonbons while they are out. Nutella bonbons. (Because if I liked bonbons, I’d like ones made out of Nutella best. This I know.) That’s right suckers, I eat Nutella bonbons all day and I never, ever share them. I feed you quinoa, chickpeas and kale and then laugh behind your backs as I stuff my face with Nutella bonbons.
Maybe that’s why I need to lose weight. Oh, man. I shouldn’t sit. I need to work out. Yes, I’ll work out. That will get my energy up. I’ll be less tired if I work out. That’s what they say. I’ve yet to experience that—actually getting energy from exercise—but they say it will happen if I do it enough. Don’t they? You’ve heard that, right? That’s my problem: I’m not exercising enough. If I do it more it will feel great. Invincible, even. Or, well, at least not so tired all the time. Yes, I’ll work out now. Where are my sneakers? I need my sneakers.
“Here they are, mama. Your sneakers.”
Huh? Whaaa? Sneakers?
“You just asked for your sneakers.”
I did? Wait. My eyes come into focus. When did they get home?
“We got home a few minutes ago. You were asleep on the couch.”
“Oh, right. I got tired. You know, from eating bon bons all day, sweetheart.”
(Actually, I don’t like bon bons. I bet I would if I’d ever tried one made of Nutella, but I haven’t. I’ll get right on that for us. In the meantime, though, I made a cake. Because—remember?—we should all eat more cake. I threw this one together in no time flat. It’s a slight adaptation of a simple butter cake from Martha Stewart. We had fresh berries and wanted a buttery cake on which we could pile them with fresh whipped cream. This was perfect.)
Cardamom Butter Cake with Fresh Berries & Orange Whipped Cream
adapted from Martha Stewart
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
Makes one 9″ cake, serves 6-8
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup sugar, plus 4 tablespoons** and extra for berries
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, plus 1 teaspoon**
6 large egg yolks
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2-3 teaspoons ground cardamom, depending on how much cardamom flavor you want
Pinch of salt
1 large whole egg, lightly beaten
1 pint of heavy cream**
Juice of 1/2 an orange**
Zest of 1/2-1 whole orange, depending on how much orange flavor you want**
3 pints of fresh berries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan; set aside. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and yolks one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add flour, cardamom and salt; beat just until combined, being careful not to over mix.
2. Transfer batter to prepped pan. Use a spatula to spread batter and smooth the top. Place pan in refrigerator 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, wash and, if necessary, hull berries. Add to a bowl and sprinkle generously with sugar. Gently toss to coat berries evenly. Set aside.
4. Remove cake pan from the refrigerator and brush top with beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven until the cake is deep golden brown and edges pull away from sides of pan, about 50 minutes. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully removing it from the pan (pull all the sides from the pan and invert onto a wire rack). Allow it to cool for another 10 minutes.
5. While cake is baking, make the orange scented whipped cream (this can also be made up to 4 hours ahead of time): Add cream, orange juice, zest, remaining teaspoon of vanilla extract and remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until peaks form. Cover and keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.
6. Once cake has cooled, use an offset or rubber spatula to “ice” the top of the cake with whipped cream. Top whipped cream with slightly sweetened berries, which should have released some of their juice by now (drizzle some juice on top, too!). Serve immediately, while cake is still warm.
*Note: While there is nothing in this cake that is unsafe for younger kids, I recommend this starting at 12 months due to the relatively high sugar content. A little bowl of berries with whipped cream is enough to make your littlest eater happy. (The AAP says that there is no benefit to withholding high allergen foods like berries beyond 4- to 6- months. Read more here on how to introduce high allergen foods.) No matter how older your eaters, please be sure to serve age appropriate portions. A small bit of this cake goes a long way.
**Note: The cake will require somewhere between 1/2-3/4 of the whipped cream that this recipe makes. I like having extra to serve on the side, and leftover whipped cream is never a bad thing. If you prefer to make a more conservative amount, half the ingredients called for to make the orange whipped cream.
PS: The “dreamy” picture is a little off, I know. I made this at night. It was dark. I knew that it would be gone by morning. (We had family over.) Trust me that this cake is delicious and totally gorgeous.