Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Danish Layer Cake: Freedom to exercise

my attempt at baking something masterful....please don't laugh....esp. Medena over at Café Chocolada, pastry aficionado!

I am reading M.F.K. Fisher again.

She has been a delight to read because she breaks tradition.

Her voice is dauntless at times that I wonder how she ever survived the early years with her sense of clairvoyance and attitude toward the sedated just mix a highball crowd back then.

Last few nights I have been reading and re-reading through The Gastronomical Me and realized something about her.

Absolute pure genius she was.....

She was purely a different breed; so exact as a matter of fact and I imagine was perceptive as hell. If you sat clear across the room from her, she would be able to sop your soul through like dense bread over meat drippings.

Then on a flip coin I read vintage The Cooking of Provincial France.

I actually grew up reading this book not realizing M.F.K. Fisher was a woman.

I cherish this book with dear life.

If a tornado were to run through this house.....I'd grab my kids, my purse, this book and my eyelash curler ;-)

With the 'munchkins' we decorated this cake with a make-shift pastry bag from parchment paper.....frosting is made of cream, white sugar, vanilla, a touch of gelatin, drained chopped fresh pineapples, hand shaved semi-sweet chocolate....

I made this Danish cake referring back to my taste memory when I worked as a designer in Los Angeles some years back. I also found an old recipe from another out of print book that re-played similarities of ingredients from the Danish cakes I used to love so much.

There was a Danish bakery nearby where our breaks were taken.....in between hunkering over the drafting board, cigarettes....I recall the treat of layer cake and for later a sweet roll with slivers of Havarti cheese with thick wedges of cucumbers.

I love Danish cakes and also some French pastry because it is not cloyingly sweet like some American cakes aka Betty Crocker inspired.

This cake was a killer to make ~ supposed to be a three layer cake but I couldn't fathom how that was done as explained in the recipe, so instead of creating a pile of crumbles I relented to the simplicity of two layers.

Too many increments, too precisely oriented and already naturally uptight because of Asian descent (ha!).....Korean to be exact.....I'd rather let loose on a savory dish......marinate + roast a bone marrow for pete's sake......spend an afternoon with a mallet and a side of beef would be nice, or perhaps cram a bag carrots through a juicer to get my aggression out.

Bake a cake?

I do things for love ~ esp. for the love my family and friends.....

Okay so far MFK Fisher, Danish layer cakes, vintage cookbooks, family and friends which leads to my official thank you to Medena at Café Chocolada for recently presenting me the E Award!

I am enamored to receive this especially from the pastry priestess herself for my blogging.......Thank you! Whenever visiting her site I feel inspired by her passion for the art of baking.

Thank you so much Medena for thinking of me and I look forward to reading more about your pastry sensibilities.....

Sharing a slice of cake among friends: at the end of it all.....it did taste good. It had a light sponge cake appeal and I mixed in fine shaving of the rind and juice of half a lemon.

In tradition to this cyberspace exchange.....I pass on the E Award to the following bloggers:

Nina's Kitchen ~ Do check out her masterful creations. I am constantly waiting at her door stoop like a puppy to admire her culinary creations. Visually stunning yet also salivary gland inducing.....She may have already be granted an E award with all she has done, but here goes....

Sweet Home and Garden Chicago ~ Carolyn is a garden blogger but has enticing food insight and recipes. Another twist is her take on traditional Korean recipes that have been lovingly passed down to her from family. I love her take on Soul food and Seoul food! A master gardener as well ~ she inspires me to go beyond growing herbs when she writes about her bountiful gardening....

Mochachocolata Rita ~ I love mocha girl's savory, fun + often times outlandish approach to cooking and blogging. Melting pot cooking with Asian inspirations that is delight to look at as well as ponder......'Hey - I would have never thought - but looks enticing enough to try!' I like how she takes my thoughts out of safeguard as she introduces Indonesian + Chinese + more with her personal touch.

Food Mayhem ~ Okay she cooks, she dines, wines, dices and promotes food happenings. Amidst invitations to food centric events and her own dining escapades. I often times wander over to her side of the cyber globe and feel like Carrie Bradshaw of the food world with stilettos on trying to keep myself from tipping over each tantalizing post! Talk about the queen of food posts.....over here in the slow balmy South ~ I am trying to keep up with each day's douse! She's about a dozen posts ahead of me and going strong!

Passionate Eater Like moi, a California transplant in the South. Read + See her dining adventures from San Francisco and now in New Orleans and then some. Beautiful photos, glorious rousting of well executed dining finds and always a fun read. I love everything she orders and imagine I am dining there right alongside every bite from oysters in chardonnay sabayon or an earthy bowl of gumbo to a serving of ooey gooey nachos @ Lakers game......!

Bloggers awarded: please feel free to pass on + cut & paste this E Award as needed + would be lovely to link it back to me @ TasteMemory!

Next up another gracious award! Thank you kindly to Nicole at Art and Aioli for the Blogging with a Purpose Award

More words to follow about BWAP Award......

Adieu, till next time!


Elle said...

Oh wow, that is one gorgeous cake! I'd happily indulge in a slice or two. :)

And congratulations on your awards! You have a beautiful blog and they are well deserved!

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Thanks, Ingar, for passing on the E award to me, I'm very honored.

I tried but failed to copy the logo to my blog. Any suggestions or advice ? I tried to cut and paste but it didn't work.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Wow, two awards! Congrats! I'm not surprised at all...gorgeous photos and fantastic writing!

Thank you for the E Award and the plug...highly appreciated!

Unknown said...

look at that cake! a slice of mouth watering gorgeousness, looks as light and fluffy as angel's wings' feathers...

i am more and more inspired to learn how to bake :)

you totally deserve the awards, and thanks so muchh for passing an E to me...i am so honored!

Peter M said...

If dessert's served up in heaven...it would look like this...just dreamy!

Passionate Eater said...

Thank you so much for the award TM! I wish I could send it right back to you, twenty times! Take care my Southern friend!

Anonymous said...

Dear memory girl!
Does our mistery lady have a name? LOL
The idea to mix in lemon juice and rinds is great! I know that most Americans like their short cake, but I must confess it is a bit bland for my taste. Mixing some almond powder in could be interesting, too.
After all short cake originally was a variation of Gateau de Savoie, which is a bit heavier and that we usually imbibe with alcohol or syrup while still hot out of the oven!

Nina Timm said...

Thanks for the award, Ingar(know I know your name). I do appreciate this.

Gwen said...

Congrats on your awards, and what a cake this is! (the first photograph is especially enticing). I will be trying some of your recipes (the less complicated ones :))

taste memory said...

elle ~ hey u too fellow "E" award recipient! yeah definitely I had several slices!

carolyn gail ~ my pleasure...thought to break outta the box and have it leak over to the gardening crowd....(lol) Glad the award made it over to you!

jessica ~ hey thanks....always a delight visiting you at nyc blog. Your posts are VERY tempting and am totally excited with your dining adventures! Dining out in n.e. fla: very VERY dull....

mocha rita ~ you're welcome...love your words + recipes! I don't bake too often because if I do - I WILL EAT and am trying to work on wittling down to size 2 (clicking those heels: oh how I wish...!) But yes, as you said as angels wings - they were fluffy ;-)

peter ~ hello + welcome! so kind -glad they came across heaven sent on line! thanks for stopping by...

passionate eater ~ hey there, my pleasure.....your jaunts about are awesome.

dragonlife ~ i love the idea of almond powder. i like almonds in general, been using raw almonds crushed in many of my salads. It acts as a great binder replacing cheese. I did have my name somewhere on this blog but I may have move those posts on hold for some or the othr. Given to me by my father who was quite passionate about the European culture + his best buddy was of Austrian German descent inspired the name too......Ingar

nina ~ my pleasure....you're so awesome....plan to visit your site be4 I plan dinner tonight (laughing + smiling here)

gwen ~ i always think my recipes are not too complicated. They can be refined to be less complicating though...but i can be a complicating person, so you may end up with a complicated recipe!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your awards! It's well-deserved i think. :-)

And i agree with Peter on the cake, it looks dreamy and delicious. The pictures inspire the same feelings as the movie 'lost in translation'.

Nicole said...

I have never read M.F.K. Fisher. And apparently it is my loss! You make it sound so good. I have to grab one of her books. One of these days when I have the time to read again...

Chef Erik said...

That looks wonderful. I wish I could do desserts like that.

Melita said...

:)))) You are most welcome! I am so not laughing at your cake, it looks mouthwatering, and great job decorating, especially with no pro tools. I am terrible at decorating via piping, notice I rarely do it ;)
Since you can't send me a slice, I will have to make it!

taste memory said...

zen chef ~ 'LIT' literally...

nicole ~ hey!

chef erik ~ welcome, thanks for stopping by!

medena ~ yeah, one of those things I need to get (pastry bag), but would rather $$$ @ Sephora....thanks mucho coming from you!