Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Cake Walk

I've been good. I've been very good. Ever since we lost Cora, I have resolved to keep walking in her memory, as she was the one who got me into the habit of walking once or twice daily. She always looked so forward to her forays out of the house, but she was never willing to go it alone. Even on the days when I felt I couldn't face another walk around the neighborhood, she would patiently wait and her very patience was what guilted me out the door. So, when she went to heaven, I decided that I needed to keep going - literally as well as figuratively.

I have several different routes to take, some more challenging and hilly, some easier and flatter, but I get out each day, no matter what. I find that I actually like walking by myself, too. After the first several poignant days when I missed my furry companion greatly, I realized that when I walk without a dog, I can pick up the pace and swing along, rather than stopping every few yards to let her sniff a bush or leave her own pee-mail. My lungs expand and my stride lengthens and my heart pumps - it feels very good!

And, when I get home, I feel that I have earned a treat. Let them eat cake!  Not rich cake with icing, but rather this lovely cake that I actually learned about while listening to a podcast of Spilled Milk as I walked!  How's that for elegant?

The particular episode I was laughing along to was about brown butter - how to make it and possible uses for it. Molly and Matthew referenced their website, which mentioned a blog called The Tough Cookie  where there was posted this recipe for Brown Butter Nectarine and Raspberry cake, which was adapted from yet another source. Do we live in an amazingly connected world, or what?

Anyway, the idea of making a cake with brown butter just sounded so good that I walked on home and began the prep. The trickiest part is making the brown butter as the window between brown and burned is brief and a little fraught, but I managed it with the instructions from the Tough Cookie, and so can you. The rest is, as they say, a piece of cake.

I didn't have raspberries and a visit to both of our little markets in town yielded no raspberries - not even frozen ones! - so I just subbed in more nectarines. I think it would be even better, and a lot more colorful, with the sweet-tart and rich red berries, but it was lovely even as is. The cake part is light and airy and mildly sweet with just a little depth of extra richness from the brown butter. People, it crisps just a tad on the buttery edges; those swoonworthy edges! 

The nectarines cooked down into the batter a bit, and grew soft and syrupy with just a little resistance from the skin to keep it real. The recipe said to serve with vanilla ice cream (didn't have) so we settled for a puddle of creme fraiche to dip our forks into, and the slight tartness of the creme was the perfect foil for the lightly sweet cake. 

It made a lovely dessert served warm out of the oven and, the next morning after our walk, it was a lovely mid-morning snack.  

Before we put on our walking shoes, My Beloved set up the coffee while I put our slices and coffee mugs into the warming drawer; the cake was just warm when we returned. He touched off the button on the coffee maker and in minutes we were sitting down to hot, creamy coffee and light, fresh cake. Have I mentioned that I love, love, love the warming drawer?

You can find the recipe by following the link above to The Tough Cookie and using the recipe roster to find the cake. The only thing I would add to it is that it took fully 30 minutes longer to bake than the recipe said. If you make it, check at the time stated in the recipe but don't be surprised if it takes longer for your cake tester to come out clean.


Blogger Buzz Baylis said...

And I am _so_ spoiled in my roll of taster in reisdence!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015  
Blogger Greg said...

Keep on walking! Good stuff.

Thursday, June 18, 2015  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Thanks, Buzz and Greg. Both for your encouragement and your comments.

Thursday, June 25, 2015  
Blogger Diane said...

Good for you, keeping up the walking, as I am sure those first days were hard.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015  

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