Sunday, January 09, 2011

Pre-housewarming Cake

It isn't quite Housewarming Cake, because the first get-together at my new apartment wasn't really a housewarming. I decided to host something (four guests) at the last minute, once I saw room in my schedule to bake a cake.

From Drop Box, taken by Julianna

Around the time I read A Homemade Life and discovered Molly Wizenberg (much later than the rest of the recipe-blog-reading world did, I think), she had opened a restaurant and stopped posting more than once a month or so on Orangette. I copied several recipes from the book before discovering that many of them are available on her blog. I especially like her cake recipes. I have very specific taste in these things because I don't love most sweet foods, I like using multigrain flours and other "healthy" ingredients, and I'm not as good at baking as I am at cooking. Baking requires a precision and focus that goes against my nature; there is always danger that I will misread, mismeasure, or overcook. Generally, my baked goods burn because I have a bad habit of walking out of the kitchen and getting distracted somewhere between that room and the bathroom or to wherever the ringing phone is, and then it is not until I smell smoke that I recall that I once placed something in a hot oven. For more proof, see here and here and here.

But I'm getting better.

The cake recipes in A Homemade Life are the kind I like -- not too complicated and not too sweet. Many are paired with, or can be paired with, some form of in-season fruit. Which is healthy! I have made them successfully using whole wheat pastry flour or other non-white flours.

My pre-housewarming cake was the book version of this French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon, which I believe is the cake recipe that led to the e-mail that led to Molly meeting the man she eventually married. If that's true, then it is a good cake to make at the beginning of something. The book version, unlike the blog version, includes an optional lemon glaze and lemon syrup, instead of just one topping.

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