Sunday, November 16, 2014

And Then There Was Cake

Dear Reader,

This weekend went by in a flash! I wish I had one more day just to myself to binge watch Gilmore Girls (please don't judge me....). But it's Sunday night and before I get myself ready for bed I wanted to do a post on something pretty amazing. Ice Box Cake. Have you heard of it? I hadn't either, until I listened to a podcast from Spilled Milk (my favorite! Next to Serial) and Molly and Matthew were discussing how easy it is to make Ice Box Cake. Since I was hosting a dinner party this weekend and attending another, I knew I wouldn't want to do much cooking for the latter but I wanted to bring something special and homemade. Ice Box Cake seemed to be the perfect solution, and Reader, it really was. Simple, sweet and it received way more credit than it deserved. The perfect contribution.

Traditionally, Ice Box Cake requires Nilla Wafers from Nabisco, you know the ones I'm talking about. Since they can be difficult to find and apparently they can also be pricey, I went to my good ole Trader Joe's where an appropriate substitute was readily available.

Ice Box Cake - adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar (I used coconut sugar, which gave the cream a beige tint)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 box of wafers (I used the Trader Joe's 13 oz. Ultimate Vanilla Wafers)
Fruit for topping (I used banana slices)

Vanilla Ice Box Cake
In an electric mixer combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until peaks start to form. On a flat plate, take a spoonful of the whipped cream and spread into a medium sized circle. This is to just hold the first layer of wafers in place. Place 7 wafers in a circle, with one in the middle. Add on another layer of whipped cream (about 1.5-2 heaping spoonfuls), and spread evenly across the cookies. Add on another layer of cookies. Continue until you are out of cookies and finish with a thick layer of whipped cream. Add fruit slices on top of the cake for decoration. You can leave as it is or sprinkle chocolate shavings, cinnamon, whatever you'd like. Voila! It can come out a little sloppy, but who cares, it's delicious!
Leave in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Bring it to your next dinner party, it'll be a hit!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pistachio Pound Cake and Other Happenings

Dear Reader,

Time has been passing all too quickly in my little corner of the world. Halloween has already gone and November is here. Soon, with all the prepping and flurry of holiday festivities, it will be 2015 before you know it. I have developed a habit of counting time, a form of holding on, which I can't decide if it makes me more mindful and aware of time, appreciative, even, or if I am dreading the passing of time, mourning the loss of my "youth" (that has been long gone, I seem to also be struggling with denial). What I know is, the more you try to hold on the faster time seems to go and I have been trying to adopt the attitude of "life is short". Because it is, dear Reader. Take it from someone who has been carefully monitoring it. It goes by in a pinch.
Pistachio Pound Cake
Fall weather to me triggers pies, loaves of bread/pastries, and hearty stews. When I was a little girl, my father frequently baked a killer banana bread and zucchini bread. Until I was too old, I thought he had cleverly invented zucchini bread and swore that he was a culinary genius of his generation. Clearly he did not invent zucchini bread, but I still believe that his culinary endeavors were adventurous and exciting for a man of his age and circumstance. Pound cake was another one of his favorites, and so in memory of my "youth", I bring you Pistachio Pound Cake. Happy fall weather!

Pistachio Pound Cake - adapted from Leite's Culinaria

I substituted the granulated sugar with Coconut sugar, and used european unsalted butter. I also did not bother with the frosting since we planned to eat it over days for breakfast with coffee. E and i found the cake to be quite dense and a little flaky, but not as moist as I am used to for pound cake. Mr. David Leite has informed me that the lack of moisture may be due to the sugar substitution. Still, i loved the nutty texture added to my morning feed and found it to be a treat.