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Archive for August, 2008

call me sugarface

One day I went out to lunch with my lab. It was then that I learned of Kristin’s love of waitresses using petnames. Such as “What can I getcha, hon?” Or “No problem, sugar”, “Kay, sweetie”. I suppose it’s reminiscent of diners and places where you order a cuppa coffee an a peesa pie. I agree that it’s cute, but I’m not one to refer to others by nicknames usually. Even my boyfriend is simply “Stuart”. Not “Stu”, not “Stuie” (which my friends-who-don’t-know-him call him), not “pumpkin”, or “honey”, or “baby”. Pretty much the same goes the other way.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got a text one day from him and it simply said: call me sugarface. Of course I did wonder whether he was calling ME sugarface and wanted me to call him. But considering the lack of comma it actually seemed to request that I call HIM sugarface. Teehee.

This is TOTALLY relevant because today I made a Honey Castella, a dense delicious honey cake. I snatched the recipe from No Special Effects’ blog here.

Honey Cake 2

It was pretty easy to make – a different sort of endeavor for me. The batter was so airy and light. However, I found the actual cake itself to be a little…um…chewy. I think it’s my fault. I’m not a good enough trouble shooter to know why it might end up slightly dense (in a not good way). I wonder – should I have let it bake longer? Did I let it get too warm in the initial egg-mixing stage? At my school we have this term called January Term. One month, one class. An awesome J-term class would be The Chemistry of Baking. I would really love to know more about why I mix things slow, then fast, and hot, and cold. That’s what I get for being a biochem major, though. Wanting to know these things.

I used an 8 1/2 in. round pan which I know was a little big. In fact, the cake pulled away from the sides. It is a very simple dessert, which I appreciate a lot. However, with a little extra honey (cause we can all use some extra honey) drizzled on top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I completely ignored my botched texture because it was soooo yummy.

Honey Cake 1

Recipe: Honey Castella, as written on No Special Effects

* 88g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour

* 3 large eggs, at room temperature

* 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

* pinch of salt

* 126g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

* 42g (1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons) honey

* 22g (1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons) canola or other neutral oil (you may also use the same weight, or 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter, melted)

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Spray an 8-inch round pan with baking spray and line the bottom and sides with parchment. Don’t spray the parchment after lining. Sift the flour onto a sheet of wax paper or a bowl and set aside. In a heatproof (or mixer) bowl, add the eggs, egg yolk, salt, sugar, and honey. Place this over a saucepan of simmering water and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer (or use a whisk) for 10 minutes (the mixture will be at least 40°C, or 104°F). Take off the heat and beat on high speed for at least 6 more minutes using a hand mixer (or 10 minutes on a stand mixer if you started out with a whisk). The batter will be cool, pale and form very thick ribbons that take a very long time to sink completely into the surface of the batter.

Gently fold in the flour into the batter in 3 additions. Take about 1/2 cup of the batter and whisk it into the oil until completely homogeneous, then drizzle it back into the batter, folding continuously as you add it.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 150°C (300°F) and continue baking for 18-25 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few very fine crumbs. Cool the cake completely (cool inverted on a sheet of greased parchment if desired). Unmold to a serving platter.

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