Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 Bosc pears, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup finely ground toasted almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch-process), plus additional for dusting
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
For the pears: Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper. Put the butter, brown sugar, and lemon zest and juice in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until melted. Add the pears, cover, and simmer, turning once, until the pears are soft and juicy, about 4 minutes. Pour the pears and their syrup into a strainer set over a saucepan. Set the syrup and 1 pear quarter aside. Arrange remaining pears in the prepared pan, stem ends toward center, rounded sides down, and 1/4-inch from the side. Chop reserved pear and use just enough to fill center.
For the cake: Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Scald milk in a small saucepan; keep warm. Whisk flour with almonds, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add granulated sugar; continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl. Add cocoa powder and vanilla and beat 1 minute. While mixing at medium-low speed, add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
While mixing slowly, add the flour mixture in 4 additions; turn off the mixer and fold in the hot milk with a rubber spatula. Spread the batter over the pears, taking care not to disturb them. Tap the pan lightly on the counter to settle the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Cool briefly, carefully peel the parchment paper from the top, and then cool completely.
To finish the cake: Boil the reserved pear syrup until slightly thick and lightly brush the top of the cake with syrup. Whisk a few tablespoons of cocoa powder with an equal amount of confectioners' sugar, and sift over the cake; serve.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I am really looking forward to this weekend as it is my BIRTHDAY! A few of my best girlfriends have b-days around the same time as me and so we are gonna celebrate together by having a roller skating birthday party (followed by a party-party)! I am soooooo excited.....
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The poem that I took the title from is a bit more wild and crazy than I am ( although I've been that wild and crazy person before) but it talks about being open and experiencing ALL of life, which is definitely one of my New Years Resolutions, to seek out and enjoy life and really feel like I am a part of it all! (whatever IT may be).
|NATIVE moments! when you come upon me—Ah you are here now!|
|Give me now libidinous joys only!|
|Give me the drench of my passions! Give me life coarse and rank!|
|To-day, I go consort with nature’s darlings—to-night too;|
|I am for those who believe in loose delights—I share the midnight orgies of young men;||5|
|I dance with the dancers, and drink with the drinkers;|
|The echoes ring with our indecent calls;|
|I take for my love some prostitute—I pick out some low person for my dearest friend,|
|He shall be lawless, rude, illiterate—he shall be one condemn’d by others for deeds done;|
|I will play a part no longer—Why should I exile myself from my companions?||10|
|O you shunn’d persons! I at least do not shun you,|
|I come forthwith in your midst—I will be your poet,|
|I will be more to you than to any of the rest|
-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass