Me? I've been fairly non-existent.
I've actually just been busy and having a hell of a time understanding high school chemistry. S P D F levels, something about electron orbital shapes, and a bunch of phooey such as this. I'm more of a biology (specifically evolution and DNA) kind of a gal, sorry.
And I was sick last week! My sister was kind enough to infect me with her germs, but I was smart enough to treat myself well enough that I didn't get as bad as she did. Take that, illness!
I actually have quite a few posts lined up, because I have been baking. I've just been sucking at blogging, and reading blogs, because as has been pointed out before: eating requires cooking, and (food) blogging requires cooking, but eating is more important than blogging. I took pictures and saved the recipes, though. I have found/somewhat-created the (healthy) banana bread recipe. THE. It is perfect in every way. <3
But all of this is not important right now. What is important is the fact that I am not 16 anymore as of this morning. I'm 17. Which somehow seems so much older than 16 is, despite the fact that I don't feel any different. And you know what? If I'd been born in 1992 instead of '93, I could totally vote in the midterm elections today! But nooooooooo, my parents were too busy with my sister in '92 to care about timing this perfectly. When I have kids I'm totally going to be more considerate of them.
But anyway, in case you didn't get the whole "I'm 17" thing, it's my birthday today. To celebrate, I made a cake. After two years of trying to make my birthday cake, I finally did it.
In 2008, I was just getting into the whole being-obsessed-with-food thing. I wasn't quite into the health zone that I am now, but I was getting there. I was determined to make this cake for my birthday. I was sooo excited. Before I'd made cupcakes and stuff, but never a cake! But, my parents decided I'd spend my birthday with my grandparents, so I couldn't make a cake. "Okay," I decided, "I'm definitely making one next year, though!"
And then "swine flu" came along. Despite having gotten our flu shots, my sister still caught the H1N1 virus on Halloween, which I'd spent at a friend's house. The next day, I was picked up from my friend's house and told to pack up and leave the house so I wouldn't get infected. I spent November 1st driving to my grandparents' house and staying in their guest rooms, away from them in case I was already infected (and I was because, as sisters are so often kind-enough to do, my sister had once again shared her germs with me). I woke up on my birthday feeling quite ill, and spent my 16th birthday in a car driving home with the swine flu, all the while thinking, "owwwwww" and, of course, "I am most-definitely-without-a-single-doubt making a cake next year. GOD WILLS IT!"
So, today's my birthday, and I don't have to be at anyone's house, and I was already sick last week so that's out of the way. So guess what? I made a cake. Boo-ya.
I had this bad boy saved in my recipe files since Spring 2009 when I first saw it on Tastespotting. I bought the ingredients for it last year but of course that didn't work out. ;) So I did it this year, and it turned out fabulously!
I ended up doubling the recipe, not on purpose but because I measured out 1 cup of yogurt instead of 1/2 cup, and realized this mistake after I added the sweetener. Whoops.
But it turned out quite well; I just had a thicker cake. :D I also didn't bother cutting the cake in half, because I am A) lazy and B) lacking a big-enough and good-enough knife and C) afraid of messing things such as birthday cakes up. It's good anyway, so you'll just have to trust me.
Almond Refrigerator Cake
(Recipe very, very slightly adapted from Comfy Belly)
168 g (1/2 cup) honey
168 g (1/2 cup) light agave nectar
225 g (1 cup) plain organic nonfat yogurt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large organic eggs
6 tbsp organic butter, melted
2 pinches salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups almond flour (For a prettier cake, use blanched almond flour; I for one am not concerned by such things and besides, unblanched is more nutritious!)
Preheat oven to 310 degrees F.
Combine honey, agave, yogurt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the salt, baking soda and almond flour, then add to the wet ingredients.
Lube up a cake pan (I used a springform cake pan, which made my life incredibly easier - for the record I believe it's a 10" pan) and add the batter. Bake for 35-50 minutes (mine took 50, but I had to refrigerate mine for a few hours to go to school so I think it took longer to bake because of that). If it starts looking dark, cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Just keep an eye on it and it'll be fine!
Remove from the oven and take out of the pan (this is where springform works marvelously <3). Let cool as you make the ganache:
1.5 cups all-natural chocolate chips
1-2 (I actually used about 2.5) tsp nonfat plain yogurt
~2.5 tbsp butter
In a double-boiler, combine all of the ingredients and stir occasionally until it has all melted and is a chocolate liquid. I am actually quite impatient and ended up giving up on the bain-marie idea and doing it in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds. ;) If it's too thick, add more butter or yogurt. Point is, once it's a chocolate liquid, pour on top of the cake and smooth it out, letting it drip over the sides. If it's depressed in the middle like it is mine (it probably won't be if you bake it immediately if you don't suck at estimating how much time it's going to take you to make stuff before you have to go to school [I'm pretty sure most of you don't even go to school anymore so, you know, you see my point]) then you get to have a filler for that to pretend that it's actually an even top. Yahoo!
|Hopefully you can smooth it over the edge better than I can if you care about looks and silly things like that. ;)|
Once the ganache is good and ready, refrigerate the cake until everything is cooled. Meanwhile, lick the ganache bowl. Man, that stuff is good!
Once cooled, enjoy the heck out of it. :)
The verdict: This stuff is crack. Seriously. CRACK. Fairly nutritious crack, too. Score.
The cake is somewhat grainy, but not at all in a bad way, and it has such a lovely vanilla-almond flavor. The ganache is... amazing beyond belief, and combined with the cake it is... crack. And the best part is, you don't even get a sugar rush or anything unless you just eat all of the ganache. ;)
I hope you all have been swell! I'm off to buy sneakers, and then do a bunch of much-needed blog reading. :D