Some days, your bed is too darn comfy.

And then your bathrobe is comfy. And your desk chair is comfy. And later, the couch will be comfy. And nothing will get done.

Oof. AGAIN. How I dragged myself up out of bed before 7:30 this morning is a miracle.

I made cake.

This is a really big cookbook.

Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking, by Caroline Bretherton, was one of my favorite Christmas gifts last year. So far I’ve only made a couple recipes out of it, but I’ve had success! If you like pictures, this is your book. All of the base recipes show what your ingredients should look like at each step of the process. Hugely helpful when you’re not sure how bubbly your batter should be for a sponge cake, or how thick “slightly thickened” is.

I chose the marble loaf cake for this post. It looked like an easy recipe that didn’t use large quantities of ingredients, and only used baking staples.

Salt is missing here. You need salt to activate the baking powder. Don’t forget it!

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix until you start to see bubbles form. Don’t worry- it doesn’t have to be frothy-bubbly, particularly if you’re mixing by hand, like me. It’s enough to see air pockets form. Sift in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix those in gently. It’s a sponge cake recipe, which means you want to keep as much air in it as possible to keep it light and, well, spongy. The batter will be thick, and it comes together pretty quickly.

Divide the batter in half. Sift cocoa powder into one bowl. Fold in gently until combined.

They’re about to fall in love.

This batter is delicious, by the way. Especially the chocolate batter. Oh, man. I’m really starting to love making chocolate baked goods from scratch.

Butter and flour that loaf pan!

Totally necessary.

You need to butter and flour the pan, or your cake will stick and burn.

All mixed up and in love.

People like to claim either chocolate or vanilla as their favorite flavor, but truthfully, chocolate and vanilla love each other a lot, and they would like you to enjoy both swirled together in this cake.

I’m sorry. I was plugged in to the TV and internet like a maniac last night following an election. I’m tired and grasping at creativity.

Loaf cake!

It’s lovely. And it looks like bread.

Oh gosh. Now that I have alluded to the relationship between the flavors in the cake, all I’m coming up with is dirty jokes. Moving on.

See how they work so well together?

Much different batter distribution here.

Okay, so the marbling (marble-ing?) didn’t work out so well. It’s not swirly-swirly like I would have liked. But it is delicious. If a cake lacks frosting or filling, its restriction as a dessert food is lifted, and it now becomes acceptable for snacking. And it’s in loaf form! Which makes it like a bread. And you can eat bread for breakfast, right? Therefore you can enjoy this cake (bread) for breakfast. This cake is enjoyable any time of day!

I just rocked your world a little bit, didn’t I? No need to thank me. It’s Wednesday.

Lots of Chile stuff has been happening this week! My professor put me in touch with an organization in Chile where I might help lead theater programs for early elementary school students. That would only be about the best thing that I could do while I’m there. I also met with one of my mom’s co-workers and his wife. The wife is from Chile, and the husband studied abroad there right when they started allowing exchange students post-Pinochet. They told me lots of interesting things, including that I should expect lots of piropos while I’m down there. A piropo is basically a pick-up line. They’re mostly silly, but occasionally they can be vulgar. Piropos are common, but apparently Chileans particularly target us gringas. I will be even more of a target because I am rubia- literally translated, blonde, but rubia really applies to anyone who has lighter hair and skin. The day I met with the couple, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. My clothes were by no means immodest by American standards, but the husband told me not to wear that when I’m down there or else risk even more attention. Oh boy. The wife later emailed me and said the best thing to do when you’re the recipient of piropos is not to notice it at all. Ignore it, and don’t do anything. I’ll try my best!

I had my typhoid vaccine prescription filled- in a fluke, someone else had just asked for it and they had extra on hand- and started taking it today. Here’s hoping I don’t miss a dose or screw it up.

Random thoughts: Democracy is funny.

I’m never coloring my hair again. I had it dyed three times over the school year for plays. You should know that my hair is insane. It’s kinky-curly, reminiscent of African-American hair. I love it, but it’s not the kind of hair you should dye- ever. I’ll be going back to my natural color at my next appointment, and my stylist has set aside five hours just for me. Five. Hours. Never again will dye touch this head, if I have any say in it.

The world looks different when you walk instead of run. Try it sometime.

Networking is an awesome thing. Know your professors, guys!

Thanks for keeping up with the blog! I know the last post was a little heavy, so I hope the presence of cake and bad humor helps to make up for it. Keep commenting! I’d love to hear your suggestions as to what you’d like to see or hear about next.

Happy Hump Day Hug Day!

Love,

Gaby

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