This is going to be a bit of a long post, so buckle in.
Guys, this has been A WEEK, but I didn’t expect the week leading up to my departure to be anything but A WEEK. An amuse-bouche of the crazy endured these last two weeks: I had thousands of dollars stolen from my bank account by some creeper in North Florida who was subsequently caught on camera, which is hilarious; Connor the Cat becoming really sick and urinating on my bed, carpet, couch, me, the world, which was somewhat less hilarious; my first food blogging conference; and of course the end of my job.
So now I’m officially unemployed. I actually typed “homeless” by accident which is probably just an indicator of what’s to come. But maybe not, because if I’m this good at omniscience and fortune telling then maybe there’s a way to monetize that and not be homeless after all. But if I don’t become homeless, doesn’t that mean I’m actually a terrible oracle? Now I’m confused. Or I could at least secure a place with a band of traveling gypsies; that’s still a thing, right? And does this mean I would have to wear billowy silk shirts and a magnificent gold hoop earring? I really hope not. Silk is so 1996 and I don’t look good with gold jewelry because I’m not Mr. T.
As of now I’m considering growing a scraggly beard grossly disproportionate to the amount of hair amassed across my body to blatantly convey my unemployment to the public. And possibly tie in beads and bells because nothing seems quite as magical as a musical beard. In case you haven’t gathered by this point, this post may come off as a little erratic, but convolution has been the driving force behind my life lately so it’s at the very least authentic. Also I’ve been drinking kombucha and I’m pretty sure they made this batch with low-dose Rohypnol, which I’m kind of okay with.
Becoming unemployed was surprisingly not as immediately liberating as I was expecting. After sitting in that office for so many years I thought I was going to finish out my last day by bursting through the double doors with heralds sounding and wind blowing my imaginary hair back (or glorious scraggly beard had I thought ahead and grown it out. Hindsight, right?) as I suavely slip my sunglasses on and march toward liberation, but no such thing happened. Instead I spent the day in melancholy, lamenting my ceased pay and seriously questioning if I’d made the right choice.
Until I remembered that I’m leaving for Europe on Friday, and anyone who mourns the loss of work in the exchange of an extended foray into European food pornery is clearly out of his mind and possibly dangerous.
In other current events, here’s a riddle: what do you get if you fill a room with talented food bloggers, successful industry professionals and delicious food? If you’re me then you get the hint that you’re in an insanely competitive market and need to step up your game, stat. And also a delicious lunch. Such was my experience during TECHmunch Tampa over the weekend where I was given the opportunity to rub elbows with tremendously interesting and talented writers while soaking in come-to-Jesus presentations in how to avoid critical errors in blogging. Errors blithely made by yours truly. Errors that I tracked down, shot point blank in the face and buried under the floorboards where nary a person will ever find them. For those interested, Katie at Katie’s Cucina wrote up an excellent recap of the events and presentations.
This vanilla almond cake has very little to do with the rest of the post, but it’s purpose here isn’t for naught; it so happens that the majority of my apartments in Europe are without standard American ovens (duh). Since I’m looking at exclusive range cooking for two or so months I’m trying to get the most use out of mine at home. But If we’re being honest, I don’t really need much of an excuse to make — or eat — a cake.
Searching for a recipe for stark white frosting was a little disheartening because a lot of the recipes called for the use of a LOT of vegetable shortening, which I find disgusting. Shortening is comprised of some of the most unhealthy, harmful and unsustainable hydrogenated vegetable oils found on earth and if you support the use of shortening you are basically supporting terrorism. I don’t care how delicious that fried chicken in The Help looked, YOU DO NOT USE SHORTENING TO FROST YOUR CAKE OR FRY YOUR CHICKEN. Every time you do the devil gets a little more power and Jesus weeps. Do you want to be responsible for that with the end of the world so close in sight?
Anyway, I came across a meringue-based white frosting that was very marshmallowy in texture and served as a nice vehicle to deliver the punchy almond flavor without masking the subtle vanilla undertones. The actual cake is very spongey, yet dense, and coupled with the light, airy meringue frosting presented a well-balanced congruence of flavors and textures that neither overpowered nor underwhelmed. The cake was made the star rather than the sidekick to a heavy and sugary frosting that scrapes and clings to your esophagus that so many traditional cakes are guilty of. Moist, flavorful cake. Stark white frosting. Shortening-free. You lose this round, Satan.
With as many errands to run, bills to pay and cats to appease before I leave my time on the blog will be limited over the next couple of days. The next time I post will be from across the pond, so this is my official American sendoff. See you on the other side!
VANILLA ALMOND CAKE
Summary: A flavorful, dense vanilla almond cake paired with a stark white, SHORTENING-FREE, meringue-based almond frosting. Caution: Share this cake or you will eat more of it than you can handle. Preparation time: 20 minute(s) Cooking time: 40 minute(s) Number of servings (yield): 8 For the Almond Meringue Frosting For the Almond Meringue Frosting Similar Recipes from Other Bloggers
For the Vanilla Almond Cake
For the Vanilla Almond Cake
Summary: A flavorful, dense vanilla almond cake paired with a stark white, SHORTENING-FREE, meringue-based almond frosting. Caution: Share this cake or you will eat more of it than you can handle.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
For the Almond Meringue Frosting
For the Almond Meringue Frosting
Similar Recipes from Other Bloggers