Nothing like ashes to remind me to live harder, better, more lovingly, more joyfully.
Yesterday we planted a Ceiba tree with the ashes of a lifelong friend of mine who lived ill for such a long time it was just a part of him, and then died suddenly before anyone had time to say goodbye.
You never get used to death. It blows you apart every time. When he died, the world didn’t stop; the world didn’t skip a beat. Life is so hungry for life, it doesn’t stop for death. Death is the past tense, immediately. Death is voracious. Life is voracious. So live now, live hard, live big. Live.
Which brings me to cake. Baking is how I connect with life and creation, beauty, art, nourishment, happiness, communion with others. Whilst I don’t create my own recipes, I’m a passionate baker and home cook. I test a lot of recipes before I consider adding them to my repertoire and sharing them with others.
I know many of you find being in the kitchen a great big yawn. But for those of you who don’t, I want to share my cake discovery of the year.
This recipe for Whiskey Chocolate Prune cake is an adaptation of Claire Ptak’s (Violet bakery in London) Chocolate Prune cake with Armagnac. Who has Armagnac? No one. This version uses rum, whiskey or whatever you’ve got in the house.
Are you thinking, prunes with chocolate? Prunes do something magical to chocolate. Indescribable really. And another thing, this is a flourless, light as air torte even though it is described as gooey.
It looks complicated, but after making it several times, I’ve broken it down to three steps. Soak the prunes in booze. Next, melt the chocolate and mix with the sugar, butter and egg yolks. Combine steps one and two in a bowl. Step three is: Whip egg whites and gently fold them in. Into the oven.
It’s worth the bowls and whisks, and fear that the cake won’t rise. It will. The taste is celestial, a bite of heaven. Subtle, delicate, deep, mysterious, light, fleeting, gone. Like life.
Sending you big love and hugs today. Thank you ever so much for reading!
P.S. Today, March 27, is an iconic date in my soul. My lovely late Mother’s birthday, with me always.
Hello my lovelies! I really hope you make this cake and enjoy the wonder of it. Do you have any “master” recipes to share with us? If so, put the links down below. If you enjoy being part of an intelligent, witty, stylish, life loving group of women, enter your email above so you won’t miss a thing.