Stop living someone else’s pretty life and live your own. Stop living someone else’s version of your life. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Stop pining after the lithe, blond twenty-somethings who take photos of their expensive finery, standing pigeon-toed. Cease glazing over the glittery life, the pomp, fanfare and confetti of those who photograph one aspect of their lives, not the whole of it. Stop living their life and find the magic in yours.
For a time I indulged in this flight of fancy. I studied blogs penned by bloggers taking photos of themselves against what appeared to be a forest, but was really Brooklyn in autumn. Of girls posing with cupcakes, which left me wondering, DO THEY ACTUALLY EAT THEM? Of ladies finding great adjectives to describe those small, precious moments, yet never really putting the rest of their life on display. The life of 12-14 hour work days, which are filled with co-worker negotiations and politics on the level of the CIA, tepid food deliveries because you can barely conceive of leaving your desk let alone the ocean of emails pouring in and evenings where all you can muster is the gym, an hour of television and back to sleep you go…to start it all over again.
And that’s the luxury of life without kids! Imagine a whole other job that awaits you as soon as you enter your front door.
But I digress.
You should know that this space is my haven. My flight of fancy, my escape from a significant amount of offline responsibility. Here I can play, but by no means is this space a reflection of the whole of my life. For some reason I felt I needed you to know that. And as much as I’m trying to only be inspired by the beautiful cakes and the women who bake them online, I’m trying, every day, to find the magic IN MY LIFE.
Today I deviated from the baking plan (what a trend, this is) and set off to make something lovely I found on Pinterest. And then I tumbled to Valeria’s site (talk about delovely), and I couldn’t resist diving in. This cake is an interesting cross between a soufflé and a cheesecake. The cake will balloon up in the oven and then completely deflate as it cools leaving a creamy, fluffy center that borders on the ethereal. I love it because it’s light and perfumed with wonderful flavor.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of My Love, Life, Food
1 22cm/9inch springform pan
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup cane sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yoghurt
grated zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (the original recipe called for orange blossom water, but I found that challenging to find, so I settled on a reliable standby)
4 fresh figs, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F./180 degrees C (btw, I found an AMAZE C to F converter). In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy and light. Add the flour and mix until combined. Add the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and mix until combined. Add vanilla extract. Whisk egg whites using electric beaters until firm (the peaks will stand up, but the whites aren’t frothy or foamy anymore) and fluffy. Gently fold into yoghurt mixture until combined, from the bottom to the top, using a spatula.
Grease a spring-form cake pan with butter (or you can use coconut oil spray, which I did). Pour mixture into the pan and arrange the fig slices on top. face up. Bake it in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the top is browned. The cake will rise a lot but will decrease when removed from the oven. Let cool before serving. Once cooled, add a spray of confectioner’s sugar.