Thursday, April 13, 2017

Maundy Thursday, not exactly like other Maundy Thursdays in our past, but still quite relevant...

Maggie came home today.

She arrived an hour or so before bakery opened to customers. Tired girl, wishing for a nap after a super long drive, we hugged her hello and suggested she head to bed. I could barely stop to say hello, we were in the throes of bakery prep. The final loaves of italian were kneaded and formed and scored, thrown into the super hot oven with giant splashes of water to create a steam bath. I pureed the vegetarian stock and white bean soup with sage leaves and cream. Counted out the swiss chard pies. Stirred a buttery raspberry glaze for the spelt pound cakes.

Maggie put up her hair and joined Theo, Rose and I in the maelstrom that is bakery day.

I loved how she couldn't resist!

She glazed and topped the adorable poundcakes with raspberries. She bagged and stirred. Theo washed dishes and she and Rose jarred up soup and sourdough starter for waffle mixes. Nora did whatever I asked.

I put on a clean apron, grabbed the cream cheese, a stick of butter, a couple of organic oranges, some honey, and threw them all into the mixer.

Today I launched a new cake.

Sometimes I feel like a machine. I crank out all the favorite breads, never can bake enough, and end up exhausted, done in, content, grateful, but hungry to create.

Last night I scrounged and patched together one recipe and another, finally coming up with something that fit our operation.
A honey rye cake, made with orange juice, coconut oil, freshly milled rye flour, this and that. As soon as I licked the bowl I thought I might have a winner.

After it came out of the oven, I knew it.

We sold pretty much everything. We worked together hard, we worked together well. After the customers were gone and dishes cleaned up, I put out some pizza dough and the girls cooked it up. Some of their friends came over and after the pizza, they found some strawberries and needed to nosh a bit more. Maggie pulled out the leftover cream cheese frosting and we dipped in our strawberries.

We oohed. We aahed. We licked fingers. We said, omg, this is so good. The girls lauded me and praised me and ate more and basically made me feel like a rock star.

We envisioned a future storefront bakery, an adorable space, big glass windows, Mom's artwork decorating the walls. Breads,
omelets, soups, and Orangey Spicey Little Honey Rye cake on the menu, with a pot of that cream cheesey taste of heaven on hand for people who need a little something.

I felt so much joy and love in that tired moment with my girls. Such a sensuous moment. The taste, the texture, the sound of laughter, the flour covered surfaces and sound of the oven in the background.

Truly could not think of a single other thing I would need to make me happy right now.

Oh, and for the record, I had better write down the recipe off the batter stained back of an envelope, in case I should wish to replicate it someday.

Orangey Spicey, Little Honey Cake (Girls tell me I should not add rye to the name because people think they don't like rye, and if they just taste and see, they will love the cake for sure and slowly get over their aversion and prejudicial bent regarding rye, that humble and lovely grain...)

4 c freshly milled rye flour
3 tsp alum. free baking pdr
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt i use redmonds real
1 1/2 -2 TBS cinnamon
1 tbsp powdered ginger (I think to really gild the lily I should mince fresh ginger to add to the dried, maybe a knob the size of a thumb?)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 c sucanat
1 c organic coconut oil (the refined is okay, butter good also, but extra virgin, with the smell of coconut is worth the expense)
1 c honey, raw, if you can get it
2-3 eggs depending on size
3 tsp vanilla
2 tsp orange extract
1 c freshly juiced oj if you have oranges in season, or good juice from the store. but fresh, with some pulp super good
1/2 c yogurt
1/2 c milk
zest of two oranges

Mix the dry, mix the wet. Beat the wet ingredients until beautifully creamy, gently stir in the dry. To tell you the truth, I add the dry ingredients minus the flour, beat it all well, and then add the flour. Hate to use two bowls, I do enough dishes.

Grease and flour pans, or use muffin tin liners. With this recipe I made six mini bundt cakes, a tin of cup cakes, and a pretty mold pan for our family.

350 until the middle is just set.

Most Amazing Cream Cheese Spread Ever (AKA orangey cream cheesey goodness)

16oz good cream cheese
1 stick butter
juice of half an orange
1/2 tsp orange extract
zest of 1 orange
1/4 c sucanat
1/4 c honey or to taste (the cake is sweet, we don't make this very sweet, but it is fairly easy to taste and test as you go, adjusting. Better to add bit by bit. )
Beat and beat and beat until completely and beautifully whipped. This makes plenty for cakes and leftover to stash in a pint jar in the fridge for late night snacks. Using strawberries. Or fingers. Above cake, baked into layers, frosted with this spread, topped with lovely, edible, in season flowers, might just be one of the best things ever.

I grated nutmeg and more orange zest over our little frosted cakes and they looked so pretty. More importantly, they tasted great. And while not exactly low cal, they were filled with real food. Eggs from the free range chickens, wonderful yogurt, good fats for the brain, and not a single chemical or weird additive in sight.

PS
This recipe is not double tested, could include typos, might not work with your oven. But if you know how to bake a cake, I bet you could make it work. If you wish, you could halve the sweetener, add applesauce to take the place of some of the fat. It is def. not low carb. PLenty of room for improv...

After being a bit bored with my baking, it was fun to whip up a keeper that brought sighs of delight to my daughters. Love my job. Love my kids. Pretty grateful.



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