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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bake It Like You Mean It by Gesine Bullock-Prado [Excerpt]

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CHOCOLATE PYRAMID Makes 8 servings what if you could make an extraordinary chocolatecake—I mean one of the best darned fudgy chocolatecakes you’ve ever tasted? And what if you layered it with glorious chocolate frosting? And what if the wholepackage looked like a triangle instead of a boring oldcircle or square? If this fantasy interests you, you’vecome to the right place. This cake is delicious and will have everyone talking about your madly brilliantlayering skills. FOR THE CAKE: 6 eggs, separated¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar½ teaspoon salt1 scant cup (130 g) cake flour1 cup (85 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder FOR THE BUTTERCREAM: ⅔ cup (130 g) granulated sugar2 eggs, at room temperature1 teaspoon vanilla bean pastepinch salt1 cup (230 g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes,at room temperature8 ounces (225 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped,melted, and cooled slightly FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP: 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar FOR THE GLAZE: 4 ounces (115 g) bittersweet chocolate¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream1 tablespoon unsalted butter FOR THE ASSEMBLY: ½ cup (40 g) Dutch process cocoa powder (I use CacaoBarry Extra Brute) For the cake: Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) . Line a hal sheet panwith parchment paper. Do not spray with nonstick spray.In the bowl o a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attach-ment, combine the egg yolks and one-quarter o the gran-ulated sugar and beat until the mixture thickens but isn’tstif. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the almondpaste, a small bit at a time to avoid lumps. Transer thismixture to a mixing bowl and clean the stand mixer bowland whisk attachment thoroughly.In the clean bowl o your stand mixer, combine the eggwhites and salt and whisk until the mixture is white andoamy. With the mixer running, slowly add the remainingsugar and whisk until stif peaks orm. (Be careul not towhip to the point o dryness or chunks.) Using a large rub-ber spatula, old one-third o the egg white mixture intothe egg yolk mixture to lighten. Add the remaining whitesand gently old until the two are incorporated.In a bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. Sitthe flour mixture over the egg mixture and old togetherwith a large rubber spatula. Spread the batter onto theprepared pan in a very even layer. Bake or 10 minutes, or just until the cake springs back when touched. Make the buttercream: In a heavy saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with¼ cup (60 ml) water and stir constantly over medium heatuntil the sugar has completely dissolved. Stop stirring.

What Will People Consider Artifacts in 100 years?

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Do you ever stop to think that one day, the life we living now will be considered history? A weird thought because we think of the past as back in the “olden days” where people had to walk barefoot to school both ways in the snow and they didn’t have the Internet or radio to keep them company on boring Saturday afternoons. An interesting thought is what will people consider to be artifacts when they look at us in 100 years? Will they look at our high tech cell phones and laugh because we were so amused by the simple things in life? Will they look at the war in Iraq and realize that it was the point when the world really started to break down? Will they curse us for ruining the planet and the natural beauty of the Earth for them? Chances are, they will look at our technology, our blogs, our photos and celebrity obsession and take that as the artifacts from these years of our lives. It is not necessarily a bad thing, we do not know if the world will be in ruin in 100 years or if it will be this utopia where world peace reins and world hunger has ended. What we do know is what we have here today, and what we have is not that bad. We have terrorism, we have war and we have enough violence to last lifetimes. We also have a lot of peace, love and hope that can serve as lasting artifacts for the future. Future generations can look back at the artifacts we leave and know we were a body of people who were trying to do the right thing while getting stuck in the mistakes of the past. Hopefully people of the future will continue to learn from our mistakes and use our artifacts as guides to continually improve the world. They could also just take a look at the party pictures that we leave and laugh because we at least knew how to have a good time! People can sit and hypothesize about the future and remember the past for what it was. What we can do is make our mark for the future to show others and make them understand what we as people were all about. We worked hard, we played even harder and we loved to make a difference. In the end, that will be all that matters. Then, maybe in 200 years, the people will look back at us in history and recognize that this was the time in history when people were really focused on doing the right thing and creating a better life for everyone in it, including the people of the future. Can they get all of this from the artifacts we leave behind? Of course! We have learn from past generations that way, haven’t we? That is why we leave behind our mark, to show the people of the future what we did and where we are going. Who knew artifacts told that whole story?

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