As I sit down to write this post I honestly don’t know what I’m feeling but there’s a little bit of angst in the shadows of that indescribable emotion. Twenty-Nine. Yes, I’m officially twenty-nine, less than a year away from thirty(sigh). It is not my objective to make any readers feel insulted because while age is a thing of beauty. I just envisioned something different for myself at this age than any other.
I can’t help but wonder if I’ve spent the last 29 years doing my best or merely existing? I can say with conviction that I don’t know what my success looks like and everyday I find inspiration in the desire to do something else. And when I think about all the possibilities that lie out there I become overwhelmed thinking about where to start. I’m passionate about food and I love to cook, but I’m an artist and I enjoy splattering paint across canvas while crafting something from your roadside trash. As a child I can recollect telling teachers and strangers I would be an artist or poet when I grew up. That evolved into a chef, artist and poet as I got older. But I never threw all of my eggs into one basket which is why at twenty-nine all the questions have resurfaced. I’ve contemplated going back to school but the wife and I have no debt and I’d hate to incur any at this point. But you might be thinking ‘education is invaluable’ and yes, I know this to be true. But the thought of having to work full-time, balance a marriage, school and make room for my hobbies feels a little overwhelming. And we’re not going to discuss kids, at least not in this post.
I guess I could always sit in a quiet room and ponder the pros and cons of all these decisions. Or I could bake you one of the best cakes I have ever made. One of my favorite childhood treats is icing and ice cream. No, you heard me correctly. Icing and ice cream is one of my favorite things and every now and then I like to make a batch of frosting and grab some vanilla bean ice cream for a nostalgic treat. You talk about a simple combination that will take you to a happy place, well, this is it.
When some of life’s toughest decisions come our way the easiest thing to do is run for dessert. Let’s just say this is a dessert I’m going to be running to for a little while. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs(room temp)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
smidge of kosher salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Combine eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and whip with hand mixer until thickened about 2 minutes. fold in buttermilk,vegetable oil and vanilla extract to mixture. set aside
Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add heaping spoonfuls of flour mixture into the wet mix until completely combined. Don not over mix. Batter should leave light ribbons across the top of the batter when draped from a spoon.
Evenly pour batter into two 8-inch greased baking pans. Let them bake for 30-40 mins. And as always, no two ovens are the same.
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup or two sticks of room temp unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (10X)
smidgen of kosher salt
Place butter into mixing bowl and whip the heck out of it until its light and airy. The color will be almost white and shiny. Add in the powdered sugar by the heaping spoonfuls while whipping on a lower speed. Then add vanilla. set aside.
Bring two cups of water to a rolling simmer in a small sauce pot. Set a stainless steel mixing bowl slightly larger than the pot itself over the pot. Stir the chocolate, and occasionally remove from heat, until chocolate is completely melted. Allow to cool about 3 minutes. Then stream the chocolate into the frosting on medium speed until fully combined.
Side Note: Once cake is frosted, take remaining frosting and grab that ice cream I spoke of. Yum.