I’m so glad that my (imagined) namesake pastry tastes as good as it sounds. Incredibly, frighteningly flaky, it makes a great accompaniment to the bakery’s fancy, Clover-brewed coffee. It’s so flaky that, like Lovecraft’s geometrically bizarre vision of the ancient city of R’lyeh, it simply defies comprehension. I wanted to grab a baker and demand to know their secrets, but I’m sure that the knowledge would drive me insane.
The custard in the center is topped with half of an apricot. I’m inclined to slather the whole damn thing with jam, but that’s just me trying to make the most of a fleeting experience. I’m dreading the end of this pastry.
Last Friday was the Battle of the Bands at my school; a perfect time to make a cake based on a Louis Wain painting! I was supposed to make one for the Salon des Refuses the week before, but I was too drunk and lazy by the time I remembered. This week, I was just plain drunk! We gave the cake to my friend Daniel (pictured above) to cheer him up because he’s kind of crazy right now. And it worked! Hooray for art!
I should confess that I used Betty Crocker cake mix for this one — lame, I know. The most important thing for me was the frosting, which I did make. It was a buttercream frosting that I got from one of my housemates, who credited it to “Julia.” I’m not sure which Julia it is, but I have a good feeling. It turned out to be a great base for the decorations, which involved some strange frosting markers (?!), coconut shreds, pansies that we stole from the Grinnell Community Center’s front yard, sprinkles of various shapes, butterscotch Lifesavers, toothpicks and chocolate chips.
Good likeness, huh?
After the Battle, we shared the cake amongst all of the bands and concerts people. Everyone wins when there’s enough cake to go around!
I’m in love! Have some cupcakes!
Here’s some news for those of you who go to Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA: I’ll be baking vegan cupcakes for Bob’s Underground once a week, and each will go for about $0.50. The money will go toward a new guitar
for meeee! This week was just a pilot, so I only baked 24 cupcakes. If people actually buy them, I’ll make a whole lot more next time. Though I usually don’t bake vegan pastries and cakes that often, I’m going to be approaching this as a challenge: I got the feeling that people were getting kind of sick of my standby chocolate chip cookies.
Ingredients (makes 12, can be doubled, tripled like crazy)
- 1 C soy milk
- 4 chai tea bags
- 1/4 C canola oil
- 1 banana (maybe fewer?)
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 C AP flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- go nuts with pumpkin pie spice!
- pinch of white or black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Heat soy milk in a small saucepan until it boils, and then take it off the heat and steep the tea bags in it for about 10 minutes. Combine everything in a mixing bowl and distribute it evenly into the muffin tin. Bake for about 20 minutes (I only needed 18 in my oven) or until a chopstick/toothpick/fork comes out clean. Finally, top them with a dusting of powdered sugar! GEEENIUS!
Earlier in the week, Natalie had invited me to a party that was being held by the so-called Master Baker, an enigmatic figure whose baked goods are said to trigger orgasm and cure cancer at the same time. I was intrigued. We agreed to meet in Chinatown and stroll to the Master Baker’s apartment in TriBeCa from there.
I was late to our rendezvous — thanks to the capricious Q train — but met Natalie soon after I arrived. However, when she walked over I noticed that she was being followed by several tall, blonde people wearing backpacks. “They’re Dutch,” she said, “and they need our help.”
After depositing them at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant (Dank u wel!), we continued on our trip to the Master Baker’s abode. Lo and behold, a chill party awaited us! They were watching an absolutely terrible Australian zombie film and were doing shots of pear-flavored vodka. Natalie insisted that the Master Baker showcase her abilities, and she obliged by making almond tassies for us. Mind you, she and everyone else at the party were ridiculously drunk at this point. And they weren’t half bad, considering that she was wasted and we were all crowding the kitchen screaming, “I’M HELPING! I’M HELPING!!!”
Last night was special.