Cakes of Abstraction


Long absence on the part of Poppycakes.  To talk about why is to talk about the audience for any creative act in which one engages. A cake has a community implicit in its abundance. And my cakes have been fortunate feeders of more than one set of masses. But there is always the favorite recipient, the person that a good cake is made to please. For my fig cake, an old recipe, tried and tried and true, I have always enjoyed serving my father. My father is a professional cook and to bake or cook anything that he might compliment is a fine thing.  But for the last two years, I have been able to bake for my partner's father, a man with a sensitive palate, one of those rare persons who sees the poetry in a cake's blend of flavor and texture and that welcome, welcome soul who asks, each time the cake is unveiled for a description of the cake and filling and frosting and upon hearing the words: white chocolate, cream cheese frosting, or raspberry filling gets an extra glitter to the already-sparkling eyes.

He was eighty-four, dashing, elegant and so handsome that even at eighty-four it was easy to see how smitten his wife of sixty years must have been when that beautiful man came to her door that first time. Such was this man, such was the cakemaker's new favorite connoisseur.  With the exception of dollcakes, every cake on this blog made by Poppycakes was made for GCM. So today's cake is as much in memory as it is in gratitude, not just for Thanksgiving but for those souls that pass through our lives and make every sweetness the sweeter for it. Today's cake was meant to be made with a smaller cake version of itself that was going to be frosting-inscribed Happy Thanksgiving GCM. Every cake is still for you. I was going to leave the smaller cake in the woods and let some soon-to-be-diabetic raccoon swear his initials were GCM. But my frosting-inscriptions aren't ever legible enough for long notes and the cake I chose to bake was devil's food in its base, I worried about the dangers of chocolate to wildlife. Also, the loss was recent and I was sad. So I chose to make this cake and add my own personal symbol to include my old friend and favorite taster in the cake's message. I made small white frosting loops or ribbons on the edges with my own makeshift baggy-with-a-hole frosting bag. The frosting, a cream cheese white chocolate blend was rich and divine and the filling, raspberry preserves with marshmallow sauce and pure almond extract added just enough difference in texture as did the toasted almonds, and the cake itself was moist enough to have made my friend smile, the thought of which made a bittersweet holiday, a little bit happier.  

Recipe: Cakes Made Simple Magazine 
Reading:  Blue Nights by Joan Didion