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peonies and a cake

These last few weeks have been my favorite time at Trader Joe’s. Immediately upon entering you see and smell the peonies. At $7.99 a bunch, I can not resist. Even when the petals are falling off, they are the perfect still life. When I went to bed the night before, they looked perfect, when I woke up, this was the vision, still perfection.

Marti, a student in my series at Les Gourmettes, shared the recipe for the cake that I’m sharing with you today. After listening to my constant complaints about baking and my disdain for it, Marti handed me a printout from the January 2019 issue of Costco Connection.

The article is about the book The Gown, by Jennifer Robson. The story takes place during WWII. This one-egg cake recipe is one of Robson’s favorite because she imagines it represents the shortages of war and the community spirit of sharing that prevailed. And I imagine that Marti thought I might enjoy making this cake since it has so few ingredients and is simple and quick to put together.

Could Marti be right in that basic assumption? Let us see… Looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Look at those peonies, gorgeous!  But… what are they hiding?

Surely all is well, nothing to see here, move along. I mean, there is nothing to be suspicious about, peonies are edible after all. According to the Thompson and Morgan Edible Flower Guide, the petals taste lovely in fresh salads. I’m certain they would taste lovely on a slice of cake too.

Fine, I’ll remove the flowers for cutting.

Seriously! Is it any wonder I hate to bake?

I followed the recipe. I did substitute watered down heavy cream for the milk because that’s what I had available and in the spirit of rationing, that seemed a fair way to go. Also, the recipe did not indicate if you were to leave the baked cake in the pan, on a rack, to cool completely or take it out after 10 minutes or any sort of instruction of that step. As such, I have added it to my recipe below. Maybe it would not have fallen apart if I’d let it cool completely. You can give that a try and let me know because I am not making this again, although it did taste quite delicious.

Marti, thank you for having faith in me, sorry to let you down. xoxo

On a side note: I do know a baking rule or two such as, always check the expiration date on your baking powder before you use it. If it’s expired, run out and get another can. As you can see, I can’t blame my failure on that.

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May 30, 2019   7 Comments