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  • Writer's pictureThe Improper Grandma

"Black Pepper and Bourbon? Yes!"

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Week 3's cake of choice is spice cake, but not your Betty Crocker spice cake. To be honest, it was supposed to be coffee cake combining two of my favorite vices. Unfortunately, two failed attempts later we called it quits; decided to spare the cake’s soul and try again next week. Attempt one did not bake all the way through or show any real signs of rise. *Note to self: baking soda goes stale.* I am monitoring the designated cake tester for signs of dehydration as attempt two was extremely dry and bland. A heartfelt thank you to my supportive Mr. for putting himself at risk eating the surviving cake while lovingly complimenting the flavor. It's a lucky woman that wins the heart of a man willing to lie about her shitty baking while choking down a giant bite of mostly dead cake. Topher, my picky eater and vanilla connoisseur, took one look at the poor thing and walked away. So this week, spice cake!

I’ve always been brave with flavor. The more the merrier; taste buds unite! My heart was not broken at all moving this cake up on the list. Heavy research went into the recipe and some alterations were made to accommodate my demanding spice-o-meter. More ginger and cinnamon, less cardamom. This recipe called for a buttercream frosting- after tasting I am proposing something glazier and maybe, bourbon? The best thing to come from the spice cake is that Toph liked it. He actually ate it and said, “wasn’t the white cake from week one, but it’s better than the coffee thing.” I shall take this as the highest of compliments! If you'd like to try out the recipe click the Eat Dessert First tab on the Crème de la Clover blog.

To recover from the chaotic coffee cake experience, I found a few other reasons to stay busy in the kitchen- other than to avoid laundry and housework. Saturday was January 23rd which is recognized as National Pie Day. Conveniently I had some spare Granny Smith’s and a go-to apple pie recipe. Seeing that cake and I were no longer on speaking terms, National Pie Day arrived right in the nick of time. Plus we get to celebrate it twice in one year making us pie snobs extra happy. Maybe by December 1st, I can pull off one of those perfectly primped butter pie crusts with little ornate decorations... or not.

Funnily enough, half way through I realized my one and only pie pan had been kidnapped. So I unknowingly made a galette; a flat round freeform crusty cake made of pastry or bread, as the French describe it. I am glad there is such a formal name for this because I was not mentally prepared for fail #3. The Grandma Code of Conduct states that one must never point blame but rather encourage proper behavior for future growth and development. It was Myranda, I am pointing blame. Return the pie plate or else!

Alongside the spare apples were some questionably brown bananas- so I made banana bread! It's a safe bake since it falls within the narrow scope of Topher's taste bud acceptance policy. At this point I need the kid to step up to the plate and sacrifice his delicate tastebuds for the good of my waistline. What’s the saying, when life gives you brown bananas, make banana bread? When your kid steals your pie pan, make a galette? *snorts at self, sips coffee*

Overall, too many calories were consumed and messes were made this week. But I got to put black pepper into a cake and didn't ruin it! Black pepper really is my favorite. I’m hoping a celebratory beer will negate some calories, but if not then just pour this improper Grandma another. Cheers!


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1 Comment

Jan 31, 2021

Black pepper and bourbon spice cake in the winter sounds completely magical!

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