chocolate sour cream wow
andra and me (together = aundra)
In spite of all the exciting cakebarring aftermath of my fun Rachael Ray segment last week, it felt like we seriously struck out these last two rounds.
Are people growing tired of cake???!
On Thursday night my work friends and I went to The Red Door in Toluca Lake, where a friendly RN named Glen picked up my cake and started offering it to people for me– even though everyone declined. On Saturday my friend Elizabeth went with me to Hinano Cafe in Venice, where a drunk man in a fedora licked her ankle after fake dropping some cake crumbs. It’s possible that I was off with my bar choices, or that I should have flipped the order– Venice on Thursday, Toluca Lake on Saturday– but what’s done is done. I usually console myself with leftover cake after this kind of failure.
kindly radio producers
The Red Door could actually be a great place to meet someone if you got there at the right moment, (and can manage to find it– the entrance is in an alley behind a strip mall). There are big seating areas and old movies playing above the bar with some interesting menu items to choose from. We picked a night with a particularly eclectic crowd– there was the man in a turtleneck a la Phil Hartman from some classic Saturday Night Live skit, several older couples who were clearly married, and the group celebrating someone’s last day of work. No one seemed interested in the peach cake with the ginger glaze that I had worked so hard on. (“We’ve already had too many cupcakes today, but thanks.”) I did meet a pair of super friendly radio producers who took me up on my offer, and were nice enough to ask questions about the cakebarring process before getting roped into photographing us with Friendly Glen and his friend. And we were very fond of Doc, the presumed owner, who made sure we had a place to sit and display our cake as soon as we walked in. He absolutely got a piece– my last summer-ish cake.
post ankle incident
And then there was Hinano Cafe, the burger bar combination doozy, where wood chips not unlike the ones we used to line my sister’s rabbit’s cage with littered the floor around us. There were small groups of people playing pool nearby who seemed around our age, even though we really couldn’t tell where any of these people were from. The neighborhood? Australia? Some college where guys wear necklaces? Regardless, they didn’t want any cake. The guy sitting alone at the bar who kept checking his phone? Nope. Not interested. The three guys doing some good natured grinding against the girls who just shimmied in? Nope. They weren’t feeling it, either. Just the guy in the fedora, who should probably be exiled from southern California.
I’ve just come home from an industry networking party at Sadie restaurant in Hollywood, where the short film I wrote was playing in the background (!)* It was absolutely strange to arrive at a bar with no cake and no friends since I’ve been spoiled all year with dessert props and good company when going out. I ordered a drink while I waited to recognize someone, and decided I needed to strike up a conversation with the guy sitting next to me because some day soon I won’t have a cake at my disposal to use as an ice breaker. I was starting to worry I’m using the cake as a crutch– I’m depending on it too much, and too nervous to approach guys I want to talk to in every day, cake-less life, (like the one with glasses at Poquito Mas today, who I totally wish I had thought of something to say to!!)
But all I had to ask this guy was one question, and then talking was easy. (Yes, shocker– he was also there for the networking event.) Saying the first thing is the hardest part. If this experiment has taught me anything, I now know this for sure: (1) There are a million trillion guys out there. They’re not hiding at some Moose Lodge I don’t have access to– they’re everywhere, even if I haven’t found the right one yet. (2) I can talk to anyone. And using cake to chat up strangers all year has just helped.
peach cake pans
Rachael Ray told me I’ve been doing this long enough to bake an entire baby. Here’s to three more months and 18 more cakes, guys. Thanks for staying with me!
The amazing peach cake recipe is from The Rosie’s Bakery cookbook my sister gave me for my birthday. I substituted peaches for apples in Judy Rosenberg’s apple cake recipe, and it turned out fabulous. I used a cinnamon ginger glaze from the same cookbook.
The amazing chocolate sour cream cake I made is from Taste of Home, and the recipe is below. I used cocoa powder instead of melting baking cocoa, (using 3/4 of what the recipe called for), and it was still delicious. I made my own frosting using whipping cream, sour cream, and vanilla, and it was unbelievable. My friend Tobie gave me the tip to coat the pans with granulated sugar after buttering and flouring them to create a crispy edge. DROOL.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Ingredients
• 1 cup baking cocoa
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2-1/2 cups sugar
• 4 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 cups cake flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand® Sour Cream
- Dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture and mix well.
- Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
doing my job for me…