So, yesterday I wasn’t feeling well. The world going crazy and all has already been affecting my personal mood. Then yesterday I watched a video about Charlottesville attack last Saturday and I snapped. I had to take my mind off those things and so I baked. I checked whatever I had at home and made these easy peasy cookies.
Some days when you are home and you suddenly crave for a cake, you just whisk a few ingredients at hand and in less than hour, you have a cake. This is one of those cakes, but there is just a small and simple twist in this basic vanilla cake recipe which combines sweet and sour: cherries! And if you don’t have cherries hanging around or in your local grocery store 2 minutes from your apartment, then you can replace it with blueberries, raspberries, any berries you like really.
When I was a kid, I used to think that some dishes could only be made by certain family members. For example, there was a black tea cake that I believed only my mother could bake. Turkish dumplings, I thought only my mother and aunt could make so delicious. And then there was this pastry which I believed could only be baked by my aunt, my father’s sister, as if there was something magical or that the trick was in her oven or something. Turns out, I was wrong. You just need to learn.
I didn’t use to like goat cheese at all. I couldn’t stand the smell and I got genuinely upset when it appeared in my food. But then a few years ago I did Rachel Khoo’s salty cake that had goat cheese in it among other things and my perception of goat cheese changed overnight!
My aunt used to bake the best version of this cake. Moist chocolate cake… It was one of my favourite cakes when I was a kid. In later years I forgot about it, until suddenly I woke up one day a few weeks ago and I immediately craved for this cake. It could be because I miss my aunt and five o’clock tea time in her home in Istanbul…
You know what? Since I started getting to know gluten free baking more than a year ago, I realised how great cakes and cookies and other baked goodies you can get without the use of regular flour. It is much more challenging, but it pays off always with each cake’s unique texture and taste.
I love simple tastes and the pleasure that comes from them. Preparing a tartine, aka open sandwich, is a very easy task – even when there is a variety of ingredients involved. And the result, particularly with a good quality bread, is exquisite.
I love salty cakes and I always think of new ingredient combinations for salty cakes. The first time I heard of the idea of a salty cake was when I watched Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen programme. Until then, the idea of a cake was always very sweet for me. But… not anymore!
I have been planning to make this dessert for a looo…ng time. Every time I decided to work on it, something happened and I had to postpone. Finally last weekend I had the time and energy to work on it and it turned out to be an amazing sweet experience. And then I also realised that this dessert is originally from Egypt with the name “Basbousa”!
As I am writing this blogpost, I am eating one of these soft, puffy, melting-in-the-mouth buns and remembering my childhood. Most of my best memories back in Turkey involve food or are around food, and these buns bring out some of them.