Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. I failed to do my usual two-week menu planning and so the meal was kept pretty simple.
- Brie and baguette to start served with wine in the living room.
- A salad of spinach leaves, dried cranberries, goat cheese, Trader Joe’s spicy and salty pecans (the star of the salad) and Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- A main course of roasted root vegetables (carrots, parsnips and red onions) and pork tenderloin (a Real Simple recipe).
To step everything up though, I decided to make a cake for dessert. Chocolate cake with coconut, pecan frosting. What is it about cake that makes the evening feel so special? Is it the time and care that goes into the making? The perceived difficulty? The rarity these days of a home-made cake?
The cake and frosting only took about an hour to make plus an hour to bake, so it wasn’t a huge time endeavor. Jim made the cake look beautiful by taking over the slicing (one large cake sliced into 3 layers) and frosting. Difficult? Not as difficult as some other desserts we’ve tackled that have less WOW factor.
Rarity? Growing up my Mom thought of chocolate cake as the perfect breakfast food “because it has eggs and stuff,” so cakes from a box were pretty normal in our house. (Although her “slide cakes” were unique as she frosted the cake before it had completely cooled leading to a sliding layer effect). Now, I only make about 1-2 cakes a year and in my adult life I’ve rarely been served a cake that doesn’t come from a bakery. So maybe rarity is the secret.
Or maybe cake just makes us feel special because cakes are tied to birthdays and other celebrations. I don’t know, but after tasting that home-made cake this weekend, I say “Let us eat cake!”