- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.2lzcOnhH.dpuf Nothing but Delicious: I'll Eat You Up

I'll Eat You Up

This raspberry orange loaf cake is a tribute to Maurice Sendak, a man who had a deep understanding of the nuances of human emotion and an unparalleled talent for interpreting them with colors and words.

His books are a peculiar and fantastical combination of whimsical and grotesque, written with a cadence of contrasting rhythms. I tried to make a cake with the same type of combination. Because of the sugar glaze, this cake has a near magical presence and will sparkle in a certain light. The color, which is a muted but vibrant hue found in Sendak's illustrations, comes from pureed raspberries, ever remnant of blood, lurking inside the batter. Finally, the textures and flavors of the cake mimic Sendak's playfully diverse rhythms: crunchy and sweet glaze, moist cake, tart and juicy raspberries, floral and fragrant orange zest, all topped with smooth, dreamy whipped cream. 

My very favorite facet Sendak's writing is, of course, the way he describes food and eating, like when Max yells, "I'll eat you up!" to his Mother in the beloved children's book Where the Wild Things Are. Playwright Tony Kushner explained it perfectly on the radio last week: "There is a lot of consuming and devouring and eating in Maurice's books. And I think that when people play with kids, there's a lot of fake ferocity and threats...because love is so enormous, the only thing you can think of doing is swallowing the person that you love entirely."

Old ladies the world over stuff babies' feet into their mouths and refer to children as "sugar," "honey" and "sweet thing."* It's one of those paradoxes that only Sendak could hone in on: Humans communicate the monstrosity of their love for one another by threatening to do something that is actually monstrous. Stranger still is the fact that being eaten is one of our deepest and most primal fears. But I suppose that loving and being loved is scary too, isn't it? 

Must it be said? You are under strict orders to devour this cake with someone whom you wish to devour.

Sendak's last work, My Brother's Book, came out this month and the last line of this excerpt makes me cry every time. You can hear more about it here. I'm also particularly fond of this interview.

From My Brother's Book, by Maurice Sendak
On a bleak midwinters night,
The newest star, blazing light [...]
And heaved the iron Earth in two,
Catapulting Jack to continents of ice. [...]
His poor nose froze
While Guy wheeled round in the steep air, [...]
Dropping down and down on soft Bohemia
Into the lair of a bear
Who hugged Guy tight to kill his breath
And eat him, bite by bite.
Raspberry Orange Loaf Cake
serves eight

For cake
8T (one stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (200g) sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (55g) almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
6oz fresh raspberries, pureed (should equal 3/4 cup)
zest of one orange

For glaze
1/4 cup turbinado sugar*
3T fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add half of dry ingredients to wet and mix. Fold in raspberry puree, followed by the other half of the dry ingredients. Bake in a buttered 9" loaf pan for 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and remove from pan. Continue to cool on a rack for 15 minutes more. Poke holes (about 50) with a toothpick all over the top of the cake. Stir turbinado sugar and orange juice together and immediately pour over cake. Wait until glaze has hardened to slice. Serve with homemade whipped cream, fresh raspberries and "The Guy" cocktail (recipe follows).

*Turbinado sugar is minimally processed and has a smooth, caramel flavor. The grains are larger than regular sugar, making it the perfect crunchy topping for many desserts. It is often labeled "Sugar in the Raw."

The Guy
serves one

1 oz gin
3/4 oz framboise liqueur
dry champagne, preferably brut
orange peel

Shake gin and framboise with ice and pour into a glass. Top with champagne to taste and garnish with orange peel.

*If you know of food-themed pet names from other cultures, I'd love to hear what they are!


Mommy, Papa and the 'Nuts said...

My from-ROme-Italian husband calls me "Patata"... :) Its Potato.

HMMessinger said...

Oh my gosh, I love that!!

Sherry said...

LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing!

fritha strickland said...

I love this and your blog! I new reader come over from Rebekkah's blog. When me and my one year old Wilf play I say 'I'll eat you up, I love you so!' and then pretend to nibble at him :) x

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