I had been feeling kind of drained out lately. Each week started with intense pace. I am battered down to a slump by the end of the week. And that's what I did. Quite literally - my weekend slumped in bed only getting up for to bake a cake and feed myself. This is how I deal with craziness. I love baking because there's something magical in the process. Flour and sugar became my best friends. I let my hair down said hello to my trusty mixer, my partner to create something delicious. The mixing of flour, adding an egg or two; and a teaspoon of this and that, pouring myself a large glass of wine and pull up a stool next to the oven, watching the cake rise inch by inch. The monotonous ticks of the timer sort of calm my nerves and slowed me down back to normal pace. Not to think about anything. I spaced out until the timer rang. An afternoon to immerse myself into the quietness of the kitchen concocting something wonderful that I can reap all the wonderfulness in bed afterwards. With each bite, I uhmm… putting me into bliss. My room smells like a berry orchard now. This cake, tart and sweet. I slumber back into a deep sleep.
The weeks piling up had been rough. The Sauce's revamp is in a messy state. Schedules running out of the calendar. Weeks into the renovation, we had problems with the lease extension - luckily solved. Shipment delayed - we just found out, let's pray the ship didn't sink. The kitchen had not finalize the recipes - we are dead. Our large beautiful alfresco closed for longer than anticipated - bleeding. Every wall we knocked reveals a new problem. Design issues - designers, please that it back to the drawing boards. Staff had to leave because of tragic issues, work permits - god bless! We hadn't found a place to hang our new signage - it will appear somehow. The menu artwork is still pending - I will pressure the printer guy. The same goes for the uniform guy. There were bees in the plants - Pest control! Don't even talk about the budget. It had exploded all ways. Perhaps blessing, the worst haze ever in Singapore history sat in. Like my boss said, anything that can go wrong, did go wrong. I know all these are to be expected. We are reopening in less than 2 weeks - I am starting to lose my marbles.
But I was upset because we had to turn down customers. The little inside space we had left now was all packed out. I see familiar faces crowding back to back with their cocktail in their hand - Thank you for understanding. We had a long line out there but we couldn't offer more and an apology - please bear with us. I promise to speed things up with a whip if I may. In two week, the dust will clear. My sincerest.
It's not my thing to buy expensive berries. Michael came home with these beautiful punnet of precious berries. They are gifts from his clients. We didn't what else to make out of them but to toss everything into a beautiful cake.
250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
200g greek yogurt
125 ml canola oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
200g blackberries or you can just use raspberry
80ml masala wine
a few drops of vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Butter or oil a 9 x 5 x 3 inches loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Mix half (about 100g) of sugar with the raspberry. Squash it about with a fork and let it sit for 15 minutes. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the 100g sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs then add the raspberry mixture.
Mix about one-third of the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture, then fold the rest in, in two batches, just until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, In a saucepan, toss the blackberries, sugar, butter, wine, then simmer for 5 minutes until the fruit is soft and the sauce is syrupy. Stir in the vanilla.
Let the cake cool for about 15 minute and loosen from pan. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Serve the cake with the syrup either warmed or at room temperature, perhaps also with vanilla ice cream.
-till next post, ss.