Note from Steph: If you're trying to contact me at the moment you won't have much luck because I'm in Europe on my honeymoon! But I thought it would be cruel of me to abandon my poor blog for several weeks, so I lined up some amazing guest bloggers to take over for me while I'm away. The baking blog community is so lovely and I was blown away by how willing everyone was to jump in and lend a hand. This week I have a very special guest post by the lovely & super talented Kaitlin from Whisk Kid. I've been reading her blog from the very start, and am completely in love with her gorgeous recipes and writing style. I feel very lucky that I get to feature one of her creations on my blog, enjoy!
I should be in class.
I should have woken up this morning, taken a quick shower, eaten a filling breakfast and headed out to campus with a back pack filled with materials for the first day of class.
Except... I didn't.
I woke up on a friend's couch at 5:50AM and fought with his unfamiliar shower. I helped stuff luggage for 5 into a Jeep Compass. We went to Meijer for an air mattress patch, a roll of duct tape, and 2 bags of chips. We stopped at Panera. We stopped at Caribou Coffee.
Then we hit the road.
I'm going to be missing two days of class for this trip, and the thought, initially, concerned me. I don't particularly enjoy skipping classes, and going to NYC isn't exactly easy on the budget of a college student who has, ha, not yet purchased the required reading for the semester.
I was also concerned for the impression that this would give my professors. How could I possibly tell someone who deserves my respect and controls my grade that I would be attending neither their first nor second lecture? Could I really be so careless and stupid?
It didn't take me long to decide that, no, I couldn't.
But still, it bothered me. I began to wonder, could I really be so stupid to miss the chance to go on a road trip with four friends, spend a week in NYC and not have to pay a cent for accommodations because - oh hey - the recently graduated friend we're going to visit lives in a house just outside the city?
No. No I couldn't.
There were a lot of people who helped me change my mind, but it was mostly my old roommate, S, and her brother, A.
I hate YOLO, but really, you really do only live once. This is my last year of college. Don't get me wrong, it's no time to slack, but it's also kind of my last chance to go out and be free, isn't it? Missing the memories from this trip would have been more of a burden to me than missing the classes will, and I know it.
Besides, the end of college means that I finally have to take all the elective credits I neglected to take before. So the classes I'm missing... They're not "required" for my marketing major. One is a hospitality course about food and retail that I am eager to return to, but my cousin is in the course and she'll take notes for me anyway, so why worry?
And the other course? Yeah... It's bowling. And honestly... I don't think going to be missing too much.
NYC > bowling.
All the restaurants/bakeries I'm going to visit in NYC are going to give me tons of out-of-the-classroom experience for the HB class anyway, won't it?
As much as it pains me to say it, never forget: YOLO.
I'm missing class and I couldn't care less.
1 tbsp instant coffee
237ml (1 cup) boiling water
284g (2 cups) flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
400g (2 cups) sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
90g (1 cup) ground pecans, or other nut
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and find your 25 cm or 10" tube (not bundt!) pan. Set aside without oiling.
Combine the instant coffee and boiling water. Set aside to cool. You may also use a cup of freshly brewed coffee for this step. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on high speed until soft mounds begin to form, then gradually add 100g (1/2 cup) of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat until very stiff, straight peaks form, taking care not to over- or under-beat. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed until well-combined. Gradually add the remaining 300g (1 1/2 cups) of sugar, 2 Tablespoons at a time, beating until thick and lemony. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolks, alternating with the cooled coffee. Blend thoroughly after each addition on low speed, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the ground nuts.
Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites, 1/4 at a time. Use no more than 15 strokes after each addition, but blend until thoroughly mixed after the last of the yolk mixture has been added. Just be aware that each stroke removes more air from the batter! Pour into an ungreased 25 cm or 10 inch tube pan. Bake 60-70 minutes, until the cake is lightly golden and springs back when pressed. Cool upside down for at least one hour.
To remove the cake from the pan, run a tall knife around the edges. Pop out with the bottom and run a knife around the top. Frost with whipped cream and macerated fruit.