Cake Lust

Have you found Manger yet? (the infinite of “to eat” in French.) Mimi Thorrison chronicles her life on a farm in southwestern France. She writes cookbooks, runs weekend cooking workshops, and raises children and fox terriers.

She also makes cakes like the Josephine ruffle cake. In this picture it looks like something that a couple of Botticelli angels should  be presenting to Venus as she lounges in her clam shell.

It’s a simple butter cake with a buttercream frosting–neither are that hard to execute in and of themselves, but it’s the piping technique that makes it special and looking as if the cake is class in a petticoat. For the uninitiated, that can be a challenge.

Since I found Manger last week, I’ve kept returning to this recipe the same way I return to favorite poems or books. I would love to make it. Usually the cakes I make much plainer, such as my grandma’s carrot cake or French yogurt cake. The former I don’t decorate too much. It’s s-o-o good on its own. Sometimes I’ll dust the top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar; maybe some cream cheese frosting if I feel really crazy. For the yogurt cake, I decorate with jam or berries or swap out some of the flour for almond flour or cocoa powder.

And those are good cakes. They are solid, tried, and true. This ruffle cake intrigues me. I limit cake baking to once a month. The impulse control issues due to the ADHD make it hard for me not to scarf it in a day or so. But perhaps for a very special occasion..yes. One is coming up for  a friend’s next significant birthday. Yes. Well, it wouldn’t hurt to practice, would it?

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