Rogue post

Internet, I don’t know. I flat out haven’t wanted to write in the last 6 months. It doesn’t mean I’m not baking or getting into trouble or being hopeless. I am still very much all of those things. I just got tired of having a baking blog. First of all, every idiot does it now (and has for a while). No offense to idiots out there, myself included, but I am soooooo bored of vegan this and healthy mom that and gluten free everything and paleo and juicing and rustic lives with so much unfinished wood. I get it! Everyone is a photographer, everyone is a master of their domain, everyone is some person whose life was turned around by some new way of living or a pair of lululemon spandex. It feels really false to me. It makes me want to take a picture of my disaster of an apartment. I don’t live in a dream of how I want to live. I just live alone in a studio and sometimes it’s lonely and sometimes it’s not. God, can I just do that without having to read about how tiled your kitchen is and how you got married in Maine and there was so much twine?

It’s just that I am trying to come to terms with how difficult life is sometimes. I thought it would be different, and people keep perpetuating that. Like I just need to find that right person or right job or give up gluten and then it’ll all click into place, and if it doesn’t then it’s something I’m doing wrong or some attitude adjustment I need or I’m just unlucky. I’m too bitter or my heart isn’t open or I’m just not cut out for heavy emotional lifting. I’m tired of people pretending they have things figured out because it makes them look more adult or less crazy or it makes buying expensive couch pillows feel like the right choice.

The bottom line is that I am fully in this. I am alive and sometimes that makes me say, out loud, to myself, “this is a nightmare” (I literally actually said that to myself at 2am a week ago), and sometimes it makes me laugh and say, “if this isn’t nice, then I don’t know what is” (credit Kurt Vonnegut, my man). It’s all those things and other things I shouldn’t say out loud or in searchable writing, all put together.

Tonight I was watching New Girl (leave your Zooey Deschanel hate at the door, that show is so lovely) and one of the commercials was for cat food and the lady feeding her cat put down a tray with the food on it and also A VASE OF FLOWERS. For her cat. Flowers on a tray. What? Where am I? I also sprayed soup in my eye tonight. Right in there!

The point is, I made some great soup tonight, but I didn’t come up with the recipe and I didn’t photograph it on my natural wood counter and I don’t have any stories about a life perfected and you will not see a cookbook from me…ever. I am still mostly dismayed by money and power and what goes on in this world and a lot of the people I meet who ask for my trust and get it no questions asked and then do questionable things with it. But I had a beer and I ate really good soup and I watched some shows on my computer and it was a moment I logged in my brain as life being really ok. You can’t count on your decisions being good, because you just never know what they’ll bring. You cannot set yourself up for happiness, it is impossible. But you choose what to enjoy and what to gripe about. I hope you think about that a lot. I know I do. That’s my rant for tonight. Like, is that cat going to enjoy those flowers as he eats? I mean really!!!!!

I made rugelach and someone stole all my panties!

Internet, I’ve been panty-robbed. I also made some rugelach!

Ok, admittedly, these things didn’t happen at the same time. No one was stealing my panties WHILE I made rugelach, though it was pretty close. You see, I live in a tiny studio apt without a washer/dryer, so I patronize my local laundromat. It’s about a block and a half away, and I used to sit vigilantly by my clothes the entire time for fear of theft. I am one of those people who only does laundry once a month (at best), so when I finally get around to it, it’s pretty much my entire wardrobe. But I inured myself to living in a city, and leaving my clothing unattended while I ran some errands finally seemed to me to be pretty sensible. God, I’m such a hard city girl.

Which is why someone decided to steal ALL OF MY PANTIES from my load in the dryer. Not my socks, not my jeans, not my shirts. Just the panties. All of them. To be fair, the panty-grabber missed like one or two pairs in what I assume was a rush-job to get in there and swipe them without being caught, so it gave me some wiggle room to go buy 20 pairs of new underwear (sigh). But someone, somewhere in San Francisco, has a lot of low-quality (let’s be real, the Gap, your panties are shoddy at best. THERE I SAID IT) women’s underwear on their hands. Or on their crotch, perhaps! I have no idea who took them, and I know not the purpose.

And I don’t want to know. Thankfully, they were already washed. Let’s not talk about them not being washed. That would be the creepiest. Oh god, I just shuddered. Uhhhnnnn. People. The worst!

Well anyway, it relates to these rugelach because the theme for their inception was major-kat-stress-out-time. I’ve been pushing my limits for what seems like months now, work-wise and socially and emotionally. Sometimes baking calms me because it’s one thing I know pretty well, and it comes out decently for the most part, and then there’s a tangible thing I can point to and say–I made that and it’s not the worst and I’m not a failure. This particular night I was feeling A LITTLE CRAZED so I made 4 batches of rugelach and 2 loaves of banana bread. The banana bread was nothing to write home about, but the rugelach was awesome, as it always is. I made them with 2 different kinds of jam (black currant and raspberry) and alternated between walnuts, raisins, & chocolate chips. My favorite combo, unsurprisingly, was raspberry jam with walnuts and raisins. Most people preferred the chocolate chips, however, so that’s what I’d recommend to anyone who isn’t a Fruit Over Chocolate Always person.

Welp. That’s all for me. Til the next time I find a gold grill or someone steals my panties or my zipper falls off my jeans as I’m walking past my ex or I wear a dress to work backwards.

Rugelach
from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

For the dough
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling
2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup plump, moist dried currants (I used raisins)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the glaze
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse sugar

For the dough
1) Let the cream cheese and butter rest on counter for 10 minutes. It should be slightly softened but cool.
2) Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine for 6 to 10 minutes. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds. Do not work the dough too long that it forms a ball on the blade.
3) Remove the dough from the food processor, divide into half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to a day. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

To make the filling
1) Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or microwave until it liquefies (yeah, I SO did not do this). Mix sugar and cinnamon together.
2) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

To shape the cookies
1) Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar.
3) Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the chopped chocolate and half of the currants. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch.
4) Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles.
5) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each triangle becomes a little crescent.
6) Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The cookies can be refrigerate overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don’t defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)

Getting ready to bake
1) Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

To glaze
1) Stir the egg and water together. Brush a bit of the glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar.
2) Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden.
3) Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew. Subtitle: Crying in the IKEA Parking Lot.

Yes, it’s true, I cried in the driver’s seat of my rental car last night in the IKEA parking lot. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Come along on my journey.

Listen, internet. I’m 29 and I live alone. Some days I get swept away with Brilliant Ideas, and yesterday’s was that I needed a new couch and I needed it immediately. Some cursory research and a zipcar later, and I was standing at the Furniture Pickup area of IKEA looking at all the couples buying new MALMs and SVALGADs and one of them watching the cart while the other went to get ice cream cones while a nice IKEA employee loaded a box larger than my body onto my cart. Followed by 4 more boxes, 2 of them incredibly substantial.

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But I was going to do this, dammit…and plus I’d already paid for the stupid things! I’d rented a car (a pickup! because despite the fact that I grew up in suburban Long Island and went to a preppy northeastern college and have killed every plant I’ve ever owned [and some that I have not] and have never sown a row of any crop in my life and currently live in the tech hipster capital of the world, i still believe that I am at heart “a pickup truck kind of girl.” right.) and I make enough income to buy a couch on a whim (ish) and I work out so obviously I can tackle any physical feat. I’m a stubborn type, especially in the face of things I should ask for help on, but don’t want to. I hate to admit when I’m overwhelmed. So, I loaded up the truck and after a brief silent sob I decided it was a silly thing to be upset about and hit the road.

Aaaand got lost in Oakland on my way back, secretly thinking getting car-jacked wouldn’t be terrible because 1) what a story! and 2) no facing up to somehow getting/not getting these boxes up to my apartment!

After finding my way back to my apartment, I discovered that if I, to quote Ice Cube, put my “back into it,” I could roll the hugest box end over end to the bottom of the stairs. Then I rolled it up until the first 90° turn, where I spent the next 25 minutes struggling to twist it so it could be rolled up the rest of the stairs. 25 minutes. No exaggeration. I’m not sure if my neighbors saw me, but it might’ve looked something like a small girl trying to mount an incredibly boxy whale. I kicked and pushed and heaved and climbed and sweat through my shirt and then lo! I found out that if I climbed outside the railing of the stairs, jammed my foot under the box, leaned back and kicked with all my might, it unstuck and I was able to keep pressure with my knee while crawling under the box to flip it end over end up the rest of the stairs. Triumph!

Then, it rained. For the first time in 6 months. Because I left my box on my deck while I returned my rental car. Ha ha, universe. Ha, ha.

Like I said, internet, I’m 29 and I live alone. So I ordered 4 people’s worth of Indian food (delivery minimum, sigh), cracked open a beer, and got to work. And wouldn’t you know it! What else I discovered was that since the box was taller than me, if I climbed on top of it I could finally install that last lighting fixture I’d been trying to install in my ceiling! So you see? I didn’t even have to rent a ladder, though I must say the box was not exactly “stable.” Again, my neighbors looking in might’ve thought I was doing some sort of core balancing workout on top of…well, a very tall cardboard box. But I installed that light and then I spent the next 2 hours building my couch. Which I did! Successfully!

The lesson here is that there are going to be times you are over your head, literally, in boxes. And you’d like to sit in an IKEA parking lot and cry and think to yourself, how is it that I don’t have someone to help me with my IKEA boxes? But that’s the wrong way to look at it. You are ok, you are alive, you have a beer in the fridge, and you can crack it open, roll your sleeves up, and get to work unpacking your own shit. 

Oh also, since this is a baking blog, here is some apple sauce I made from a bag of 99 cent apples that were almost bad but not so bad that they couldn’t be sauced!

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No-sugar Applesauce

6 or 7 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
a cinnamon stick
a squirt of lemon juice

Seriously just cook the apples down with the cinnamon stick and squirt in some lemon juice. You’re welcome.

 

Funfetti take 2: Not using an immersion blender to make frosting.

Funfetti is kind of the best, as far as sweet cakes go, which is why I gave it another shot after the immersion blender disaster of ’11. I don’t know what it is. Is it the size of the ‘fettis? Is it the colors? I mean, white chocolate in and of itself is not my favorite thing to add to desserts. I have a really big problem with white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, in that they are SO SWEET, and SO BORING, and SO WHITE. They’re like…..Tobey Maguire. JK I love Spiderman!!!

Well, the point is, this is such a pleasing cake; aesthetically, flavor-wise, and nostalgically (word? not a word?). It’s not my go-to birthday cake, because it is actually a fair amount of work. But sometimes it feels really good to spend a lot of time on something and go through a lot of trouble for someone. Some people deserve it, you know?

I vanilla-flecked the frosting because I could, and because it’s totally classy. Because we’re all grown ups here, I wanted to make this feel a bit more adult. Like when I try to put on heels and my coworkers laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh, but sometimes when I’m standing still I totally look like A Lady.

I’m feeling pretty nice tonight, so I’m not sure what else to say. I just cooked and nailed a really great dinner, I’m drinking an unremarkable yet completely lovely beer, and I gave a homeless man $1 outside Whole Foods and he was just so pleasant to me. Just a simple thank you and a wish for a good night. I suppose it worked, because it just warmed my little heart.

Sometimes it’s those little things that really pull you into a better way of existing. Which is why we should all bake each other cakes more often. Reciprocity is a strong human desire. When people do thoughtful things I want to cry with how amazing this stupid species is to one another. Sometimes I totally do (when I’m on my period or when I’ve been watching YouTube videos about Unlikely Animal Friends), and it fills me up with the good kind of emotion (not the kind of emotion that causes people to tell me I’m acting either “like a dude” or “like such a girl right now”).

Well so anyway. Don’t you think, instead of maybe watching Dancing With the Stars one night, you might spend a little time and make someone a homemade funfetti cake and then almost cry when they say it’s one of the nicest things they’ve gotten on their birthday? You do, you really really do. In other news, I think I just swallowed a salmon bone and I have to go ask the internet if I’m going to die.

Homemade Funfetti Cake

same as this! (but better)

Dear the Universe, thanks for the gold grill

I found a grill on the sidewalk on my walk home tonight. Yep. A gold grill. From the mouth of someone I do not know. And I picked it up (with my sleeve covering my hand because other people’s mouths are weird). Lest you think me a liar, I have 1) photographic evidence and 2) a witness, as I was walking home with my coworker, J. Here’s 1):

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I am a big believer in signs from the universe. I get signs from the universe ALL THE TIME. Whether or not I listen is a whole other story, obviously. However, on this walk home I found 2 lucky pennies and a GOLD EFFING GRILL. I don’t even know what to do with this information. Is this hilarious or tragic? Where did this grill come from? How did it escape its owner’s mouth? Do I go to cash4gold.com? Am I going to die in gang-related gunfire? Well? Am I?

It’s just that I never thought I’d have an occasion to wonder about the price of gold. This seems as good a time as any to tell you about the time I made cupcakes that looked purposefully like kitty litter, because they were made for my witness, J. I think it was a very successful final product.

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That is, if you can ever call food that looks like cat shit on purpose a success.

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Some people might argue that you can’t, but those people also might not be excited to find a random person’s dental jewelry on the sidewalk on a cold and foggy San Franfuckingfrisco summer walk home from work, during which the topic of conversation lolled happily from “do you think I can recite the entire script of Dumb & Dumber?” to “does the permanence of your actions ever just HIT you all at once?” So you know, it was just a walk home to remember in general.

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And here are some cupcakes that look like an animal pooped on them. You’re welcome.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 18

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp safflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, mix until smooth.
2. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks and let cool. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting (from epicurious, where it was reprinted with permission from More FromMagnolia: Recipes From The World-Famous Bakery and Magnolia’s Home Kitchen, by Allysa Torey)

Makes enough for one 3-layer 9-inch cake

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer – set a timer!). Use immediately.

Cat poop:

chocolate marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate  (for the wet ones) 
warmed and sculpted tootsie rolls (for the dry ones)
Graham cracker crumbs for kitty litter

Yep. Went there.

Not the triumph I expected

These homemade spring rolls were not my triumphant foray into Vietnamese cuisine. In the past, my rule of thumb for most asian foods has always been, just go out and buy it from someone else. This holds especially true for steamed pork buns (any dim sum really), lo mein (because I like it too greasy to stomach making it for myself–ignorance is bliss), and fresh spring rolls. I was hoping to change that last one, but I am sad to report that I have not. I can get these faster, cheaper, and worlds better in a matter of 15 minutes or a connection or two on public transport.

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I really honestly thought I was going to nail this one. I went to Whole Foods and bought pretty much every fresh herb they sell, got some rice paper and sprouts and carrots and was like, this is going to HAPPEN. 

But so quickly it just became another food-metaphor for my life: poorly-planned, slipshod, and jury-rigged to the point of absurdity. Like: I wanted a peanut-y dipping sauce and remembered (excitedly) that I had some peanuts in a bag way back in my cupboard. But those peanuts had the freshness leeched from them long ago, so instead I used an on-the-go single serving packet of maple-flavored almond butter. In hindsight, what. was. i. thinking. Maple-flavored? But, you know, it was close enough for me, like it always is, and didn’t work out, like it never does.

I am also apparently a terrible spring roll wrapper, despite having an (apparently unwarranted) awesome sense of hand-self-esteem. I just kept breaking the wrapper or it stuck to me or the carrots tumbled out. I have to say, there was a glimmer of promise in there somewhere. I’m not done with this, I don’t think. Maybe next time I’ll go for shrimp or tofu (for more flavor) or actually spend some time on the sauce or buy Thai basil instead of Italian. I’ll be back, like I always am, seeking acceptance from things that don’t have the capacity to ever accept me, like I always do. 

Fresh Spring Rolls
adapted from ones I had in restaurants and thought I could reproduce

serves 1 (alllllll byyyy myyyyy seeeeeeeeeeeeelf)

2 rice paper rounds
about a quarter-diameter bunch of rice vermicelli
6 or 7 dried shiitakes, rehydrated in some boiled water for 5 minutes, then sliced
1 carrot, matchsticked
bean sprouts
fresh basil, chopped
fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh mint, chopped
green onion, chopped

hoisin sauce
soy sauce
peanut butter (chunky)

Boil a small pot of water and cook the vermicelli for about 3 minutes. Shock with cold water and then drain. 

In a large, wide bowl full of warm-hot water, submerge the rice paper round until soft (about 30 sec). Lay on a plate and mound on your ingredients in the center in the proportions you see fit.

Mix a few tablespoons of hoisin sauce, about a tablespoon of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of peanut butter. (I bet you could add garlic and some brown sugar to great success, but what the hell do I know?)

 

 

My Job Is Somehow Not the Worst And I Made A Cake To That Effect

I like the company that employs me. (For their sake, I won’t mention the name. Stock value being dragged down and such.) I like the people with whom I work. We sit in the lunch/conference room together a lot and talk alternately about Battlestar Galactica and coding (when dev controls the conversation), and nail polish and hot men . I work with a bunch of weirdos, but I spend all of my weekdays with them and they actually keep me happy during the majority of my waking hours (thanks for nothing, family, friends, and boyfriends).

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I like my company enough to make a branded 5-layer cake for a fellow employee’s birthday. That is 5 hours of prime Sunday night time that I devoted to adding food coloring drop-by-drop until the oranges were just so. It feels WEIRD to like my company this much. It feels wrong. I’m a lifetime job hater. I had big dreams of playing the 1-to-2 year game at every employment, looking deep into their eyes during the interview process and saying, well I’m getting older and I’d really like to settle down at one place and make a career for myself, you know? And be lying! Lying through my teeth because I’m a free spirit and no company can hold me! Maybe I’ll move to Europe! I don’t have a mortgage! The world is my oyster!

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But oysters are slimy and stinky. As much as I love to eat them (because I love gross things), I don’t want to live on one. So, I found this little niche of the universe where I feel like I belong, and I’m clinging to it like a hand-mixer duct-taped to a mixing bowl (I miss my Kitchenaid). And I know it won’t last. Nothing good ever does, everyone is the worst ever, and change is a harsh mistress. Every skeptic and bitter almost-30-something year old knows these phrases by heart.

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But for right now, in this moment, I don’t hate my job.

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Now, I know what I’ve just done. I do this a lot, because I am stubborn. I say something like, I really like _____. And then ______ goes away. Like I got to a new restaurant and am really happy with it and I wait a while and then express my love for it and walk by and it’s closed. The other week at work I said I was bored and 2 hours later I got slammed with work and remained deluged for about 2 weeks. EVERY SINGLE TIME I say “things are going well” with a guy, he immediately dumps me with no reason (except for that one guy who was super honest and was like “I just don’t want to marry you” and I was like, whoa, that is honest, but also, damn! can’t a girl just bone a guy for a while without him thinking about marriage??). But I keep doing it. Maybe I secretly want to sabotage my job and move to New York and start over like those sassy Girls characters. Or maybe I am hoping one day the universe will lob me a softball.

Rainbow Cake
from The Whisk Kid

2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream
To fill and crumb coat:
9 egg whites
1 ¾ c (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (532 g) of butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:
5 egg whites
1 c (200 g) sugar
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
1 tsp lemon extract

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.

If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and workable.

Assembly
Stack the layers in your preferred order and fill and frost as you would any other cake.

Once frosted, the cake can be left on the counter without any problems, but feel free to refrigerate it. Just be sure that the cake is at room temperature when serving or the frosting will be hard, not smooth.