Thursday, May 15, 2008

bake your way through exams

I made it alive through exam period, which means that my first year of law school is officially over. And now I can tackle some of the more pressing items on my to do list: grocery shopping, laundry, reassuring friends that I'm still alive...

And blog updates, of course.

First, let me introduce you to the cake that has kept me sane for the past week and a half: Greenacre Cake with (Fee Simple) Determinable White Chocolate Ganache. I say that it kept me sane because every time I thought I would pitch my outlines into the Charles out of sheer frustration, I took a break and tinkered with the recipe.

As you might guess, the name is another bad Property joke. It's really just a green tea cake with white chocolate cream. The tea in question is matcha, Japanese powdered green tea, which is rich in antioxidants and high in caffeine. So not only is this cake an excellent stopgap measure if you didn't really eat dinner, it also provides nutrients essential to a law student's diet.*

Greenacre Cake with (Fee Simple) Determinable White Chocolate Ganache

This dessert may contain alcohol so long as all the parties present are of legal drinking age.

(Serves ten to twelve sleep-deprived law students.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.

Crack two eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add four teaspoons of matcha powder and a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and beat on low heat until the matcha is no longer rising in powdery clouds from the mixing bowl. If it's clumping on the sides, scrape it down with a rubber spatula. Add two more eggs, and beat at high speed until the mixture is thick and uniformly green, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Get a large mixing bowl and dump in two cups of flour, half a teaspoon of baking soda, half a cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir the ingredients together with a rubber spatula, then fold in half a cup of applesauce and half a stick of melted butter. Fold in the egg mixture until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the bundt pan. Bake for forty to fifty minutes, or until a knife stuck in the center comes out clean. Turn out the cake and allow to cool.

To make the ganache, dump one cup of white chocolate chips into your mixer bowl and pour over one cup of warmed heavy cream. Stir until the chocolate dissolves. (You can also add a few tablespoons of white chocolate liqueur, if you like.) Allow to cool, then whip until light and airy. Don't worry if it comes out lumpy. It'll still taste fine.

Serve slices of cake with dollops of ganache and cups of green tea. Wait half an hour for the caffeine to kick in (you can spare half an hour - yes, you can) before resuming any study sessions.

*The antioxidants will tide you over until you have the time to prepare and eat a nutritionally sound meal, and the caffeine - well, if I need to explain what the caffeine does, you're either not a law student (commendable) or you're doing something wrong.


Alex said...

Hey Adele, what does caffeine do? ;)

I'm looking forward to the Whiteacre post.

Ann said...

Wait... I was expecting an account of the kink ironing! :-)

Congrats on getting through the year!

Kim said...

So glad you are up and kicking. Been thinking about you. Ready to take the pastry chef exams? Better you could ace those. We have enough lawyers. I must try the cake.

adele said...

Alex - I'm not going to dignify that with a response. :P

Ann - It wasn't quite as interesting as it sounds. :P

Kim - Not quite. It may take another year of baking to avoid my reading before I'm qualified to do so. :)

Cakelaw said...

Yay! Congrats on surviving your first year at law school. This cake looks great - better Greenacre than Blackacre.