A few days ago I celebrated my 35th birthday. Long before, I had the idea that I would make myself a low-gluten birthday cake this year. I’ve never made myself a birthday cake of any kind before. I’ve never made myself a cake for any occasion before. This was new culinary territory for me. The thing is, I’m not really into cake. I will always, always, choose a flaky, fruit pie or a ‘crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside’ cookie over a frosted layer cake. Just writing that makes me crave a warm chocolate chip cookie. Still, I feel the need to be able to make a good cake when the moment calls for it. In an effort to fill this gaping hole in my baking repertoire, I adapted a maple cake recipe to make a spelt, date syrup cake with a goat cheese frosting. I thought I was very clever to come up with goat cheese frosting, but a quick Pinterest search informed me that there was nothing original about it. It makes sense. Goat cheese is creamy and melds well with savory or sweet flavors, just like cream cheese. As one might imagine, the old American standby of cream cheese, is not particularly popular in Saudi Arabia. So, I figured goat cheese might be easier to find. I’ve since found cream cheese cheaper here, and at a decent price.
While not completely ill conceived, this first cake of mine was not exactly a success. The batter was way too moist. Even after an hour of baking, it was not completely dry through the middle. This is partially due to the type of pan I used, a very tall 5-inch springform. I wanted to make a small cake, since I wasn’t baking it on the occasion of a party and it would only be shared between my husband and myself. However, the tall springform made it even more difficult to cook the cake evenly. Whole spelt flour has a tendency to hold moisture, which can be advantageous for certain baked goods, but I don’t think this cake needed the added hurdle of a tall, compact pan.
In my opinion, birthdays mark the real beginning of your “new year.” I suppose that isn’t a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of fact. If you weren’t born on January 1st, New Year’s Day does not begin a new year of living, presuming the concept of linear time is accepted. I like to utilize my birthday as a time for introspection and renewal. Since I returned from vacationing in Germany last month, I’ve been reflecting on my blogging experience and how I’d like to move forward. The first few months of blogging have been experimental for me. I’ve played around with different kinds of posts. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to create content and what type content appeals to me. When I started, I didn’t know what questions to ask. As it often goes, gaining some experience has put me in a better position to ask the right questions. So, now until September I’ll be posting lightly while I focus on developing the site. I’m really enjoying the process of slowing down, thinking critically and applying the things that I’ve learned thus far. I welcome this New Year with open arms.