There are cakes to impress, and then there are cakes to act as a balm. I’m a fan of both, of course, but give me a cake that can comfort like none other and I’m sold. No fussy frostings, no putting on cakely airs, just bake, cut, and serve straight outta the pan. Preferably on a paper plate. Even better is when said comfort cake is actually beautiful enough to impress, dead simple and keeps on the counter for several days of “just a sliver” eating. If I’m being real, though, for me that means a sliver after breakfast, a sliver after lunch, a sliver around 3:30 p.m. when my exhausted self is dying for coffee and a little bit of sugar. And then of course a “real-sized” piece for dessert, after dinner. All of that adds up to a criminal amount of cake in a day, really. But when a cake is just that good, you’re willing to be arrested for your eating habits.
I used to be the queen of multitasking. Before children, I had the awesome ability to keep all kinds of balls in the air–thoughts, plans, chores, jobs, appointments, workouts, clicking off items on my to-do list with relative ease. (Never mind that I always thought OMG I’M SOOOO BUSY AND EXHAUSTED. Heh, heh, little Shauna. Weren’t you so sweet and naive in your perceived level of craziness? You had no idea what was coming, love. Why don’t you and your tiny jeans go and spend three hours getting a haircut and highlights without having to find a babysitter and try and wrap your brain around it. You can’t even.)
First things first: for once, I’m not just spazzily doling out superlatives: the name of this cake is not of my doing. Also called Kvæfjordkake, this cake was popularized in the 1930s in Kvæfjord, a tiny town in northern Norway. It has been a national sensation ever since, and several years ago, this heavenly specimen was given the title of “verdens best” (world’s best) by the country itself.
My friend Luisa informed me that this style of meringue-topped cake has German roots as well, baked in round pans with the name Himmelstorte, but I’m not here to start a war or anything. As far as Norway is concerned, however, it’s a cake that comes with literal accolades, people. It’s enough to make me want to move to Norway right now. Who can resist a magical land where people so highly regard cake? And birth so many supermodels? LET’S ALL GO.
Now that the new book has been out in the world for a solid month, I’ve found myself with a few more pockets of time here and there to do some really fun things that have absolutely nothing to do with the book. For example, going to a lovely event to celebrate someone else’s book, doing an entire load of laundry from start to finish (and even putting it away!), and baking with absolutely no intention of extensively photographing it or writing about it (although I will still occasionally Instagram it, because if I don’t do that, did it ever really happen?). As we usher in a new week, I thought I’d share a couple particularly delicious bites from the last one. Oof. It was carnival of go-big-or-go-home greatness.
Spring is in the air! Sunshine, warm (-er) breezes, new produce, longer days (sort of great because of that aforementioned sunshine and warmth, sort of not because I have a two-year-old who wakes up when it’s still dark and sprints like Usian Bolt all day, so come 3:30 p.m., I’m seeing Care Bears). It’s also a season that brings with it lots of new inspiration in the kitchen, and a chance to start baking with fun new ingredients and sweet splashes of color, a welcome change after a long season of golden brown comfort baking (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course).
That color could be fresh seasonal fruits, but it could also be the kind of color that makes you feel like a real artist while baking, using all kinds of edible paints and adorable decors, something I don’t get to do nearly enough of these days. When a book lands on your doorstep that makes you want to sprinkle-toss and bust out the gel food colorings and more or less become a much more Pinteresting version of yourself, you know you’ve struck cookbook gold.
Hi everyone! The launch date for Real Sweet is just around the corner on this Tuesday, March 17th. What-whaaaat…?! So great. And kind of insane. So as the date approaches, I wanted to let you know about some upcoming book events and a big, exciting book launch giveaway, all coming your way in just a couple of days.
Excuse me, but where on earth did the first half of March go? Did it even happen? How are we almost one-quarter of the way through 2015 already? How did my baby boy actually turn TWO last week?! Hold me.
Don’t get me wrong–I’ve basically been waiting for March 17th since August 2013, which is when I officially started writing Real Sweet. And now March 17th is almost here, and my third (!!) cookbook is about to be born into the world. Unreal. I really hope you’ve pre-ordered, because all signs are pointing to you getting a copy delivered to you on the release date, as opposed to having to actually drive to a store and buy it like in the olden days. Hooray! But I guess now would be as good a time as any to admit that I will likely be stalking bookstores during the entire first week, gently sliding the book into a highly visible spot on the its shelf. (Any author who tells you they don’t do that is straight-up lying, by the way.)
Next Tuesday, March 17th will also be an awesome day to come back to this very site, because I have a huge, pretty freaking phenomenal giveaway planned for you for the launch of Real Sweet! Yesssssss.
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