its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! la dada dee dee dee dummmm… i just realized i don’t know the rest of the words to that song. just that one line. but its enough to make me feel all warm and cozy and christmassy!
the tree is up, the gifts are wrapped, the fireplace is on… I’m inexplicably on top of my Christmas game this year. I thought it’d be a really stressful one because of school and various other commitments (I’m totally an over-committer), but i’m more or less sane! Thank you Jesus. 🙂
every christmas i get people-sick. not sick of people, but like you know, home-sick, but for people instead of place. i find it really difficult to lose touch with friends, and be away from them, but it’s happened so often that i just gotta learn to deal with it.
when i moved from singapore to vancouver, i missed my singapore high-school friends like i’d miss my kidneys. they helped me process everything, made me laugh till i peed, and i could never hold my love for them in. celebrating our 30th birthday together in bali was freakin’ a. i still can’t believe we did that. 3 weeks on my own! no kids! it was insane. also i think it led to the downfall of my liver, but that’s another story for another time. point is, they are an irreplaceable part of my internal makeup.
when i first left them at the tender age of 16, i cried all the way from the last group hug, sobbed through customs, sniffled to the gate, blubbered on to the plane, and bawled all 19 hours to vancouver.
and then i landed here, and a few hours after my plane touched down, and i had just begun to wipe the snot and tears from my face, i met an amazing bunch of people. like literally, they were Amazing Grace. that was the name of our church, way back in the day. and the grace that God has shown me through these people is never-ending. i married one of them. see? i just can’t let go.
fast forward many many many many years full of weddings and babies and funerals.
some of my friends that had become my family left, one after another for various reasons like work, school, family, missions etc.
i miss you guys. i think about you a lot. i just want you to know that.
emo. that’s the word. around christmas time, i get so emo like the guy from les miserables. lol ok maybe that is a bit over dramatic. *empty chairs and empty tablessssssssss*
anyhoo, I’m thankful for the friends and family that are still in my life, and the new friends that will eventually become family. so much love.
earlier this week, we went over to a friend’s place for dinner. I’ve known her since she was a little girl (since amazing grace days, eons ago). I’m not gonna lie, i used our friendship to some babysitting advantage (mine ^_^). she’s an amazing person, and so sweet and so kind, and i want my girls to grow up to be like her. she also takes reeedddeeeeculously gorgeous photos. (she took the cake pics. i could never make my food look that good.)
anyways, we had a little christmas shindig, and i wanted to make a chocolate cake. actually, a yule log cake. but when i looked at the recipe and saw that it’ll take freakin’ 3 days to make, i was like screw that, aint nobody got time for that.
also, her husband has really intense allergies/food sensitivities. i sent her a list of ingredients for the gluten-free cake i was thinking of making (short list!) and the only thing he could eat from that list were the eggs.
because i love them so much i was like screw it I’m making it anyways. (he had fruit for dessert. i felt bad. but he’s used to it. i always think – it really is true love when you sacrifice cake and alcohol and bread and cheese for someone else. and that isn’t even a fraction of the list of things he’s allergic to. the list is longer than a leonard cohen song. i don’t really get that reference, actually. I’m too young for that. but i heard it somewhere and it was funny to me.)
where was i? oh yeah. true love. sacrifice. how did i even get here. its becoming a really long post. but yeah, it just reminded me of the One True Love and Ultimate Sacrifice that Christmas is All About. now that’s Capitalizing on Capitalizing. oooohhh bad pun. sorry not sorry! christmas is also about forgiveness.
love you guys so much! but you know, whatever. ooxxooXoXXx
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! go bake this cake for someone/somepeeps you love!
tiny but intense chocolate cake
six small servings
- 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
- 4 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso grounds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
garnish with icing sugar, mint leaves and raspberries
- preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 6-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. generously butter sides of pan and parchment round.
- in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, stirring for even cooking. after the butter melts, it will then hiss and spit like a scalded cat. but never mind that. be brave and keep at it, stirring until the water content cooks off and fragrant brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. this will take about 3 minutes.
- quickly remove from heat and stir in chocolate until the mixture is melted and smooth. cool the mixture to lukewarm temperature.
- with an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder until the mixture thickens a pale yellow colour. slowly beat in the chocolate mixture. the mixture will be very thick and sticky.
- in a clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt till firm peaks form. add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. stir 1/3 of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. fold remaining 2/3 in gently, keeping the batter as light as possible.
- pour into cake pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it is puffed with a lovely dome on top (which will deflate like your childhood dreams) and an interred toothpick come out clean.
- let cake cool. run a knife around cake to loosen the sides and carefully flip out on to a plate, removing the parchment paper as you do so. to serve, dust with icing sugar and garnish with mint leaves and raspberries. enjoy!
adapted from the smitten kitchen cookbook.