I have been having some very good luck with baking this late winter / early spring. It started with bannocks, a kind of Scottish biscuit, that I was trying to make from a recipe I found online. I made batch after batch of them and they were too moist, too dense, too dry—everything that could go wrong did, but I kept trying until finally I found just the right techniques and proportions of ingredients to make them come out tender and fluffy. Since then, everything I have put in the oven has come out anywhere from pretty good to amazing: rye bread, rosemary crackers, pizza, brownies. Yesterday was E’s birthday and I attempted something I haven’t tried in years: a cake.

I can’t make cakes. I just can’t. Pie I’m pretty good at, but cake just doesn’t work for me. I’d given up trying because they always came out as falling-apart hockey pucks. Well, I decided to push my luck yesterday and I attempted a chocolate sponge cake. It came out beautifully. I’m sure a proper baker could do a lot better, but by my standards this was amazing.


Chocolate cake, fresh from the oven

I filled and frosted it with chocolate ganache and we enjoyed our dessert immensely.

Cake topped with chocolate ganache

Cake topped with chocolate ganache

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