Gateau de Mure is a scintilating mix of caramelized sugar and blackberries, atop a moist vanilla cake. It's perfect with a dollop of vanilla or peach ice cream!
Since last August I've been struggling with a battle of space issues. I was running out of time for myself between work, blog, my now ex-boyfriend, friends, and family. I felt like a cake with too many grubby hands fighting for the last slice, and when that was gone they fought over who got to lick the plate. I have put out a lot of time and energy into trying to schedule some lazy-jana-time where I get to kick back and be alone, all by myself and do whatever I want, without schedules or anybody but me, myself and I to please. The problem is, when you try that hard to be lazy, you've defeated the purpose before you've even begun. You cannot relax on a schedule.
Drastic measures had to be taken. I silenced my blackberry permanently.
I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it, but there I was cut off from the world. My phone, emails, facebook, twitter, chat, and messengers were all forced to fight for attention with a small blinking light as their only hope. Silence truly is golden. It created some issues now and then. Most people are not accustomed to having to wait to get a hold of someone anymore. They'll call three times in five minutes because "You clearly didn't hear the phone or you would have answered my call!" You are right. I sure didn't here the phone, leave a message and I'll get back to you, right after the beep, that is, assuming I notice the minuscule blinking red light.
This weekend, for the first time in seven months, I turned the phone from silent to "phone calls only" for the span of six hours.
At six a.m. Thursday morning Bohemian Rhapsody, the king of all music, rocked me awake. If you must wake up, I highly recommend doing it to Queen. I struggled and am fairly certain I succeeded to put on clothes. If I didn't my friend is too polite to say so, or is more likely biding time until the appropriate moent for maximum embarrassment to share that bit of news. It was worth it. I traded silence for the keys to the kingdom.
My friend has an apartment with more square feet than my house and a nearly larger big screen TV, along with five remotes to electronics that took me well over an hour to learn how to use, and re-learn each time. He has a couch with a chaise and a cat who is no gentlemen. Combined with the grocery store across the street packed with every junk food money can buy (that my money sure did) I was ready to spend some lazy-jana-time in style.
There I was cell phone silenced and hiding out at my friend's apartment while he was in Texas. How did I celebrate my freedom? my first exposure to cable in three years? my ability to watch any horrible b-class movies without being judged? I ate junk food to my hearts content and was pawed by a cat who seemed to think that lying on my chest was his perk out of the deal! I watched Iron Man 2, Twilight (and laughed so hard I cried. Run Bella! If you don't get there soon he'll kill himself!), Van Helsing, Snatch, Star Trek, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and many episodes of My Redneck Wedding. I ate grasshopper cookies, pretzel m&ms, chips, salsa, guac, tons of coke zero and for good measure a disgustingly unhealthy frozen pizza. I traded in the life of a girly food snob control freak for that of a bachelor pad slob with no reason to shower and loved it.
I gave up the keys on Sunday afternoon, and resumed my precious little girly baker life and was back to baking French cake, that compared to all the rest I'd eaten this weekend is decently healthy, as it involves something that grows naturally. It's a lovely cake, delicious, light moist, flavorful and lacking the chemicals I've been previously living on and cannot pronounce. But for the next three days I'll be baking in preparation. I get the keys to the kingdom again this weekend and am looking forward to Bachelor Pad round two already. This time, I'm thinking bad Chinese take out.
Gateau de Mure
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 T. unsalted butter melted and cooled
2 cups granulated sugar
1 pint blackberries
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350. Put the 1/3 cup butter in a 9 or 10 inch round cake pan** with a minimum three inch side. Place in the oven to melt for about 5 minutes. Add one cup sugar. Stir into melted butter and bake for another 5 minutes. Spread the berries in a single layer across the sugar.
Separate the eggs, putting the white into a stand mixer bowl on a medium speed and the yolks into a small bowl. Whisk the melted butter into the egg yolks. In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in the remaining sugar into the egg whites, then fold in the egg yolk mixture, and finally fold in the flour mixture gradually. Pour batter over the blackberries to cover evenly.
Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, roughly 40 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen the cake and invert onto a serving plate.
Serve warm, cut into wedges.
**Do not use a springform pan! The butter will run out the sides and be a horrid mess. To make a 9x13 cake double the apples, butter and apple cider sugar, and then make one and a half times the cake batter.