Sometimes life... gets in the way....runs away from you... makes you forget the little moments that need to be paused and enjoyed... has its own agenda... is never certain... makes you run in circles figuring out why...makes you wallow in the tactical and forget the big picture...
Last weekend, I got a notice from Google to renew my domain. My website, my little space of joy, my creation. I had forgotten it was born four years ago about a couple of months back. Much has happened in the last few months. My life has changed a lot. But, that was no reason to forget.
This morning, my landlord passed away. He was 72. A lovely person who always had a smile for me. I saw him last week. He was working. His heart failed, they told me. He was a good person and a good house owner. He was fair and friendly. His son and friend run the shop downstairs. We were talking last week about his plans to renovate the building. His father owned it, until today. It was sudden and unexpected.
I didn't know him well, but well enough, to make me pause.
It is indeed easy to get caught in the little curve balls that life throws at you, submerge in self-pity and forget all the amazing things that are in life. Forget to be grateful for what is and celebrate what should be.
So, today I am going to celebrate, because I am grateful..
... That I have people in my life I can trust
... That there are those who love me for who I am and nothing more
... That I can live in New York, one of the best cities in the world
... That I am strong, smart and capable of sustaining myself
... That I can make people smile
... That I have inherited an incredible talent to let people I care about know I do, because they are special
... That I know who I am and what I want (for the most part) and will not and need not compromise
... That I have the freedom to make choices, unshackled by conventions or opinions
... That I have self-respect
... That I am loved. Period!
So, I choose to celebrate all that and more.
This cake was originally in remembrance of the belated birthday of this blog. But, it truly is my gift to myself. Because, I am proud of who I am, and, today, I celebrate the strong woman and soft feminine in me!
And, because, I am worth it! :)
Double Chocolate Cake and Peanut Butter Meringue Frosting
For the Cake:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 tsp bread soda or baking soda
pinch of salt
6 T butter
3 oz bitter sweet (70%) chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
1 egg + 1 yolk
For the Frosting:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
2 T light cream
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 2 T caster sugar or super fine sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F(180 C) and prepare 2 six inch cake pans.
In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Melt butter and pour over the chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted. Once cooled, whisk the eggs into this mixture. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and then add the coffee.
Pour into greased pans and bake in the middle rack in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling, whip together the cream cheese, cream, peanut butter and 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside. Whip the whites until stiff and slowly incorporate 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold a third of the meringue into the peanut butter mixture to loosen it. Add the loosened mixture in to the remaining mixture and fold until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
Refrigerate the frosting until the cakes are completely cooled down. Arrange one cake on the stand and spread half the frosting on it. Gently place the second cake over and spread the remaining frosting on top. Dust lightly with cocoa powder.