Let Them Eat Cake?

December 20, 2009

There’s one episode of my favorite cartoon, Arthur, where Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s normally firm, but always fair teacher, is skulking around like a fool over the cakes Arthur’s dad makes for Arthur’s class. The seminal cake that was the fuel for Ratburn’s fervor was a honey cake (in the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa).

I decided to take on the role of Arthur’s dad and make a cake for my mother (twisted turns, I know, just follow me here). She is a member of a book club and needed an item to bring. I decided to take a look at what we had around our pantry. I saw the creamed cinnamon honey my mom bought at a general store in Michigan’s thumb (by my family’s farm) and the dark rum I used for a bread pudding I made over Thanksgiving. The lightbulbs started going off! A rum spice cake!

The result is a honey-spice cake with an orange rum glaze. My mother loves nuts in sweets (I don’t care for them), so instead, I sprinkled some walnuts on top. Recipe (and annotations) follow:

Honey Spice Cake with Rum Glaze (adapted from Emeril, whom I love-love):
Emeril’s recipe didn’t have enough spice for me. When I make spice cake, I love a bit of everything: I added nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom. Also I split up the honey, 1/3 is a cup of clover honey, 1/3 is creamed cinnamon honey, but 2/3 cup clover honey will suffice, as that’s the original recipe.

1¼ hours | 15 min prep

SERVES 16

  • 2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup  unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup clover honey
  • 1/3 cup creamed cinnamon honey
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons plain yogurt 
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rum
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour 1 (9-inch) tube pan or 1 (8 to 10-cup) fluted tube or bundt pan. I didn’t have either (I thought I did), and this worked in a regular 9-inch cake pan.
  3. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves,nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom and salt together, then sift again into a large bowl. In another large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on high speed until creamy.
  4. Gradually add the honey and 1/4 cup of the sugar to the butter and beat on high speed until well mixed, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time.
  6. Beat on low and add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the yogurt in 2 parts.
  7. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  8. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  9. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating on high speed, until stiff.
  10. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
  12. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto the rack and allow to cool completely.
  13. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and rum and stir to combine. Mixture should be a stiff glaze. If the glaze is too thick, thin with a bit of milk. You will need the milk; 1 1/2 teaspoon should do.
  14. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze all over the cake in a random pattern.
  15. Let the cake sit until the glaze has hardened.
  16. Serve.

You’re Full of Crepe!

November 16, 2009

Ever fantasize about a ménage à trois with Annette, Claire and Jessica? Or maybe Shannon, Liz or Melinda are more your taste. Now, you don’t have to choose because there is a great variety of women just waiting for you to try them in midtown Detroit.

But if you’re looking for sex, you’re in the wrong location. Because at Good Girls Go to Paris, you’re only going to find the finest in crepes.

Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes started off as quite the “hole in the wall” creperie in Downtown Detroit. Now owner-operator Torya Blanchard has opened another location, in Midtown, next to the Detroit Institute of the Arts. While the downtown location is cute for its walk-up accessibility and authentic French creperie flair, the Midtown location allows patrons to sit down and enjoy a crepe among lush-red walls and sexy large-scale vintage movie posters (French movies, bien sur).
good girls go to paris liz crepe

Liz: strawberries, blueberries and nutella

The crepes come in both sweet and savory varieties, making this an ideal location for Brunch. However, Good Girls’ hours accommodate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a late dessert. You have a choice of 20 different crepe varieties named after women, from somewhat tames Leslie (wildberry jam and butter), to the more adventurous Jeanette (prosciutto, mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil and herb de provence) to the exotically Frenchy Pascalle (chevre and fig jam).

Another thing to be noted about the crepes is that they are quite large. This is good if you’re looking for a big, filling meal, but I warn you, you may not be able to finish the whole thing. But fear not, they offer to-go boxes.

Good Girls Go to Paris is a fun location to eat. Not only is it in close proximity to the art museum so you can pair French food with French art, the staff is cute and friendly in their French maid uniforms (one staffer wore them with green rainboots). If you happen to be in midtown, you have no excuse to check this out.

And while you’re checking things out, take a look at this video about Good Girls Go to Paris’ downtown location:

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