filling the empty nest with food
Sometimes I think I should subtitle this project “cooking with Escoffier, cooking despite Escoffier, cooking to avoid Escoffier, or even, cooking to spite Escoffier.” The recipes are daunting and success often uncertain. I thought originally he looked like a kindly man, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve learned he’s very demanding.
Clearly, Escoffier has moved into my psyche and regularly sits on my shoulder as I work. Look up superego in the Freudian dictionary to know what I’m talking about.
So, once in a while, I close the Guide Culinaire (OK, I slam it shut) and bake something so out of his ballpark that he wouldn’t have an opinion of its merit.
Such is the Hot Milk Cake, a lovely old-fashioned snack cake that wouldn’t be found within a hundred miles of a classical French menu.
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
10 tablespoons butter, cubed
In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to batter; beat at low speed until smooth. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter just until butter is melted. Gradually add to batter; beat just until combined. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.