14 October 12 • MAV

It’s my bro’s birthday today … happy birthday, RCV!

As long as I can remember my brother has always loved yellow cake. When we were young it was yellow cake out of a box with no frosting. That was his favorite birthday cake year after year. As an adult he not only loves plain yellow cake on his birthday but also as just an every day cake to have around the house on any given week day. Through his unwavering dedication to yellow cake over the years this little sis has learned to respect it herself.

Thank goodness last year we all found the Scratch Baking Co. recipe for yellow cake in the issue second of Baker’s Notes. (If you are interested in some good sweets recipes you should buy Issue 2 for sure. The chocolate cake is just as amazing)

It has been really nice to let go of the boxed yellow cake in favor of Scratch’s rich, versatile, simple “everyday yellow cake” recipe. I have to say, if my very picky bro can make the switch after years of boxed cake that must mean it’s good!

Scratch Baking Co. Everyday Yellow Cake
makes two generous 9-inch round layers

14 ounces cake flour
14 ounces sugar
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 lb unsalted butter softened
1 C whole milk
8 egg yolks
6 T whole milk
2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Butter two 9-inch round layer pans. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment mix for 30 seconds. Add softened butter and mix again until batter looks like wet sand. Add 1 cup of whole milk and mix well again stopping to scrape the sides. In a small bowl mix egg yolks, 6 tablespoons whole milk and vanilla together well and then add to the batter. Mix everything one last time until the batter is silky with no lumps. Pour into cake pans and bake for 40–45 minutes or until cakes have pulled away from the sides and a tester comes out clean.

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Now you might be wondering why you’re seeing in the photographs that the two layers were not made into one cake. I’ll tell you why. Although my bro has diversified and come around to eating a better yellow cake he’s still not sure about whether he prefers frosting or not. So, this year when I asked him, “do you want the chocolate ganache on the cake or on the side?” he answered, “half and half.” We’re making some progress toward change … slowly.

14 October 12 • SCB

Autumn has sort of taken me by surprise this year. We had a long and beautiful Indian summer here in Oregon. The shortening of the days was almost masked by all the warmth and sunshine. But after a week working on the east coast, I returned yesterday to fall in full swing—cooler temps, rain, fallen leaves, and darkness at dinner.

Today we went in search of apples to pick (already a bit late for our favorite varieties, we discovered) and as we filled our basket, I thought back to a day in late August when we picked blackberries on Sauvie Island (I talk about our favorite spot in both 3191 Quarterly Issue No. 5 and 3191Q Notebook).

Our freezer is still well-stocked with those blackberries, so we threw in a cup as our applesauce finished simmering. The result was tart and flavorful and a vibrant red color. Summer meets autumn.

Summer Meets Autumn Blackberry Applesauce
Stir this sauce into your oatmeal or yogurt or just spoon it on its own, warm or cold.

3 pounds apples
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
Maple syrup to taste

Chop and core apples (no need to peel them!) and place in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add about one inch apple juice, cider, or water to pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to low, and simmer until apples are soft and falling apart, adding liquid as needed to keep from sticking. Once apples are soft, add blackberries and stir to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring until blackberries fall apart. Pass mixture through a food mill or fine sieve, discarding peels and seeds. Taste your sauce. If it is too tart, sweeten with a few tablespoons of maple syrup. Store in a glass jar in the fridge or freeze.