Following the book, the next cake up would be Martha’s Blood Orange and Olive Oil Pound Cake. It’s not the most winning title ever, in fact it’s right up there with clunkers like Ocean’s Twelve, Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever, A Doll’s House Part 2, and V.I. Warshawski. Remember V.I Warshawski? Oh, it was so bad. But I saw it in the theatre, on opening day, no less. That’s what a Kathleen Turner fan I was. 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes? Ee-gahds!
But before you start performing a celebrated “Mime-a-Gag” at the thought of eating something called “Blood Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake,” take a look at the picture in the book first. It includes chocolate ganache which I think really should have made its way into the name. Chocolate Ganache makes everything sound better. Try saying it right after you say, “V.I. Warshawski !” and you’ll find yourself suddenly searching for it on Netflix. It’s not there (17 percent, remember?).
Regardless how you feel about the name, I can’t make it, because blood oranges are not in season right now. I can’t find them anywhere. I thought we’d moved past the era of having to wait for a particular season for particular produce. Isn’t that why we have Monsanto? I thought they were able to grow produce year round on the spine of a living pig, but that’s not happening. Agrochemical companies are really starting to let people down.
I went with the marble pound cake recipe instead. It’s an easier recipe the the blood orange one, and you get to swirl. I love to swirl.
I love to swirl. I love to bake cakes. I get to the theatre early for bad Kathleen Turner movies. Is it any wonder my parents felt no need to have more children after me?
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There are over 150 recipes in the Martha Stewart Cake book. I’m on recipe number two.
After the recipe for “Basic Pound Cake” comes FIFTEEN MORE VERSIONS OF LOAF CAKE: There’s Chocolate-Ginger Marble, Clementine Vanilla Bean, Pumpkin Sage, and Cornmeal Buttermilk, to name a few. And that only gets me to page 49… of 311 pages of cake recipes.
And I’ve obligated myself to make each and every one of them.
And most of these loaf recipes produce 2 cakes.
My boyfriend, everyone at my office, and all the neighbors up and down my block are going to be fat and happy by December.
Or maybe fat and angry?
Oh well, who cares. It’s not like they’ll be able to hurt me. I’ll be able to outrun them all.
You might think turning a “basic loaf cake” into a “lemon loaf cake” wouldn’t require anything more than tossing some fresh lemon zest into the batter. That’s where Martha would slap you in the face, call you a rube and go back to watching her favorite movie, Bowfinger (I have it on good authority).
Sure, yeah… we’ll include zest in the batter. But we’re not gonna stop there. We’re also gonna make lemon icing for the tops of the cakes, candied lemons to top that lemon icing, and when we get the cakes out of the oven WE’RE GONNA POKE HOLES ACROSS THE TOPS AND POUR LEMON SUGAR SYRUP STRAIGHT INTO THEM!!
This is what I did with my Memorial Day. I’ll always remember. I’ll never forget.
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In all fairness, I strayed far, far, far from Martha’s recipe this week. I was overly-stimulated by the whimsy of the contestants on The Great British Baking Show and thought I’d be able to freestyle it. I’m sure if I’d laid out my baking plans to Judge Mary Berry beforehand, she would have given her most delicate frown and delivered a sweetly-packaged warning… something along the lines of, “It sounds delightful and troubling all at once.” or “I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that, but perhaps it’ll be scrummy!” or maybe just a plain old, “That sounds different. Good luck.” while quickly skirting herself away and hiding her mortification.
This was supposed to be a raspberry almond chocolate pound cake, but all the filling sank to the bottom. In the before photo, the cake is upside down so I could surveil the crime scene in more detail.
It certainly was scrummy. Michael and I devoured half of it while watching The Queen on Netflix. But I still am not permitted to put this in the win column, so back to the drawing board I go.
I was able to master Martha Stewart recipes before I understood the “Pulse” function on my food processor. I was still afraid of slow cookers when I was pulling perfect cookies out of the oven because of her. Martha deserves all her success. Her recipes are easy to follow, they never fail, and they make everyone happy.
I met Martha when she was a guest player on Hollywood Game Night, a show I helped produce. I was going to bring her muffins I made from one of her recipes, in a basket, bedded with a gingham cloth napkin. But I didn’t do it because I decided I would have felt guttted if she wasn’t visibly impressed. I learned my lesson when I met Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I wore my best form-fitting, striped shirt with metal-docked pearly-snap buttons. I was hoping he’d get wide eyed and compliment me, but all he said was, “Where’s Kleenex? I think I’m getting a cold.”
I’m sure anyone who invites Martha to their home frantically cleans it before hand. But she doesn’t really go into your bathroom and judge you. Before she ever walks in to someone else’s bathroom, before she’s ever halfway down the hallway, Martha Stewart is already thinking to herself, “My bathroom is better.” And she’s right. Martha has the best bathroom. If I was at Martha Stewart’s house, I bet I would think her bathroom was so nice, instead of using it, I’d excuse myself and sprint to the gas station.
Martha Stewart can make a poncho work. She can do anything. I once saw Martha Stewart convince Rosie O’Donnell to sample low-calorie dip. Rosie said it was “delectable,” and that was absolutely the wrong word choice, but Martha just smiled, like there’s no reason in the world it should have ever annoyed her.
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