Saturday, May 6


man, oh MAN!
i am just crazy about cake.
or maybe i'm just crazy, which manifests as cake,
or, cake makes me crazy, and crazy makes me crave cake,
in a neverending vicious cycle of baking and berserking.
i'm not sure which it is,
i'm just pretty sure that there's going to be cake at the ready most of the time,
and i will freak right the F* out if for any reason that isn't the case.
i'm not at the point where my cake crumb is legendary,
i'm fairly certain that it IS the hero of an epic narrative,
which, given time, will become a legend.
chocolate cake is tricky.
it is.
especially when you aren't using eggs.
no joke.
cocoa wants so badly to make things dry and sucky.
like, it just has to pursue it's infinite nature to the fullest,
and in that sense,
being chalky, powdery, super-tasty doomdust has it's pros and cons.
the trick, when employing it,
is not to let it suck the juice out of your cake.
so, you've gotta up the fat, and the liquid, but not the binder.
here's the thing:
using yogurt or applesauce or 'egg-replacer' (veg-starches in solution)
will not have the yolky presence of a would-be bird.
so, you don't want to add more of those things,
since they won't catalyze with heat,'
they just stay wet, and you get a sunken center of fudged fudge.
so, instead, it's in with a bit more butterish,
and up with a little more milky mositure,
to counteract the cocoa's natural predisposition
towards providing taste without improving texture.
what do you get, if you do it right?
soft, moist, devilish decadence, with loft and fluff and toothsome tones
of deepest darkest chocolate.
perfect practice is what makes perfect performance.
check the teleport:

chocolate orange is a winning combination,
and i really like winning.
it also helps, it turns out, to use smaller pans.
i made a 7" two layer, and a 5" two layer from one batter.
here's how you can make the batter, to bake in whatever sized-pans you see fit:
preheat your oven to 350°F.
mix together;
1 cup sugar;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1 stick + 3 T vegan butterish;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
then add 3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
mix well, and whisk in 2/3 cup cocoa.
-when that's a thick paste,
sift together
2 1/2 cups flour + 2 T cornstarch;
2 tsp bakin' kapowder;
1 tsp bakin' soda;
1/4 cup tapioca flour;
and add 1 1/4 cups +2 T  nondairy milk.
pour it into greased and floured pans, and bake those up for 30 minutes at the inside,
and longer if you;re using fatter/deeper/dumber pans.
that's IT.

now, dudes,
i gotta tell y'all all about that orange everything, though!!!
damn. damn. DAMN.
y'ever candy an orange peel?
it's not so difficult.
heck, i didn't even measure a single thing.
since i was using a very juicy, very deeply-colored mineola,
i only used half the actual rind, de-pithed, and slivered,
covered in hot water  and sugar,
and boiled for five-ten minutes.
.....but, here's the rule for candying bitter bits-
too much is the right amount.
boil it, drain it; boil it. drain it; boil it, drain it, and let it rest.
three times, man,
with the last one providing the best flavor,
and with color getting all sorts of saturated.
i always roll the sticky little shards into icy sugar sparkle sprankles,
to make them look exxxtra-nice.
and the betterthanevercreme frosting?
that's also some seriously good stuff.
no jokes, and without question,
a deceptively light-tasting thick batch of supersweet frosty fluff-
with orange juice, and orange zest, and orange extract,
a little vanilla, a lot of powdered sugar, and a stick of vegan butter!
damned straight.
that's how you concoct expert fluffy citrus awesomeness for your face.
3 cups sugar;
1 stick butts;
>1/3 cup o.j.;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp orange extract;
1 tsp zest;
whisked into a frenzy,
and activated just a little baby bit more with incrementally increased
pulverized zesty paste-
to up the color of the frosting in little darker dollops....
c'mon, kids.
i want the deluxxxe decadence,
that's right.
anything else isn't nearly enough.
i got surprised by a weird overlapping walk-up cover-up mix-up yesterday.
yes, i did.
i'd originally refused to do this dude,
mostly because he was a dude.
but, after an hourlong ordeal, wherein he made no progress towards getting tattooed,
while i was painting a small clay head sculpture, without income being generated,
i was pressed upon to save the day.
and i did.
the very instant i agreed to take over and turn up and get TILTY AF on your man's
doo-doo buttery scarred and scary horrorshow?
a couple of flirty fun ladies showed up,
with way better ideas, and way more money,
to hook up the artist who just happened to have her time all very fortunately freed up.......
just a friendly reminder, bros-
no good deed goes unpunished.
doing the right thing, and trying to give this guy a positive experience at the studio
perfectly overlapped with my own day getting appreciably worsened.
it's a test of principle.
do what you do, because it's what you do.
it won't always be as fulfilling as it is when it's all synched and dialed.
sometimes, it's a F*ing chore, or a bore, or a bummer tattoo session,
consuming hours and hours with poor conversation and poor people.
y'ever make dinner, it takes forever,
and it doesn't look as sexxxy as you'd hoped?
you might almost want to throw it across the room.
ummmm. yeah.
maybe both those examples are very site-specific,
but the idea is solid, man.
i do the right thing because i believe in it, sincerely.
even when it isn't as fun and flashy.
because i'm all about it.
documenting real life, even when it seems like nobody even cares
that i'm making radical vegan treats and eats every goddamn day,
whilst simultaneously keeping it real with work and art,
and this F*ing dog, and everything else,
even when it kind of sucks super hard.
and i'm instantly slapped by the comparative ease
with which others, who happen to do exactly what i do,
at the stove, at the studio, at the store-
seem to slip seamlessly into seemingly smooth sailing,
and spoiled rotten good luck.
that's warrior poetry, friends.
whenever i'm discouraged,
do you know what i do?
i choose the wrench, broski.
the hard way is the only way,
lest we let ourselves get softened by successes that aren't earned.
on the ones,
the objective, in all things, is MORE.
and by that, i mean, continuous improvement, and perpetual production.
i don't have fun.
i don't take breaks or vacations.
i do what i do.
and that's all there is to it.
i appreciate the instant-karma refresher course i got yesterday.
i do what i do.
it doesn't matter how much less others have to endure,
for the perceived ease i always think i crave.
my grapes get sour,
but i'm more of a vinegar guy, and less of a w(h)ine one, anyway-
and besides,
if it was easy, i more than likely wouldn't have anything to talk about;
never quiet, never soft.....

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