Honey & Vanilla Cake & On Nourishing The Soul.
Is it too late to wish you a happy new year?! I think not! So here, Happy New Year 2015! May it be filled with your wildest dreams and greatest accomplishments! I went back home to France for the holidays and enjoyed some quiet moments and some wilder ones with the family! It’s always comforting to get home to the heart of things after a busy end of the season at the studio.
It’s been a year… filled with some rewarding photoshoots on cookbooks coming out soon. Five cookbooks in particular that I worked on this past year, Southern Made Fresh by Tasia Malakasis, The Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen by Matt Moore, Dream Puffs by blogger Barbara Bakes, The Good Pantry and The Great Cook with Cooking Light. I have loved working on them and hope you enjoy the work the whole team put in. I am currently shooting different projects, amongt which is Sara Moulton’s new cookbook. All have been challenging, different and allowed me to spread my wings and strengthened my craft.
Lots of changes at work and home. New interns, new coworkers, new freelance projects, new pace of living. It tested me and stretched me at times. It baffled and annoyed me too. I have learned to grow and moved forward from my reactions. I have learned patience and resilience in different ways. I have created both at home and work. I have shared and kept to myself. I have skipped this space more times than intended. It’s too easy coming home after a long week of photo and just pour a glass of wine and enjoy the quietness of home.
But…every year I follow Susannah Conway’s "Find Your Word" online course and this time without exceptions I jotted down ideas, words, feelings, intentions. Last year my word was "awaken". It found me. On a commemorative evening on the beach in Charleston. It nagged at me and made me unsettled and aware. I’ve awakened to truth. In friendships, partnerships and work. It was brutal and nourishing at times.
Nourish. This one little word kept coming back in my brainstorming sessions with Susannah. While I felt depleted and conquered, my Taurus self would just kick that feeling to the curb with a screaming "I want to nourish the good stuff!".
I want to nourish my creativity with more collaboration with people who do give a damn about heart and art. I want to nourish my partnership with my mate with more roadtrips, creative outlets done together. I want to nourish my playtime by writing posts more often. I cook and shoot a lot on the weekends for me but never nourish the urge to share. It takes work to work on playtime…!
So here it is…My first installment of what the word spoke to me at that moment. A Honey and Vanilla Cake to nourish the souls and the bellies of the people around you. One slice at a time…
Honey And Vanilla Cake:
1 stick (115gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 vanilla bean (cut in half lengthwise and scraped, reserve the seeds)
2 cups cake flour or gluten free flour blend of your choice
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a 6 to 8 inch cake pan (I chose a Kuglof pan).
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed for a couple of minutes or until they look light and creamy. On low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the honey and vanilla bean seeds. Increase to medium speed and run the mixer for a minute or so. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix another 30 seconds.
Pour in the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and unmold. Serve right away with a good cup of tea.