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.
The Kosher Spoon February 3, 2015 um 1:28 am
That is a lovely cake.
I believe that every thing comes at the right time. Enjoy nourishing.
Gale Reeves February 3, 2015 um 1:46 am
my word has been 'prepare…'
very well written…food for thought
photography…beautiful as always
happy new year!
Return to Sunday Supper℠ February 3, 2015 um 2:10 am
Bless you Helene…you've hit on the truth…wishing you a marvelous year!
K and S February 3, 2015 um 12:00 pm
Happy New Year!
Gaia February 3, 2015 um 12:23 pm
Wish you a gorgeous year!
Ps. Which step of the process do you put flour in?
Anonymous February 3, 2015 um 12:43 pm
This looks fantastic! I'll have to try this sometime soon. 🙂
Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table February 3, 2015 um 1:00 pm
What a perfect word. I hope that this years really does allow us all to nourish and share our craft and creations further with others – but also, that the process of it leaves us feeling nourished from within. And this cake is a great step in that direction.
Debbie S February 3, 2015 um 1:27 pm
Where can I buy one of those beautiful baking pans? I just looked at Amazon and couldn't find one. On a side note, my son just moved to Paris for a new job. When I visit him, what cooking shops would you suggest I go to. Thanks for the info. Your emails are much appreciated!
Unknown February 3, 2015 um 5:00 pm
This is a wonderful post and I love ths cake! It sounds delicious!
Julie February 3, 2015 um 6:00 pm
I am so inspired by your skill and have been reading your Food photography book. Thank you for a great post.
Anonymous February 3, 2015 um 11:02 pm
Beautiful photography and inspiring words. I was looking for a cake to give as a gift of thanks. My search is over…
Unknown February 4, 2015 um 3:47 am
Your pictures and words are like poetry! So pleasant to the soul…Ravie de vous avoir rencontre et d'avoir pu partager mes fleurs avec votre regard. A bientôt j'espère. Yasmine
Diana February 6, 2015 um 1:23 pm
So right, so true. First thing after reading: subscribed to Susannah hoping to find my word for 2015. Second thing: am going to bake this cake!
And your pictures are as usual so inspiring!
Lauren February 6, 2015 um 2:23 pm
Glad you are back 🙂 This cake is lovely, the use of light/dark is gorgeous.
My word for the year is organize. This doesn't come naturally to me. But I'm been using my calendar to plot things out. Amazing how accomplished I feel!
Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious February 9, 2015 um 7:41 pm
Wow, you certainly have been busy. I have to wonder though whether you look forward to the blog or if it seems like an old burden. Not trying to provoke, but I've seen a number of longtime blog owners out there that move on to other adventures, so I wonder how that process must feel for the owner themselves…
[email protected] February 9, 2015 um 7:56 pm
Aside from such a delicious recipe, these photos are absolutely gorgeous!!
Catherine February 10, 2015 um 2:47 am
Happy New Year!!
It is never too late to wish someone happiness.
I wish you the very best with your endeavors and with nourishing your body and soul.
The cake is a wonderful way to start and like in life with one slice at a time.
All the very best. xo Catherine
Lalitkhatri February 13, 2015 um 11:11 am
wow i like very much this cake.
Helene February 14, 2015 um 3:19 pm
Rebecca: I very much look forward to the process of blogging! I can cook, style and shoot the way I want and it does not have to come with the pressure of being a book, an editorial or for a freelance client. It can be imperfect and random and that's perfect for me!