Artist Leah Green teaches clay classes in her home, and yesterday Sagan got to participate. Leah’s yard had gorgeous flowers and a fish pond so I had to snap a few photos.
Leah’s husband Norman and Mark hit it off right away and continued chatting long after the lessons got started. Mark also made a new, furry friend who loved having his chest scratched. Just look at that expression of ecstasy.
I was getting kind of jealous.
Meanwhile, Leah and Sagan decided on what she would create in clay; a dragon. She drew it first and then Leah brought out the clay and let Sagan squish it around for a while. I was jealous of her, too. She was going to have so much fun.
Next time I think I’ll play in the clay with her.
But I had a goal for that morning already. A few days ago Mark went out for milk and accidentally picked up fermenté maigre. That’s buttermilk – two jugs of the stuff. I haven’t baked since I’ve been in France so I made this a challenge to use up. Why not go all out and make a chocolate cake? Here’s the recipe I sort of followed which uses lots of buttermilk.
I translated all of the ingredients into French so there would be no confusion at the local supermarché, replacing the flour and baking soda with self-rising flour for simplicity.
An entire isle was dedicated to chocolate, but there was only one choice for powdered cocoa. I planned on making my own version of frosting (not following the recipe of course) and needed powdered sugar. The only powdered sugar they had comes in this oddly shaped “green monster” package and is called sucre glace.
I needed vanilla extract, but the only thing available (besides expensive vanilla bean pods) was this vanilla syrup that looked like vanilla extract.
But it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, back at the artist’s studio:
A dragon was created. We left it and came back home to finish the cake.
The wittel bitty gas oven required a lighter wand and I set it to 177º Celsius (350º Fahrenheit) after checking my conversion with Mark (just to be sure).
Please don’t mess up my nice cake, you little midget oven, you.
After about ten minutes, the entire gite was filled with this incredibly irresistable, intoxicating CHOCOLATICHOUS smell. But what would it taste like?
A juice glass was my measuring cup. Some of the coffee was left out and replaced with more buttermilk. I cut back on the sugar. I’d poured in most of the bottle of that faux vanilla extract, too.
It turned out darn nice. Damn good, actually. Maggie and Eric came over and shared it with us.
Would you like a slice with some vanilla ice cream?