I Want to Make a Cake
I want to make a cake. I've been away from my galley and without a kitchen for far too long. I miss the creative transformational process. I want to make a cake.
I want to sift the flour. I want to release all the lumps that keep the flour from flowing as a smooth powdery river. I want to open up the flour so that it embraces every other ingredient, giving form and structure to new creation.
I want to soften the butter. I want to transform its hardened greasy stickiness into a soft gentle mound that graciously welcomes and receives, wrapping its tenderness around each molecule it encounters.
I want to whisk the eggs. I want to take their separate parts - so distinct in shape, color, texture, form and purpose – and whirl them into a greater whole. I want to witness the divided elements coming together, the yellows warming the tones of the whites, the whites lightening and lifting the yellows, all into a soft bubbly foam.
I want to melt the chocolate. I want to gently warm the dark rigid pieces so that the delicate flavor and composition slowly and effortlessly let go their cold angularity, becoming a liquid ribbon of delight and depth.
I want to balance the sweetness as I add sugar to the eggs and butter and chocolate. Too much is cloying, masking the rich darkness of the chocolate, making heavy the lightness of the eggs. Too little leaves an emptiness, a dissatisfaction, a wish for something better. I want to find the harmony that releases the delicate flavors into multisensory delight.
I want to mix it all together. I want to watch the ingredients swirl, releasing their separate natures as they merge into a smooth flowing batter that pours effortlessly into the prepared and waiting pan. I want to enjoy the seamless richness of color and fragrance as it settles into its new home. I want to swipe my finger around the almost empty bowl and relish the secret pleasure of slurping up the remnants of a job well done.
I want to bake the cake. I want to set it in an oven of constant heat that supports the batter as it takes on new form, letting go of the old, and rising to new heights of confidence and strength, tempered with tenderness. I want to inhale the aroma as it transforms. I want to be sensitive to when it’s ready to come out of the heat and into the cool. I want to let it rest.
I want to frost the cake. I want to smooth on a rich silkiness that glides along my spatula. I want to dress up and brighten the cake so that it reflects the light all around it. I want to subtly surprise the senses with the frosting’s unexpected zestiness. I want to enhance the essence of the cake and bring it more alive.
I want to eat the cake. I want to savor the mélange of texture and flavor as I hold it in my mouth, allowing it to transform once again. I want to share the cake and let my friends enjoy it as much as I.
Yes, I’m quite sure of it. I want to make a cake.