Sunday, May 20, 2012

Queens and Cake

 Ah!  The quintessential magnolia blossom!  Something about this one, the way the leaves unfurl and their whiteness reminds me of that famous Marilyn Monroe blowing dress. Funny the associations the mind circles round, isn't it?

Everyone (especially people who don't own one) loves the magnolia.
If you do happen to own one (or two or three like I do), you are probably less than thrilled.  Why?  Because nothing much grows under these trees, so you end up with a lot of bare ground that gets covered in heavy cardboard type leaves.

 Long after everyone else is well finished raking leaves, and down south we do A LOT of leaf raking, magnolia owners continue on raking and raking and raking all summer long.
At least there is the lovely smell that wafts around you as you rake, because you are not only raking leaves, but also fallen petals and hand grenade sized stamens.
 There really is nothing quite as heady and intoxicating as the scent of magnolia.  Gardenia, hyacinth, and wisteria are like alluring cousins to queen magnolia.

No leaf raking happened today though.  I spent time making this rather extravagant birthday cake, called "Celestial Chocolate Cake."  It is a decadent three layer affair with a whip cream filling and an icing made with cream, butter, melted chocolate chips and confectioners sugar.
 Unfortunately, the icing separated and I am having a second go at it now.  The picture above is the poor cake looking a bit wobbly and weird next to a jar of olives while it waits for the second-try icing.  I know I could just go buy a tub of pre-made stuff, or do up a different recipe, but I really want this to work.
Well, that is a picture of the stove-top clock about an hour ago.  I'm off to see if I can blend this stuff up and get the cake together and go to bed.  It made such a delicious vat of melted chocolate, I just can't stand for it not to work!

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