Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Lovely Light Luscious Delectable Cake

The Budza is eight today. I got up and made him the Big Apple Pancake recipe from Epicurious. It was way yummy. In fact, it was so lovely, light, luscious and downright delectable that it put me in mind of the Virginia Kahl classic The Duchess Bakes a Cake, a picture book much beloved by my sister and me when we were littler than eight.

It tells the story of a duchess who puts too much yeast into a cake with hilarious results. Long out of print, it was reissued in the last year or so by Purple House Press, and there's an excellent description of the book archived over on the Brookeshelf blog of children's librarian Brooke Shirts.

I always loved the silly doggerel rhyme and droll line illustrations with their flat, minimalist colors, the infectious absurdity of the duchess borne aloft as the cake rises out of control. In my family we still refer to a "lovely light luscious delectable cake." It's got echoes in Strega Nona and all those fairy tales about magic pots that won't quit.

The pancake was quite good: sauteed apples with eggy batter poured over, baked in the oven. Not too sweet. I plan to make it again Christmas morning.

And for more on the theme of baked-goods-gone-berserk, there is a classic Homer Price story in which a diamond bracelet gets lost in some doughnut batter.

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