. . .
Today is Isa’s birthday. She’s my French sister. I acquired her when my brother was smart enough to grab her and never let her go. They live in France with the two perfect little girls they made for me.
Isa is all pretty and stuff, and is one of those annoying people who wakes up in the morning looking good enough to go out in public without bathing. I’m talking no make up, people. She just rolls out of bed and is all: lets go to a market! It really fries my bacon. Mostly because when I wake up, it looks like rats have been sucking on my hair.
Also, as far as I can tell, Isa is not afraid to be seen in a bathing suit. In my eyes, this makes her about the bravest person I know. I don’t even own a bathing suit. Should I ever be taken hostage by some sort of militaristic organization (I guess a food-related war has broken out in this scenario), I imagine they would make me parade around in a bathing suit. Without the use of self-tanner. But Isa is child of the French seashore. Basically, she’s a mermaid. That’s how it works over there.
So, Isa, my beauteous French mermaid, I made something for you. I made you this cake. It takes something seemingly simple – some butter, flour and eggs – and makes it just a little more special. Like you did with our family. You took our sh*t to the next level. I took an old-school recipe for dinette cake and then added Kirsch. That’s a cherry brandy. And then I made a creamy Kirsch glaze, and spread it all over the top. The Kirsch gives the cake a gentle cherry-almond flavour. And the glaze gives the cake a kick in the pants.
I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, dear friend.
. . .
Dinette Cake with Kirsch and Kirsch Glaze – cake recipe adapted only slightly from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1969) – print and bake
Makes one 9×9 inch square pan.
For the cake:
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup whole/homogenized milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 teaspoons Kirsch
For the glaze:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1 tablespoon Kirsch
- 1 tablespoon hot water (more or less according to desired consistency)
To make the cake:
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low for about 30 seconds. (You could, of course, use a hand-held mixer.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl, and then mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. You will probably have some small lumps of butter in the mixture. Don’t fret.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
To make the creamy glaze:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and Kirsch. Stir in the water, remove from heat, and then continue mixing until all lumps are gone. Spread over slightly warm cake. (Make your glaze just before you plan to use it, as it will get crusty if it sits for any time. Should this happen, stir well before spreading.)