You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here lately. Not because I’ve got nothing to say (lol that could never happen). But there’s actually been a ton of commotion IRL that I’ve had to make sense of. During that commotion came this hazelnut cake with ombre cream cheese frosting, but we’ll get to that.
February was chaos. There was good chaos—I began trekking to Berkeley for my food writing class, making for long but fulfilling days. I took a girls’ trip to Sayulita and read a book that changed the way I thought about human consciousness. I saw Anderson Paak. And Drake re-released his first album, So Far Gone, for its 10 (!) year anniversary.
There was also unexpected chaos. A recruiter reached out on LinkedIn, and a few weeks later, I decided to leave my job to pursue this new opportunity. As sad as I’ve felt upon leaving (I spent most of last week unabashedly crying at the office), I’m beyond excited and nervous to push my career in the direction I’ve wanted.
Chaos is annoying and scary. But chaos is a form of entropy, and it is through entropy that the mind expands and reaches new heights. As I close this chapter and take a few weeks off before beginning the next, I want to give my mind some rest. Quiet the anxiety little by little and remember what I’ve learned and what to take with me forward. Remember that your path is your own; it needs no comparison to anyone else’s because it is good enough.
Another way to quiet the anxiety is by cooking. I made this hazelnut cake for boy’s birthday, so I wanted it to be unique. It’s a very personal thing, making a cake for someone you love. In restaurants, you’re designing recipes based on what you know and like and want to educate the customer on. In my home kitchen, I’m making this cake specifically for him, so I want it to showcase the flavors he likes. And since I decided to also throw him a surprise party, everyone would be looking at and eating this cake so no pressure.
Winter desserts are furthermore difficult because spring’s colorful produce hasn’t hit yet. Boy isn’t a chocolate fan, so I achieved a warm and dense flavor roasting and grinding hazelnuts into my own flour. Cream cheese frosting was easy cuz buttercream is gross (yeah I said it). And to get some color, I made it ombre blue and topped the cake with homemade candied orange peels.
This cake took time, as all good things do. And to create something personal for someone special makes all the chaos worth it.