Food as comfort

A few months ago, I was having a difficult time with my (now former) job, and all I could think of to do was to bake cupcakes, seeking comfort in the simple act of blending sugar, butter, chocolate, and flour. Those cupcakes truly hit the spot, and while the actual putting-together of the ingredients was soothing enough, they tasted plenty delicious, too.

I was hit with some sort of awful virus this weekend, and have been out of commission for the past few days – hardly able to eat, let alone think about cooking. But last night I made matzo ball soup as part of Yom Kippur’s break-the-fast, and it hit the (small) spot for me as well. Really, is anything more perfect, comforting, or soothing as a lovely matzo ball cooked in vegetable broth and surrounded by a few carrot slices?

The thing about not eating too much when you love to cook, and to eat, is that you think about all the delicious things you will make once you’re feeling better. For some reason, one of the first things I anticipate baking is a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I might even indulge in a glass of milk (which I usually do not drink) to accompany them. While I can’t bear to think of anything other than soup at the moment (the stomach is a sensitive organ), I hope to partake in some delicious chocolatey goodness on the weekend, at the very least.

Boston Favorite Cake (made as cupcakes) from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

6 tb. butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and lightly flour a cupcake tin. Cream the butter until soft and add the sugar slowly, beating until light. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat to blend well. Sif the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternately blend the dry ingredients and the milk into the butter mixture in three stages, and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir a third of the whites into the cake batter, and then gently fold in the rest.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes and cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack.

NOTE: the cake flour is key here, for it makes the cakes very light.

I frosted with a simple chocolate frosting.

Join the Conversation

  1. I would totally cook for you if you had told me who you are! Please? Do I love you?

  2. OH MAN!!!
    I just read your entire blog and now I am STARVING! When will you be back East to cook for me again? Please? I love you?

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