Beloved Food Lovers,
With vines that wrap themselves around the trees of the tropic, and flowering lips that reach out to greet you with a fragrantly sweet kiss, it is blasphemous to hear vanilla used as a term to mean something plain or boring. It’s unfortunate that the unknowing mistake vanilla’s subtle seductive nature as unexciting. The fruit produced by the flowering vanilla orchid adds spice in dessert-making and enhances the appetite for lovemaking. Urban legend tells of the daughter of a fertility goddess who fell in love with a mortal, forbidden to marry him, she transforms herself into a gorgeous vanilla orchid so that she could provide him with sensual pleasure. Consequently, the scent and flavor of vanilla have aroused men ever since. Science has proven that it is one of the most attractive scents to them. “Under the influence of an alluring scent, one is tempted to suspend rational thought and follow the lead of emotion” (Elaine Sciolino, “Seduction”), this is particularly true of the effect that vanilla has on the male libido. So you see the unassuming vanilla bean makes seduction a piece of cake. The sweet smell permeated my apartment all last week as I baked exclusively with vanilla bean. I originally made my beautiful Sexier than You Know Vanilla Cake for my “date” that I mentioned in Fish Tales. Instead of hand feeding it to the absent beau, it became a gift to those I see on my daily grind. My daughter and I shared the decorated cake, but I made my signature ♥’Cakelettes with the extra batter . My only intention was to warm someone’s heart with an unexpected surprise. As I handed individually wrapped heart-shaped pound cakes to the security guards of the building where I work, it was love at first bite for one of them. He craved the cake so badly that he asked me “How much for a box of these?” the next time he saw me. His enthusiasm caused another person to request a box of his own ♥’Cakelettes too. Then, when I shared with a friend that people liked my ♥’Cakelettes well enough to buy them, he too placed an order!! It turned out to be a fruitful gesture. This sexy golden vanilla bean attracted more than a date, I thought to myself, as I gave much gratitude while counting my cake. Nothing bland about that.
Meditation while you mix and bake: Golden vanilla bean, warm the hearts of all who taste this subtly seductive and sexy cake.
Love is always the first ingredient in amorous cooking
♥ = love stimulant ♥♥ = sexual desire stimulant
SEXIER THAN YOU KNOW VANILLA BEAN CAKE
|2 ½ cups flour, sifted||4 ounces unsalted butter, softened|
|2 ½ teaspoons baking powder||8 ounces cream cheese, softened|
|½ teaspoon kosher salt||2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted|
|¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature||½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste|
|1 ¾ cups sugar (friendship) ♥|
|3 large eggs, room temperature ♥|
|1 ¼ cups whole milk, room temperature|
|1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste ♥♥|
|1 vanilla bean, scraped♥♥||Garnish with a vanilla bean ♥♥|
|I made a vanilla bean glaze with buerre noisette for the ♥’Cakelettes – kicks the flavor profile up exponentially! Yum. Yum.|
|DIRECTIONSPre-heat oven to 350 degrees F; coat cake pans with baker’s cooking spray (with flour)
1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside
2. In a large bowl, beat butter until soft
3. Slowly add the sugar and cream until the butter and sugar are pale yellow and fluffy
4. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time
5. Beat in eggs, one at a time, add vanilla beans
6. Mix the vanilla bean paste in the milk
7. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beat in 3 additions, alternating with the vanilla milk mixture in 2 additions. Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients come together.
8. Transfer to prepared cake pan(s), fill cavity about ¾ full
9. Bake cake(s) until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
10. Invert cake(s) onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting, at least an hour
1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth
2. Slowly add sugar, ½ cup at a time
3. Add vanilla bean paste
4. Mix until frosting is smooth and fluffy
5. For a thicker consistency, for pipe decorating, add more confectioners’ sugar.