Our friend Ellen Silverman, who photographs frequently for Improvised Life, sent us a compelling email the other day, with equally compelling photographs. She wrote:
What you do when you don’t know you are having an emotionally challenged day, and then you suddenly do something that makes you realize that you are deeply distracted by…big emotions you hadn’t put your finger on?
I hadn’t realize how sad I was that my son Luca would be returning to college the following day. All was fine until I locked the key to my padlock inside my locker at Bikram yoga at 7am, and had to call my husband to break the lock. (The alternative seemed even more daunting: getting into a taxi in sweat-chilled yoga clothes and telling the cab driver I had no money and would he drive me uptown and wait while I went to get money to pay him?)
Making Sally’s Bittersweet Chocolate Brownie Cake helped to focus me and made for a sweet end to our meal that evening. I add extra black pepper and candied orange peel. Topped with a big spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream. It was perfect distraction from the impending departure!
The cake in question is from Sally’s The Improvisational Cook. Ellen’s copy has become wonderfully discolored from many years of making the cake, a cookbook writer’s greatest complement. We have never known Ellen to make the cake the same way twice. This time she added extra black pepper and chopped candied orange peel. She pioneered throwing herbes de Provence salt into it, to add the subtle flavors of thyme, rosemary and lavender.
This time she served it on a wonderful graphic schedule from Film Forum. She also took her mind off her sadness by CREATING… wonderful images.
Click here for the recipe for the easiest and most dazzling chocolate cake around.