Wednesday, July 14, 2010

in the spirit of making homage...

....what an interesting idea!
I heard this morning from Vancouver based Elaine who sent me a link to her flickr site as she had heard too late about the Open Studio Week Event to send in postcard but felt the idea behind the theme was important and so came up with a lovely idea to post an image on her flickr site for each day of the Open Studio Week. She read the lovely Lucy's blog post about it....and so ...the idea popped into her mind and here are some wonderful shots with her text....(hope thats alright Elaine) and all I can say about the last shot is I wish Elaine was baking for our Seedpod Cafe which is mentioned at the following post I did last night!!!

188/365 by Elle-Epp

"Homage to the Seed", an art show of hand made postcards, is taking place July 12th-18th, 2010 at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

I can't send postcards in time for the show as I just learned about it a few days ago, but I thought I'd join in by making seeds and seed pods my "365" subjects this week.

Banksia seed pod vase by Elle-Epp.

187/365: Banksia seed pod vase by Elle-Epp.

"Homage to the Seed", an art show of hand made postcards, begins today at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

I can't send a postcard in time for the show but I thought I'd focus on seeds for my 365 photos this week. 

Usually this vase sits on an end table in my living room but for "artistic purposes", I photographed it in a more natural setting. Of course, Australia would be the most natural setting because Banksia is an Australian wildflower -- how lovely to have another link to this country when "Homage to the Seed" is taking place in Brisbane this week. 

Plum-Cardamom Upside-Down Cake by Elle-Epp.

Plum-Cardamom Upside-Down Cake

Plum Syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (this is less than the original recipe calls for)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
about 15-18 Italian prune plums, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick

11/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

To make the plum syrup: 
Line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. 
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. 
Whisk in the brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. 
Remove from the heat and whisk until smooth. 
Pour the syrup into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Arrange the plum slices, slightly overlapping them, in 3 rows, completely covering the bottom of the pan.

To make the cake: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and cardamom onto a piece of parchment paper or into the bowl. 
Add the salt and set aside. 
In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the milk and vanilla and set aside.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. 
Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing well after each addition. 
Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. 
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then continue to beat for 1 minutes. 
Spread the batter on top of the plums.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. 
Let cool for 15 minutes. 
Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake, invert a platter on top of the pan, and then invert the plate and pan together. LIft off the pan and carefully remove the parchment paper.
Slice the cake and serve warm or at room temperature .

Planning Ahead
The cake is best served the day it is made. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Variation: After arranging plums in bottom of pan, sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon & drizzle lightly with maple syrup. 

Source: adapted from Classic Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti.

Now that looks good Elaine....for the sake of simplicity we will be keeping our pop-up cafe menu brief... read on the next post... Today date and ginger slice is on offer or chocolate hedgehog slice! 

Saturday we have baristas coming with the real deal coffee machine to make our organic, fairtrade coffee... They have a unique set up - all profits go to their chosen charity links - here and Africa... their work voluntarily and take no pay!
If you live here come along saturday if you are free -  taste their coffee - our coffee supplier Daniel from links up with these barisas and also does the same deal! Inspired people!


Mlle Paradis said...

sophie! so far, lookin so good! as does that plum cardamom cake! it all looks so fun too and a great response. i look forward to the next installment.

yup, back from la belle france........

xoxo pooped paradis!

Sophie Munns said...

Fab to hear form you MP....hope it was an excellent time...looking forward to hearing all your news...
very busy... about to jump in car and head....
thanks for good always...

Maggie Neale said...

Hi Sophie, love seeing that cake. It reminds me of the upside down cakes I love to make...peaches, pineapple. I put something in the mail yesterday. Late but good to stay with homage to the seed and send it off. Stay well in your busyness.

Sophie Munns said...

delighted you have sent something! Everyday some people comment that they hope it will go on all year and people will just feel like keeping on adding to the collection.
I will show them can be sure of that!

La Dolce Vita said...

i have to go check out the link and I know the post cards must be awesome! Doll show is almost here and then I have a bit of a breather... that cake is beautiful!! xx's to you dear Sophie

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Cat...lovely to hear from you!
You've been so busy and I must admit I haven't been visiting anyone with any kind of consistency ...

Looking forward to hearing and reading all about your doings very soon...
take care... and have a brilliant show!
S xoxo

elaine said...

Oh Sophie. What a lovely surprise to read this today.

Thank you for including my photos in your show. You really have inspired me to pay homage to the seeds this week. Usually at this time of year (mid-summer up here), I'm focusing on flowers. But for the past few days, I've been looking for seed pods.

Oh, the plum cake really is awesome & I highly recommend it. Wish I could bring some by and share it with you over tea.

I'll be continuing to follow the show.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Elaine...I thought it was great to post this up because quite a few people have been so supportive yet concerned they had not been able to send a card and it was too late!
It was the perfect example that the homage idea can live on elsewhere in different ways and forms.

The central goal of the year was to 'champion the seed' so that people would be reminded or learn about the threats to both environmental and agricultural plant species - with seed viability profoundly affected through a series of critical factors.
the cake made us all drool!
bye for now!