Resolve to Nothing

It’s a January Sunday morning, citrus season is in full effect, and the sun outside is bright and beckoning. But inside, there is this conflicting sense of warranted relaxation mixed with impending due diligence. It’s the calm before the shitstorm that is the weekly grind.

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Normal human beings would keep an open schedule, enjoy some peace and quiet, maybe spend a lot of time in the horizontal position, prepare for the week ahead with a day of unscheduled happenstance. Not me.

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Typical New Year’s resolutions tap either side of my brain like a game of ping pong on speed. How can I fit all of the things I want to do into this one day?

At 9 am, it feels like a vast field of opportunities. Let’s create some projects. I can do it all.

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The sad part is it’s all a set up. Like a moth to the flame, I will overbook the time I have, accomplish only part of my list, and ultimately fail at the very test that I gave to myself. I can hardly enjoy a day of nothing, because it will inevitably be following by something. And I need to be prepared.

Last year brought A LOT of momentous and noteworthy somethings. I started painting again. I finally started this blog. I ran a half-marathon (that gives me gym clearance for at least another month), and overall it was a really good year. But I spent a lot of time chasing perfection.

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So this year isn’t about productivity, or the treadmill, or any other cliché.

This year my resolution is to stop taking life so seriously.

Care less.

Be present.

Do nothing. Enjoy nothing.

And take a goddamn nap once in a while.

Okay, and maybe eat some grapefruit too. Let’s start with this cake.

Ruby Red Rosé Cake

Loosely adapted from this Lemon Layer Cake

The Cake
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
3 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs ruby red grapefruit zest
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
1/4 cup sparkling rosé wine

The Syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sparkling rosé wine
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split

The Glaze
1/8 cup Rosé Syrup (reserved from above)
1/8 cup freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare a bundt pan by greasing it with butter or cooking spray, and coating it with flour. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Add in the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.

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Add in the eggs, and egg yolks, one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated into the butter mixture. Scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla and grapefruit zest, and mix on medium speed for about a minute.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

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Measure together the rosé and grapefruit juice.

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On medium speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture, then alternate with half of the rosé and grapefruit juice. Repeat this process, scraping down the bowl as you add. Mix on medium speed until there are no lumps.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes. The cake will be done when the edges are browned, and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center.

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While the cake bakes, mix the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup rosé, 1/4 cup water, and vanilla in a medium-sized sauce pan. Over medium-low heat bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Once it cools, reserve 1/8 cup of the syrup and set it aside.

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To make the glaze, mix the sifted confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, grapefruit juice, and reserved syrup in a small bowl. If you like, stir in some small grapefruit pieces to add in flecks of pink color.

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While the cake is still warm, poke the top with a skewer to create long holes into the cake. Pour the syrup over the cake while it is still in the pan. Allow the syrup to completely absorb in (you may want to pour it over in two stages) before turning the cake out onto a serving tray or stand.

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When the cake is completely cool, pour the glaze over the top and serve.

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The syrup is not absolutely necessary, however (at the risk of using the most hated word in the English language), it will make it incredibly moist.

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And I do realize making this recipe may be doing something, but it is worth it, if only to do nothing more than enjoy a slice while you ponder doing nothing for the rest of the day.

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Note: Though the grapefruit flavor is very subtle, if you are not a huge fan, you can always substitute with another citrus, such as lemon or orange.

This entry was published on January 12, 2015 at 11:17 pm. It’s filed under Dessert, Fruit, Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Resolve to Nothing

  1. LOVE these amazingly beautiful photos-picture perfect as they say!

  2. This is beautiful!!! More! More!!

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