OK, that’s not all we ate. It was staggered between a bowl of oatmeal, strawberries and blackberries, leftover bean salad and some greens, but after a mid-afternoon birthday brunch, none of us were much in the mood for dinner. I’ve decided that on these occasions the most recent meal should count as the default.
Besides, I want to tell you about a chocolate cake that’s low in fat, made with canola oil and tastes like a giant Jos Louis.
But first, brunch: the usual suspects – poached eggs, back bacon, and yes hollandaise since I have recently become reacquainted with it and had people over to safely dispose of (read: take home) the leftovers. And cinnamon bun French toast. A few weeks ago my parents dropped by on their way home from IKEA with a 6-pack of cinnamon buns, and since it a) was 9 o’clock at night, and b) there are only 2 1/2 of us, there wasn’t much to do with them but stash them in the freezer until they could be called into service for an occasion such as this. It was either cinnamon bun bread pudding or cinnamon bun French toast; since bread pudding still seems to still have very few fans, I decided not to risk it.
In case you’re wondering, you make cinnamon bun French toast the same way you’d make it with bread; slice them in half or in thirds, crosswise (they’re thick), dip in egg-milk-vanilla, and cook in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet with a bit of canola oil.
Now, the cake. Chocolate, of course, with my favorite frosting: known in my grandma’s battered cookbooks as 7 Minute Frosting, Boiled Icing or Seafoam (when made using brown sugar), it’s a light, creamy, meringue-like, marshmallowy whip that is beaten in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water in order to cook the egg whites. The light and creamy texture makes it easy to spread, it’s fat-free (yes I realize it’s loaded with sugar, but no more than regular buttercream frosting, which also contains butter and/or shortening), and takes on flavorings and food coloring very well. (The chocolate cake is delish with peppermint-spiked frosting.) Add a few drops of color to the water if you want to tint the frosting, or drop it in at the end to create a swirled effect. My only complaint is that the ultra-whiteness of it tends to show off every chocolate crumb.