Inspiration has no name, or face. It comes in many forms and guises. Sometimes it takes the form of a young portrait photographer in her 20s. Clear-sighted, driven, focused and passionate about what she is doing, armed with a confidence that stems from inexperience and youth and is yet so darned compellingly infectious. So full of hope, that you allow it to rub off on you.
Sometimes, it’s a meeting with another Street photographer, who is living the artist’s life and is persistently working on her passion. Sometimes it’s a baker with similar sensibilities introduced to you by the Street photographer. Seeing another soul doing what you are trying to do is so heartening and inspiring at the same time!
At other times it is an interview of your favorite writer talking about never turning away a muse when she arrives. When someone of the said writer’s caliber and genius tells you that when an urge to do something strikes you (he is definitely not talking of the baser urges), you listen and follow it with the foolish obsessiveness that it deserves.
Sometimes it arrives in more simpler forms like a recipe from one of your favorite blogs or a glass-bowl of washed cherries sitting pretty in your refrigerator for the last 6 days. Who are you to turn that inspiration away? Instead you do not allow impediments such as having to manually pit a bowlful of cherries, or the unavailability of cornmeal come in the way. You plunge in with all the foolish obsessiveness that you possess and put in close to 2-hours into pitting cherries and staining your fingers and spurting cherry-juice all over. Then you proceed to lend some flavor to the bland cherries by cooking them in Balsamic Vinegar, brown sugar and butter and finally make the rest of the cake. Believe me when I tell you that when you give into inspiration, the results are nothing short of diiviiiine!
Here’s how taste heaven in a Cherry Upside Down Cake:
What you will need:
3 cups whole pitted fresh cherries
3/4 cup or 168 gms butter at room temperature
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Castor sugar
2 large eggs separated
3/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
How you make it:
- In a saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter till the sugar dissolves. Add the cherries and turn off the stove after the mixture boils.
- Pour into a wide cake pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper (I used a Pie-plate). Spread the cherries across the pan.
- Preheat oven to 350 degree/ 180 Celsius
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat the remaining butter with sugar in a large mixing bowl
- Add in egg yolks and vanilla essence.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites with clean dry beaters till they are foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat till the whites are stiff.
- Gently fold-in the eggs whites and pour the batter over the cherries.
- Tap the tin, to remove air-bubbles and bake for around 45 minutes, till a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate. Cut and taste heaven on a plate.