Monday, 8 October 2007

An Angry Baker

Omenakakku (Finnish Apple Cake)

I've been feeling really annoyed, irritable and even angry. I think it's a combination of having too much on my plate (and I don't mean food), feeling like I cannot accomplish all that I need to at a standard that I want them to be and two deadlines coming up close together. Even looking at all the inspiring blogs doesn't seem to help because I feel guilty that I am not spending that time on my research. (Dear fellow bloggers, you will probably not see many comments from me till next weekend, but I look forward to catching up on your cooking and baking after I get a few things out of the way).

Today, I was telling Eva a dear friend and a food blogger, about all this and she remarked that she cannot imagine me acting this way because I am usually calm. Unfortunately, the person who got the brunt of my cranky mood has been my partner, Quikong. This makes me feel somewhat guilty because he has been very patient and understanding. And he's done most of the cooking for the last two weeks because of this. He is really a saviour because it's tough for me to go through such challenging times without my family around me.

When I am in a fiery and agro mood like this, I like to run. But I get back home too late these days, so I baked instead. I usually bake when I am in a giving and loving mood. But I can be an angry baker. Bread would normally be a good way to let off steam because all that kneading is a good way to get rid of all the nervous energy. But I am so short of time so I wanted to bake something quick and stress-free. Thankfully, Wendy's Omenakakku (Finnish Apple Cake) recipe came to the rescue. Her original recipe can be found here.


My adjustments: I used low-fat sour cream, added 1 tsp vanilla essence and 1 tsp ground cinnamon in the batter. I also tossed the apples (granny smith) in cinnamon sugar. Use the best quality butter you can find.

Tasting Notes:
~ I've already made this twice since Wendy posted the recipe so that's testament of how much I enjoyed this cake. The cake was perfectly moist without being too buttery. The sour cream is probably responsible for that (look here for baking with yogurt, which also results in moist cakes that are lower in fat).
~ What increased the moreish factor of this cake is the mingling flavours of the apples with cinnamon.
~ It had just the right amount of sweetness.
~ A plus point for me is that this cake also freezes well. When I don't give away my cakes, I like to freeze them for "emergency" situations. My only regret is that I didn't have enough apples when I baked the cake that you see in the photos, so I used more apples the second time round.


This recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Wendy!

32 comments:

Wendy said...

Soooo glad you enjoyed this, Nora! :)
Totally understand your feeling of being snowed under - I've had it a few times this term. It's not pleasant at all! Big hugs to you!

Lydia said...

Oh how I wish that I could use baking to get over the frantic work stress! Alas, I'm not much of a baker, so instead I cook "big" -- stews and soups -- throwing everything into a pot is just the therapy I need!

katiez said...

I love apple cake and this looks wonderful! I use yogurt a lot in baking...not that I bake much.
I pull weeds when I'm in that kind of mood - which is productive..or play mindless computer games, which is not!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Looks great. I like to cook when I've had a hard day -- I always feel better when I accomplish something that I get to eat.

Anh said...

Nora my dearest, I know how you feel... I just went over a research stress with my PHD when everything was kinda out of control. Just take care and concentrate, you can do it!!!

Best wishes!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Sorry you've so much on your plate. I hope it all calms down soon. Most people get angry sometimes and it's always those we are most close to that take the brunt of it! Ask my husband. Look after yourself. x
p.s. great cake, angry or not!

Valli said...

There must be something in the air!! Perhaps it is that time of year when summer is over and a new season has begun. We get into nesting mode like little squirrels and feel that we need to accomplish so much before the cold weather comes. Work gets in the way sometimes of our well being. I am usually the calm one at work but I feel the stress of a new doctor being taking over the office and all the changes..and uncertainty. Glad you baked up a storm Nora.Looks delicious and comforting too!!!

Aimée said...

I've tasted two different apple cakes this weekend-must be the new 'in' thing! Yours looks far prettier than anything I've tried, though. Cheer up! We all need some time off the radar (I'm imagining mine will be about 5 months from now when I have the baby!)

Big Boys Oven said...

Well! I am hap[y that you are able to find something to do to keep yourself busy and from your stress, you need that in order to keep yourdself from thinking other non benificial things. Love your cake!

KJ said...

Hi Nora, I'm sorry things are so tough right now. I hope the light at the end of tunnel pops up for you soon.

At least you have this fantastic apple cake to comfort you. It looks delicious.

Take care.

veron said...

Oh Nora B. I've been in your situation before and it IS really annoying. Yes, I heard bread is a great stress reliever...besides the wonderful smell from the oven can also be considered aromatherapy. This is a gorgeous apple cake!

winedeb said...

Don't get too stressed out Nora! Take a deep breath and have a glass of wine! Sometimes we just have to set our priorities, whether we like them or not, and focus on them one by one. I am so glad Wendy's cake helped your stress. It looks wonderful! Take care of yourself girl! Many hugs:)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I hope life lightens up for you and that you can get it a good, long run to destress soon. I look forward to seeing new kitchen delights from you when you're over the hump.

Belinda said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have been stressed lately...sometimes things can just get so hectic that it is hard to find joy in anything until you feel you have gained some sense of control again. Nora, I am a huge fan of apple cakes, so I'm delighted to see this one! It looks beautiful, and sounds delicious. And it seems that you do equally beautiful baking whether you are in angry or happy mode. :-) Take care of yourself, and you will soon find balance again.

tigerfish said...

Wooo...don't be angry, okie? Just take time for your research and I'll be looking out for you once you are done with your papers :D

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hey Nora, hang in there! we've all been there at one point or another and used our loved ones as punching bags! poor Quikong too, make it up to him, somehow, huh?
As for the cake, it looks beautifully moist. I'm sure it tastes great too!

valentinA said...

I'm undergoing the same thing as you Nora, I don't feel that I've progressed in my research as well:(
But keep your chin up!

Eva said...

I hope this situation won't be going on for much longer - and then you can enjoy cooking and blogging as much as ever! Surely, such a comforting apple cake will soothe anger and relieve stress!

East Meets West Kitchen said...

I totally understand the mood you're in, and it too shall pass. Hang in there, and enjoy your lovely apple bake. Hugs!

Kelly-Jane said...

Hope it all calms down for you soon Nora, stress is horrible!

I bake when I'm stressed too, for theraputic reasons :) hee hee. Take care though :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora,
I hope these trouble times go away soon. But I must say that you as an angry baker have made something delicious - I want to try this recipe soon!

Truffle said...

I just love the sound of this!

I hope you're feeling better now. I can be an angry baker too!

Susan said...

This cake looks wonderfully moist! Take care of yourself, and don't worry about the commenting. I understand life can get pretty hectic sometimes. :)

Toni said...

Wow! You bake when you're angry? I couldn't do that if my life depended on it! Too much detail! I'd rather run in the dark than bake when I'm angry! But I think your solution was genius, because it helped you with your mood AND you got to eat this stunning cake!

Kate said...

oh i do hope u feel better. It ok to feel this way ...everyone has their "off" days. I'm having a really bad week in the kitchen where everything thing i've tried to bake n cook has turned out awful.Hhehe u wont believe it , i asked my hubby to cook as well today ....just to see if t'll change my bad streak ! Hope to see you feeling better n back in action son .

Cynthia said...

Nora, I am so glad that there is something you can do that we can all enjoy that helps deal that helps you get rid of the anger, irritance and annoyance, even if it is only momentarily.

Hope things settle down soon.

Thinking of you fondly.

Half Baked said...

I find baking a great stress reliever as well. Your apple cake looks beautiful and delicious. Hang in there, I hope things get better soon!

Rosa said...

I get stressed looking at other people's blogs too! You're not alone! But, when you get a change, I'm sure it would do you good to bang some bread dough around. Works for me.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Nora, Just wanted to say thinking of you. x

Shaun said...

Nora - However taxing it is to be embedded in your obligations, it is necessary from time to time to step away from it and get a little perspective. I, too, like to exercise when I get agitated, and I specifically took up yoga so I can do a session in 20 or so minutes at any time, especially if I don't have time to run, which is what I used to do.

As for Quikong, well, honey, that's what partners a for: support systems through the good and the bad. It works both ways, too.

Everything4sweets said...

Hi Nora, you are lucky you have a hobby, baking or cooking, so can get over any thing that made you stress, lovely apple cake.

Tartelette said...

I hope thigs are finally getting better for you. Thanks for sharing this with us in the middle of everything.