I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day.
I know many people don’t enjoy this day, viewing it as a hugely commercial event, one that is a purely made-up celebration to sell overpriced roses and sappy cards.
While that may be the case, as the day nears, I can’t help but think pink, heart-shaped thoughts.
This isn’t so much because of the romantic angle, it’s actually more because of the memories that Valentine’s Day awakens. Come February 14th, I always think of my father.
While my parents weren’t the type to get all mushy, my father always brought flowers home for my mother and for me. And no matter what, I can’t help but feel just a bit sad each Valentine’s Day since he’s been gone.
Usually he would buy red roses, but one year, knowing my love of the colour pink, he came home with an arrangement of silk flowers in a pink container. When I took a closer look at the container, I noticed that it said "It’s a Girl!" on it. English being my father’s second language, I doubt he even noticed that. But to this day, I look at that little arrangement and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.
It would be easy to get caught in the frenzy of Valentine’s Day. As someone who loves to bake, the temptation to try my hand at the most elaborate of desserts is a strong one. But knowing my father, he’d appreciate something simple and basic.
And when I think of simple and basic, I always think of a beautiful, golden yellow cake. There is nothing fancy about this one. Once you find a recipe you like, you could probably make it with your eyes closed as it’s so easy. You don’t have to set the timer because you’ll know by sight and smell that it’s done. You can eat it on its own, you can frost it, you can freeze it, you can do a million things with it. It’s reliable, safe, delicious and beautiful in its simplicity.
It’s just like my papÃ .
Note: The recipe for this particular cake is from Anna Olson’s Another Cup of Sugar. This was the first time that I tried the recipe so I’m not comfortable posting it as I have not adapted it in any way. However, you can try this recipe or this one, as they both yield a very similar cake. Once cooled, I split my little cakes in half and spread some strained cherry jam on one of the halves, and then put the cakes back together. I topped the cakes with a rich chocolate ganache. Enjoy!