The Book Cook Mindy Kaling, Be My Bestie Ellen Clifford

Afternoon Cake and Blood Orange Mimosas

I have been rather in love with The Mindy Project since its beginning, so when I realized I could read a whole couple hundred pages penned by my beloved Mindy, I was in. She gives us fair warning right from the start of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) that this will not be like Tina Fey’s book. I love that book, but Mindy unabashedly does her own thing, and her own thing is a “pliest” – that would be a mash-up of the words “piece” and “list”. I love listing (see below), so the “pliest” factor got me even more on board with this book. It is sort of a long form list of her various “concerns” which range from men’s shaving habits to what makes her cry. What makes it tick is Mindy’s voice. She has a way of looking at the world that is funny and unique and at the same time so very, very relatable.

So. I came to one conclusion.

WE SHOULD BE BESTIES. Okay, I am not this first Giggler to have this thought. Plus Mindy already has a best friend, and I already have a best friend. However, we could still be best friends because as Mindy says in Season One, Episode Thirteen (I’m not obsessed) of The Mindy Project best friend “is a tier.” I think Mindy and I could be the kind of best friends that have way too much in common NOT to be best friends but we’re way too busy to get together often enough.

We wouldn’t be besties because we are twinsies or anything like that. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? made me realize that we do not have everything in common, but just enough of the essentials to count, such as:

  • We both spoke in Wayne’s World phrases. Way.
  • We have a weakness for romantic comedies even though we can see their flaws
  • Hello, Ghostbusters love
  • We don’t get what hooking up is
  • Neither of us have had one night stands because…
  • We are better than everyone
  • We love lists (see above)

This brings me to the similarity that is most important: BRUNCH! And when you brunch is just as important. I personally have always hated the “morning” concept both in general, and when it comes to brunch. The idea of getting up early enough on a weekend to make myself brunch-cute (yeah that is a thing) and make it out of the house in the a.m. in order to wait in line is ridiculous. I noticed that when Mindy cited never having to wait in line for brunch as something that would come with “the exact level of fame I want”, she says that she wants to “lazily eat out on a Sunday afternoon“. AHA! She is an afternoon brunch-er. Fabulous and brilliant. Fribbulent.

Mindy Kaling, let’s do brunch. I will make a marvelous treat. It will not be a cake for your morning coffee but an Afternoon Cake. For your adult beverage. And I will squeeze blood oranges to make a beautiful mimosa. Heck, I’ll make you eggs too if you like. Pancakes? I’m on it. And we can laze the afternoon away whilst toasting to our general smashingness.

Blood Orange Mimosa

  • Dash of creme de cassis
  • Blood orange juice, as much as you like
  • Chilled champagne, at least one bottle
  • Slices of blood orange to garnish

This one is easy. Put the creme de cassis and some blood orange juice in a champagne flute. How much juice you use is up to you and how long you want to sit there having brunch and refilling your glass is up to you, too. Stir the juice and creme up. Top with champagne. Garnish. Toast to general fabulousness.

Anytime Cake via my Aunt Beth via Barefoot Contessa Parties!

For cake:

  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For Streusel:

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced

For glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease (use the butter leftover on the butter wrapper! expert tip!) and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream 12 Tbsp. butter and sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment for 4-5 minutes until light n’ fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then toss in the vanilla and sour cream and blend. In another bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Turn mixer on low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula.

Place the streusel ingredients in another bowl and use your fingers to pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread with a knife. Sprinkle on 3/4 cup streusel. Spread the rest of the batter in, spread and sprinkle on remaining streusel. Bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack about 30 minutes. Unmold onto a serving platter.

In a bowl (the last bowl, I swear), whisk the glaze ingredients adding a droplet or so of water if you must to make it runny. And now…drizzle it on. Being a frosting fan I am prone to doubling frosting recipes. And pouring, as opposed to drizzling. Hallelujah it’s raining sugar.

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