from Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist
“How are workers expected to survive on minimum wage when every dollar goes
toward their rent?”
“What do I care? Let them eat cake.”
“Our budget shows that every one of our managers will get an end-of-year bonus.”
Jill: “What about the rest of the employees?”
Jack: “Such is life. Let them eat cake.”
This type of obliviousness of their own advantages and numbness to the misfortunes of working-class people on the part of the privileged is a feature of all of human history, unfortunately.
head was being lopped off by the guillotine at the Place de la Concorde, a
major public square in Paris, plantation slaves in the Caribbean were fermenting molasses, a by-product
of the sugar refining process, into alcohol. Distillation of the by-products
concentrated the alcohol and removed some impurities, which produced the first
modern rums. It didn’t take long
for rum to find its way to delectable French pastry and voilà—the soggy, boozy, classic French dessert, Baba
au Rhum cake was born in Paris—too late for Antoinette, who would have relished
it, no doubt, but just in time for us to delight our guests with it at any
The cake recipe was created by David Tanis and yields a dozen babas. The frosting is from a cookbook by Shelia Del Guercio that is now out of print. The beauty for busy cooks is that a small, unsoaked portion, or all of them, can be stored away in the freezer for up to two months. A day before their debut on your table, defrost and then keep them in an airtight container. If yours is a big and/or a really hungry crowd, bake up several batches ahead of time and freeze them. For best results, you need a tender and sticky dough, so be sparing in the amount of flour you incorporate into the mixture. Or, place the dough in the refrigerator for a while, because cold dough is easier to handle.
Soak raisins in water while you prepare complete the next step. In a separate medium-size bowl, work together butter and flour until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Drain raisins then add to egg-yeast mixture. Whip with a wooden spoon to a soft, sticky dough, or prepare dough in a standing mixer. Cover bowl and set in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Butter 2 mini-muffin tins or 12 mini-ramekins. Uncover dough, dust with flour, and turn it out to a clean work surface. Add flour as necessary to make dough manageable and knead lightly to a large, slightly sticky ball. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (about 2 ounces/55 grams). Dust the pieces with flour, roll into separate balls, and place in the muffin tins or ramekins. Cover loosely and set in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the balls double in size.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Bake babas 15 to 20 minutes until lightly brown on top. Turn babas out of their molds and onto a baking sheet. Return to oven for 5 minutes to brown all over. Remove from oven and cover the babas with a clean towel to keep them soft. Store cooled babas in an airtight container at room temperature if making in advance of imminent serving.
Meanwhile, clean and hull the strawberries, setting aside 12 of them. Place the rest of the strawberries in a bowl and pour over them all of the designated liqueurs. Stir gently and let sit for 1 hour. Then fold into the mixture with a rubber spatula the whipped cream and ice cream. For each guest, cut 1 baba in half horizontally and place on a dessert plate. Top with an additional scoop of coffee ice cream, the strawberry/liquor mixture, and crown with a whole strawberry.
Or substitute the ice cream with a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry on top.
Readers were introduced to American Nicholas Plato in multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s A Chace at the Moon, which was published in 2019 and is available for purchase at Amazon.
Although they are as mismatched as two persons can be, a strangely inevitable friendship takes hold between them. It is a relationship that can only be directed by an unseen hand bent on setting Nicholas on a mystifying voyage of self-discovery and Potter on revelations of universal certainties.
A blend of visionary and inspirational fiction with a touch of romance, this is a tale of Nicholas’ journey into parts unknown, both within his adopted home and himself, a quest that in the end leads him to his true purpose for living.
Garden of the Spirits of the Pots is available in eBook and/or paperback on Amazon.
Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.
She found her way to
her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions
and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is
also a member of artist and writer associations.
Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook. Linda loves to hear from readers so feel free to email her.