Hot Polka Dot

Creeps and Cake.

Dear Creepy Neighbour,

I saw you creeping last night. What you were really doing at 1 and 2 am in your front yard with a tarp, a halogen lamp and a stack of junk I'll never know.

I know what it looked like you were doing. I half expected you to drag a lifeless body out your front door and start rolling that sucker up.

Which is why I felt it was my civic duty as unofficial head of neighbourhood watch to leer out my upstairs window at you. I may or may not have busted out my telescopic camera lens to leer a little closer. Those things don't work so great at night... or so I hear.

Just a word to the wise, try your very best not to do weird things at all hours of the night. I have a very big imagination and it will, without a doubt, conjure up a much more interesting explanation for your midnight activities than the truth. Folding up tarps and shining lights into people's windows doesn't exactly get you invited to all the cool barbecues.

Speaking of which, do you think you can manage not to shine 500 watts of light willy nilly around the block including into my bedroom windows? Halogen work lamps aren't flashlights. That would really help me sleep at night.

And by the way, it's called a yard not a landfill. You have ten square feet of dirt to look after. A patch of grass or even a small tree is much more aesthetically pleasing than a pile of all manner of junk. Do you think you could, oh I don't know, clean that mess up? You know, as long as that doesn't stimulate your trigger itch. I don't want to wind up snug as a bug in a... tarp.

I'd suggest you channel your creepy energy and redirect it on some cake baking. It's a much more constructive task when compared to your regular activities like scaring the neighbours, glaring at pedestrians, harbouring mean cats, collecting broken down piece of junk cars, or hiding bodies in your freezer.

Thanks a bunch.


That girl across the street.

PS: You don't get any of my cake!

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Source: Adapted from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Lover's Angel Food Cake.

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cake flour (or substitute)
1/4 tsp salt
16 egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp cream of tartar

Strawberries, hulled and sliced for garnish
Whipped cream for topping

Note: This recipe is meant for a 10 inch tube pan, but I didn't have one of those so I used a 9 inch spring form pan instead.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Set aside your ungreased tube pan or spring form pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until it's smooth then mix in the vanilla.

In a separate medium bowl whisk together the 3/4 cup of sugar, cake flour and salt.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites until they're frothy then add in the cream of tartar and beat it further until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the 1 cup of remaining sugar and beat it until stiff peaks form.

Remove 1 heaping cup of egg white mixture and place it in the cocoa bowl. Dust the flour mixture over the remaining egg whites about a 1/4 cup at a time making sure to fold each addition quickly but gently with a spatula. It's not necessary to incorporate every speck until the final addition of flour mixture.

Whisk that heaping cup of egg whites into the cocoa mixture then fold it into the rest of the batter until it's uniform. Pour the batter into pan until there's about a 3/4 inch space left of the edge. Run a spatula or knife through the batter to assure there are no air pockets. Bake it for about 35 - 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed. The cake will rise above the top of the pan then fall back down when you take it out of the oven. There will be deep cracks in the top which is why you flip it upside down.

Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan. To do so with a tube pan gently run a sharp knife around the edge and flip it out onto the serving plate. For a spring form pan make sure the cake is slightly pulled away from the edges before you unhinge it then carefully peel back the bottom plate while flipping it onto a serving plate. Top it with sliced strawberries and serve it with whipping cream. Enjoy!

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Comments (30) Trackbacks (0)
  1. hahaha, hilarious story. hope the neighbor is just weird and not really up to anything suspicious! oh, and the cake looks airily delicious, too. ;)

  2. TSK! Neighbours! Am I right or what?! I discovered (or was completely surprised and shocked by) major neighbour evilness yesterday. Can you ever live some place where you actually *want* to share a cake with your neighbours? I’m starting to think not.

    Completely unrelated, but you don’t show up on my google feed anymore…weird.

    • I know right? There are a couple neighbours that are tolerable but the majority of them I don’t want anything to do with.

      That’s odd about the google feed. I hope that’s not a mass issue.

  3. Looks great…:) well done.!

  4. Oh my, that is creepy, I wouldn’t be able to mind my own business either…lol This cake looks awesome…chocolate and strawberries do so well together!

  5. looks delicious
    never used so many egg whites

    • It’s an insane amount of egg whites! I wanted to follow the recipe to the letter. I was crossing my fingers that it would work out because who really wants to waste a carton and a half of eggs?

  6. Beautiful cake, I would love to eat that. But boy, there are a lot of egg whites in this! I think I would have had to make a lot of ice cream with the egg yolks to offset the balance ;o)

  7. Hilarious, once again! Oh, and the cake looks good too!

  8. The cake looks so soft and moist. Good job:)!

  9. Ew! So creepy. Quite poignant when juxtaposed against the chocolate loveliness.

    Bodies in the freezer = not good.

  10. When we were discussing this on Twitter I really wanted you to sneak downstairs and explore a little closer or at the very least take photos and post them. I decided to be the good human that I am and not suggest such things lest creepy neighbor be prone to violence. I think taunting him with cake is a better option. :)

  11. Beautiful cake, the strawberries are a perfect complement! Wacky neighbors always give us something to talk about! =)

  12. keke hilarious story! And the cake looks fabulous. Hope you resolve the creep issue (=

  13. Hilarious story, but sorry you have such a creepy neighbour! The cake looks lovely. I love making homemade angel food cakes, even with all the egg whites it calls for. My only problem is I end up letting the yolks go to waste before I can use them:)

    • I think I might have the same problem. I don’t even know how long egg yolks last outside the shell. I’m not sure I want to chance it with something like custard because the freshness of the eggs is so important.

  14. Oh, girl…if only all neighbors could be like us. The world would truly be a better place.
    And really, you totally almost made me choke on my orange soda. It was the telescopic camera lens line that did me in.
    Beautiful cake, as always. :)

  15. 16 egg whites! That is a lot. What did you do with the egg yolks?

  16. I have a creepy neighbor story as well – my hubby was away and the guy came home from the bar so drunk, he thought my doorknob was HIS house. Never been so scared in my life. He was totally mortified the next day (after I called the cops to help him into his house), and I ended up baking him some banana bread. Doesn’t make sense, I know. Ah, creepy neighbors, life really doesn’t need you!
    Oh, and your cake looks amazing!

  17. oooh creepy! lindsey that’s just hilarious! the best we ever get is that two of our neighbors like to play the piano in the middle of the night. and our houses were all built in the early 1900s…not the best sound control. so we get creepy phantom of the opera music at all hours. haha

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