December 1st is World AIDS Day.
Back before I was blogging about baking. I was a food blog stalker. Admit it, many of us started that way. At the time I was the author of expat blog that focused on my adventures living abroad and sometimes featuring my cooking. I found myself more and more fascinated by food blogs. One of my favorite at that time was Angela's Spinach Tiger.
One day I read a post of hers calling bloggers to Cook Red to Remember. Detailing the account of her brother's battle with AIDS, the piece was both moving and inspiring. Angela's gorgeous heartfelt writing left me in tears and I traveled back in time opening old wounds of my own. The Cook Red to Remember challenge propelled me into the kitchen.
I made these angel ribbon cookies, wrote a post on my own experiences during the heart of the AIDS epidemic and sent it to her. Like I said, I was not a food blogger at the time and I was and still am no great cookie decorator. The cookie design was inspired by Angels in America and executed with a Keith Haring style twist. I believe Angels is one of the most beautiful plays ever written. I remembered sitting next to Yoko Ono in the Broadway production of part two on World AIDS Day in the early 90s, both of us sitting silent with tears streaming down our faces. Anyway. I digress. When I sent my post to Angela it was one of the very first interactions I had with another blogger. I was insecure and sorta felt like the kid on the outside of the playground looking in.
Her response was amazing. I felt a kindred spirit and without knowing it she helped open the door to my confidence of interacting with other bloggers. I am thrilled she is back this year with her wonderful Cook Red to Remember tribute.
In addition to being seasonal, this cake has a double meaning. The red is to remember and the tiger twist is a belated thank you to Angels for our exchange those years ago. It led to so much positive communication with other bloggers and gave me the courage to start this baking blog.
To all my friend living with AIDS, I love you so much and cherish that you are here. To all my friends, coworkers, teachers and mentors who died of AIDS, I remember you and honor you but most of all I miss you.
For the cake I used a simple white cake recipe found here. I used a great tutorial from My Cake School to make the stripes.
The cake recipe is perfect for a regular sized loaf pan.
For the Peppermint Glaze:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 +1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1+1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Melt the butter and whisk in about 1/3 of the powdered sugar.
- Add the peppermint extract when the mixture gets too thick.
- Add the hot water and rest of sugar until you get a consistency that is thin enough to pour over the cake.
- I used some red sugar crystals to make the AIDS ribbon on top of the cake. Pouring them on freehand before the glaze hardened. If you want to be perfect you can use a stencil.