if only people in hollywood would work for sandwiches and cupcakes more often. or ever. seems more like a new york thing to me.
new york. so i was deputized to go pick up dinner from lucifer’s pizza. they do a gluten-free crust that is not entirely unacceptable: thin, crisp, slightly greasy. and they do one with lamb olives and feta that i like (i know, the original ray is spinning in his grave) and despite the fact that lucifer’s features two pizzas that involve pineapple, which would otherwise obviate their existence, frank likes one called el diablo which, even for a west indian (ish) girl like i, is too damn spicy. i’m crabby because they won’t deliver as we are .4 miles out of their delivery range. whatever. so i take gunther over to hillhurst and pull into the valet parking lot between the pizzeria and vinoteca (see frico.) and the valet dude is like “three fifty.” well i’m just picking up from lucifer’s could i leave the car here for two minutes, charming smile etc etc and so forth. “three fitty.” fuck ok.
so i flip a bitch and go back out to hillhurst. ooh – a space in front of lucifer’s… twenty feet behind me. my first idiot move was to try to back up down hillhurst. no dice. traffic refuses to stand still for me. the gall. truly irritated now, i flip another bitch to get on the right side of hillhurst. i come in hot and CRUNCH. i tear the bumper off some poor schmucks civic. f.u.c.k. so the guy and all of his boys are out front having pizza and they are gesticulating and carrying on like mimes. i put the flashers on and get out. yeah i pulled some bumper off. and scratched the quarter panel. bloody hell. so the first thing i say is “i am so sorry – let me get my pizza and i will be right back – i truly apologize – just a sec.” (well i was going through all of this because of pizza, i might as well get it before they closed!) i get back and everyone is taking pictures of the guy’s car as if lindsay lohan were sprawled underneath it. i go inside and get a piece of paper and a pen and go into producer mode – names numbers – would you email me those photos please, i will definitely take care of it – i am really TERRIBLY sorry. (i am.) and i get all of his info and then the guy says “wow – i thought you would have just driven off, this is so cool of you.”
WHAT? really? just driven off? it never crossed my mind (really it didn’t.) could i have just driven off??? first, his paparazzo buddies would have chased me down the street and then gone inside lucifer’s and said “that bitch just trashed our boy’s car! was she picking up? what’s her number, what’s her address 2.4 miles away?” i wonder if they would have given it to them. so i say “i’m from new york, i would never have just driven off.” this is the difference between la and new york in a nutshell.
all this time i never even looked to see what i had done to gunther. it didn’t dawn on me until i pulled into the driveway at home. not cute. must fix or he will be well on his way to hooptie-dom.
so what does this have to do with working for bubkes? i think new yorkers have … a code. we do what we say we’re going to do and do it pronto-ish. very un-la.
we don’t eat sandwiches anymore but i have perfected a gluten-free lemon cupcake. message to casting director x: i will make these for you every day if you can get jude law for the movie.
gluten-free lemon cupcakes
lemon cake is among the things that frank says he will not countenance. pineapple, raisins, and olives are also among the items that are apparently indigestible and revolting to him. all four of these items are some of my favorite foods. but my lemon cupcakes, he likes.
the big trick i have discovered about gluten-free baking is tapioca flour/starch. it is far superior to xanthan gum (to me) for creating elasticity in a gluten-less baked good. and elasticity means the thing actually rises and doesn’t sit there like a lump. so i created my own flour blend that’s 1/3 king arthur gluten-free flour, 1/3 tapioca flour and 1/3 coconut flour. you have to mix this up in advance so you can accurately measure. mix them in advance. do not do a third a third a third right into your mixing bowl. just don’t.
as with vegan/vegetarian food, gluten-free cake benefits from copious amounts of fat. butter and eggs. gluten-free, dairy-free and eggless is just a hideous concept to me. i’m sure it can be done but not on my watch. this is essentially a pound cake recipe and traditionally pound cake entailed a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. a 1:1:1:1 ratio of four ingredients.
3 cups flour blend as above
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (just in case)
3 cups white sugar
4 sticks of butter
7 egg yolks
zest of 4 lemons
1 cup of lemon juice
preheat oven to 350. the trick to most cakes is beating enough air into your base ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs) so that things rise nicely. traditional pound cake had no leavening agent as i recall. house slaves most likely beat the ingredients for martha washington’s famous pound cake because mixing four pounds of ingredients is no joke. and the washingtons did have slaves. (nota bene denzel.) in all fairness he and his wife emancipated many of their slaves and washington was one of the few founding fathers who did so. but i have the big kitchenaid so i’m good.
cream the hell out of the butter and sugar until really light and fluffy. add the egg yolks one by one and the lemon juice. put the zest in with the flour and other dry ingredients. add the flour gradually and on a low speed – tapioca starch doesn’t respond well to wild beating. when all of the flour is incorporated, let it sit for 15 minutes while you prepare your cupcake pan with cupcake cups. with a 1/3 cup or so measuring cup scoop out the batter and fill the cups evenly. you might have to smooth the tops with a wet knife or finger because this is a very thick gloppy batter. bake until the toothpick comes out dry – about 45 mins. if they brown too quickly, cover with foil.
they are very nice plain but you can do a little lemon glaze if you feel like it. full-on buttercream gilds the lily in my view. i’ve also done this batter in a bundt pan which is v traditional and looks great with streaks of glaze flowing through the ridges.
1 tsp lemon juice
as much powdered sugar as it takes to get the glaze as thick as you want it.