My newfound pastime: going on dates with myself.
The other night I wandered around a mall, bought ice cream, went to the night markets and got a pork bun all by myself. I spent the evening in my room, in the dark listening to a great DJ set sent to me by a friend. Then I went to sleep.
It was the most relaxing evening I have had in a while. I enjoyed the company so much that today I went on a shopping date, with myself. It was wonderful. I could go at my own pace, visit only the shops I wanted to and most importantly, talk to the shop assistants without getting glarey looks from my companion. I met some really hilarious and lovely girls today as well as getting a bargain real leather jacket. Winning all around.
This scheduled alone time was brought on when my friend had to bail on our date because she was sick. I went and text this guy asking if he wanted to join me at the night markets instead but as it involved him having to get in the car and drive himself there he said no. I was like screw him, I am just going to wander the markets by myself. So I did. I’m glad I did. I realised I really enjoyed just being with me sometimes.
I hate having people cancel on me (with the exception of my sick friend). The worst bit is when its reasonably late notice and changing your own plans becomes a little futile (especially on a Friday night). The disappointment and frustration I feel when people let me down really gets to me and I usually hold a bit of a grudge towards that person until they can somehow redeem themselves.
A couple of guys have cancelled on me lately and that gut wrenching disappointment and annoyance of booking them into my schedule and forfeiting other activities really pisses me off. It reminds me how totally ok I am with being in a relationship with myself. Because the one person who I can guarantee won’t let me down is me.
I was explaining how much I enjoyed the alone time to my parents last night over dinner. Dad was a little concerned that I had no one to hang out with and Mum found my lack of concern over my single status a bit of a worry. Seriously? I am a 22 year old bright, young thing who don’t need no man! Finger snaps and all! I’m going places and I don’t feel the need to drag some poor guy along just because he makes everyone else feel at ease (like having a boyfriend would make me normal like other girls).
Some of the guys and men at work often ask why I am single and every so often I am asked why no one has ‘wifed’ me yet just because I make food. They ask like I am some magical creature (which I am haha) that needs to be caught. It’s like being single is some sort of personal failure in the eyes of our parents' generation. I do wonder if the same things would ever be asked to a 22 year old single male if he walked in the room.
I also feel like with each relationship you embark on (because they are of course journeys of self discovery) you should, dare I say it, ‘upgrade’. Why go out with someone inferior to the previous man (or woman)? I have yet to find someone new who gives me that buzz, someone who I want to tell my exciting news to first or who makes me laugh over absolutely nothing like the last one did. I have been on loads of dates and I think its only now that I realise that that sort of person doesn’t come along very often. So in the meantime I need to give myself that buzz and be the one to make my own happiness. If they make me happier than before then it’s worth it, otherwise what’s the point?
I like having my own space. It’s my place to think. My bedroom is tiny and so the minimal floor space is highly coveted real estate. When I sleep I sleep totally still. When I get up in the morning, making my bed consists of just pulling the covers up, not making the whole bed again. When I get ready in the morning, my routine is quite literally down to the minute. I’m not difficult and inflexible, I just feel like to let someone into that and to mess it up they have to be pretty damn well special. Or warm.
So for no particular reason, other than that I just wanted to, I made a cake.
I think if I was asked what sort of cake I would be this would be it. You have to be patient with it. It is as blonde as anything. It makes one hell of a mess and of course contains a hell of a lot of white chocolate, butter and sugar in it. And eggs. I eat a lot of eggs too.
I found this recipe on the Made from Scratch site who I believe got it from the Australian Woman’s Weekly before adapting it slightly. Rather than making a full on ganache to smother it in, I made a white chocolate buttercream instead. It makes 2 20cm sandwich layers which you can stack together for optimum height. Using two smaller tins also cuts down the baking time significantly.
White Chocolate Mud Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream
Adapted from the Australian Woman’s Weekly
Makes 2x20cm layers
For the cake:
180g white chocolate, chopped
350g butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups milk
2 2/3 cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
For the white chocolate buttercream:
250g white chocolate, chopped
½ cup cream
¼ cup cream
4 cups icing sugar
2 cups of white chocolate shavings to decorate if you wish
Start by making the ganache for the icing. Warm ½ a cup of cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once just below a simmer add in the white chocolate, let it sit for a minute then stir until all the lumps are smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to chill in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees on bake and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
To make the cake start by melting the butter in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Once that has melted, tip in white chocolate and allow to melt. Then stir in the sugar and the milk. Warm the mixture until all the sugar has dissolved. Put aside to cool for 15 minutes or use your electric mixture on a slow speed to hasten the cooling process.
Mix in the eggs one at a time into the cooled mixture (the eggs will scramble if it is too hot). Mix in the vanilla.
Sieve in the flour and baking powder into the mixture and beat until just combined.
Fill the tins with an even amount of batter then pop into the oven for 60-75 minutes (check every half an hour) until a skewer comes out clean. Place a sheet of tin foil over the top of each cake if you find them getting too brown.
When you remove the cakes from the oven, leave to cool for twenty minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Make sure they are completely cool before you ice them.
Your ganache should be reasonably firm by now. Place it into your electric mixer and beat it until it becomes light and fluffy. Remove it from the bowl and beat your softened butter until it too becomes light and fluffy. Mix the two together then slowly add each cup of icing sugar at a time. Add splashes of the extra cream if you need to loosen it up. Beat until all the icing sugar has been added and mixture is nice and voluminous.
Once the cakes are totally tool, level the tops with a serrated knife if needed. Sandwich the two cakes together with a small scoop of icing. Cover the entire cake in a thin crumb coat then leave to set in the fridge for half an hour.
Once the crumb coat has set, smother the cake in the rest of the icing. Use a metal knife dipped in hot water to help achieve a smooth finish. Gently pat on the chocolate shavings if you have some.