From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to set food on fire. Not cook with fire mind you—that’s a given—but to have the food itself ablaze. Having done bananas foster and café brûlot diabolique before, I wanted something even more showy, so I settled on a cake. The recipe can be found here.
Because making a whole cake for myself would be a waste, I needed an occasion to share the cake with people. Luckily, I’m a part of Our Fair City, an awesome Chicago-based online sci-fi radio drama. The cast and crew had just wrapped up the recordings for Season 5. I asked Jeffrey Gardner, the executive producer and director of the show, whether I could bring a flaming cake to the Season 5 wrap party he was hosting. His response was somewhere between “oh god yes please” and “I don’t think it’ll burn down the apartment.”
It’s hard to write about fire. None of the descriptions we give fire, be it orange, small, or 5-alarm, can fully capture fire’s mesmeric motion and dangerous beauty. So instead of trying to do it justice in vain, take a look at the cake yourself!
I don’t know what kind of childhood you had growing up, but when I first learned how to reliably light matches, I was drunk with power. I branched out from there: I stoked our coal-burning furnace on cold winter mornings; I toyed with fireworks and blew off a chunk of my foot; I played with accelerants and burned my toys, my dad’s couch, and almost the entire house. Today, I treat fire with proper fear, respect, and awe. I think we all have stories about fire, and I’d love to hear your stories at A Month Of… Light It Up!