On Saturday I began the process of saying goodbye/see you later and cruelly it was to one of my oldest friends who I am unable to see any other time before I fly out.
I knew I wasn’t ready, I’m not ready to pack let alone hug anyone and know I’m not seeing them for an indefinite period.
Our evening of conversation was filled with rather grown up conversation and not as much laughter as usual. Having known each other since we were ten, we have such a history together and have been through this all before on two occasions, but this time feels so uncertain. I might not come back for a fair while which means we will unlikely see each other again before I’m back on New Zealand shores.
Then all of a sudden it was time for her to go and we hugged a hug only we could and said see you later. As I walked back up my driveway with tears in my eyes knowing we’ve been through this more times then I can count, I stopped myself before a tear could slide down my cheeks.
We’ve been through this three times in the past eleven years now. When we were fifteen we would have hour long phone conversations in Germany. Long emails of conversation were had in Canada. Now we’ll have Skype, Facebook or whatever other new app comes along with this new journey.
And we’ll always have Henry, the little stuffed purple monkey she gave me as a going away gift when we stood in the rain at my gate a lifetime ago. Her rushing to school and my last week having arrived made it a quick changing of the hands. But of all the gifts I ever received, Henry is one of the most constant precious possessions I’ve ever been given.
Wherever he goes, she is with me. It makes me feel less alone and that she is right there seeing the world alongside me. She may not be able to stand by my side for life is different for all of us, but as long as I have Henry I have a piece of her with me. I know we’ll always be connected no matter what distance separates us.
Sammy I dedicate this post to you.
Caramel Cake with Coffee Frosting
1/2 cup pouring cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup pouring cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg white
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100 grams butter, cubed
1/4 cup strong coffee
Grease a cake tin and preheat the oven to 180°/350F.
Place the butter, pouring cream and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Allow to come to a soft boil and stir to ensure no burning. Once well combined and thickened. Remove from the heat and add in the remaining 80g butter, stirring until melted.
Allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes, then add in one egg at a time, beating with a wooden spoon to ensure each is well combined.
Pour in the buttermilk and stir until combined also.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and pour in the caramel mixture.
Beat until just combined, then pour one third of the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for 35 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
Remove and allow to cool. Repeat with the remaining cake batter.
Cover each cake and refrigerate.
To make the caramel icing, repeat the same steps for the caramel sauce with the pouring cream, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add in the milk and sift the confectioner’s/icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Whisk until a smooth consistency forms, adding more confectioner’s sugar as necessary.
Spread each layer thickly and evenly with icing and refrigerate until set. Continue with the remaining two tiers.
For the coffee frosting, beat the egg white and sugar over simmering water in a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and continue to beat for a remaining 7 minutes until fluffy, add in a cube of butter and beat until well combined, continue with the remaining butter. Finally add in the coffee and whip for a further minute.
The coffee will seem to make the mixture separate slightly, however, refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes then frost the cake as it will come together again.
Serve at room temperature.