I’m an 80’s baby. Born in the latter part of the decade, but an 80’s baby nonetheless. And I’ve been on a weird, obsessive kick lately where I love discussing the quirks associated with being an 80’s baby, so if you’ve had a drink with me anytime in the last 6 months, then I apologize because you’ve probably had to listen to me ramble on about it at some point. I can’t help it, I’m just constantly amazed by the influence that the technological advances of the last 2 decades have had on us. We came of age in a world of complete interconnectedness, which on one hand has helped us become more worldly, informed, and socially conscious but on the other hand has sort of turned us into a bunch of self indulgent (excuse my language) bastards.
We were the first generation to grow up with technology literally at our finger tips. We had computers in our schools (and sometimes in our homes), we relied on wikipedia, not the encyclopedia when writing papers, and we were definitely the first generation who instead of running home and tying up their parents’ phone line, glued ourselves to the chair in front of the family computer and typed away on Instant Messenger all night. (which depending on what kind of internet connection you had, may still have tied up your parents’phone line). We were the first generation of passive-aggressive-what-does-she-mean-by-that “status” updates (remember the away message on AIM?). And now that we are all 20/early30-somethings trying to find our way in the world, we have become the first generations of adults whose dating life is powered not only by the cell phone, but by the text message. (seriously… does anyone call anymore?)
This constant connectivity, this ability to track down any piece of information we want at any given moment, and the anonymity of the instant message, the text message, twitter, instagram, facebook… well quite frankly it has turned our generation into something I am not entirely proud of. We want it all. And we want it now.
The 80’s Babies have become the Have Your Cake And Eat It Too Generation.
The Have Your Cake And Eat It Too Generation? What does that even mean? It means a lot of things if you really think about it, but let me try and explain with a little story.
It’s about an 80’s baby, all grown up now.
Man (said 80’s baby) walks into a bakery. He loves cake. I mean, really loves cake. Nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs a piece of cake from time to time. He peruses his options and chooses an adorable little cupcake. Simple vanilla with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. He pays, eats his cupcake, enjoys it, and leaves the bakery, vowing to come back another day to order the same cupcake.
He walks down the street and sees another bakery. He just ate a cupcake, but like I said before, this man really loves cake. He pops into the second bakery and this time orders a slice of pineapple upside down cake. He didn’t think it was possible, but he enjoys it just as much as the cupcake from the first bakery, and leaves feeling satisfied.
Man keeps walking down the street and spots another bakery. He definitely isn’t hungry anymore, but he loves cakes so much that he can’t resist, and steps through the door of the third bakery. Here he decides that they only thing to calm his craving for cake will be a big, decadent slice of chocolate layer cake. He orders one piece to eat now, and another piece packed up to take home. Man wants to have his cake and eat it too. The problem is, once he gets home and finishes his slice, Man doesn’t have any more cake.
The bakery visiting cycle continues until he has visited every sweet shop in town. He realizes that he really enjoyed that first cupcake at bakery number one (vanilla with chocolate frosting and sprinkles) so he goes back to order it again. While the gal behind the counter is packing up his order, Man notices another cute dessert. Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream on top. He looks at it admiringly, but decides to stick with his original order. Another day, he tells himself, when they are all sold out of my vanilla cupcake.
Man continues visiting the first bakery (although he never stops visiting some of his other bakeries as well–recall that he likes to have his cake and eat it too) to order his vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. One day he walks into the bakery only to see that they are sold out of his favorite cupcake. The baker tells him there is a batch in the oven, and if he comes back in a couple of hours, they’ll be ready to go. Man loves cake so much, and has been wondering about that little strawberry shortcake for so long, that he decides, “what the heck, I’ll give it a try” and orders the shortcake. The baker tells him that it’s a great cake and she’s sure he’d love it, but maybe he should just stick with the cake he’s been ordering. Man sighs in disappointment and walks out of the bakery.
Man can’t resist that vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles though, so he stops by the bakery again a few days later. The baker no longer wants to sell him cupcakes. Man is confused. All he wanted to do was try something new, he didn’t mean any harm by it. The baker tells him that’s fine and dandy, but there are plenty of other bakeries on the street, and maybe he should stick to shopping at those. Man walks out of the bakery, feeling perplexed by the whole situation. He doesn’t know what went wrong, so to make himself feel better, he stops by a few of his other favorite bakeries to order a slice of cake. He gets a couple pieces packed up to bring home as well, because remember, this man likes to have his cake and eat it too. In his opinion, the best way to forget about one little cupcake is to replace it with seven others.
The problems with this Have Your Cake And Eat It Too attitude of our generation, is that the cupcakes, and the shortcakes, and the layer cakes, and the bakers… well they all talk. They have cell phones and facebook and twitter account too, so they knew what Man was up to. For awhile they may not mind, but eventually every cupcake wants to be the only dessert that Man buys.
My best advice, for all those guys and gals out there who do still want to have their cake and eat it too? Well, just don’t be silly enough to buy your cupcakes at the same bakery!
Because the desserts will find out. And they aren’t going to like it. And you certainly will no longer be welcome stepping foot through the doors of their bakery.
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
One final thought about men (and women) who eat too much cake: They just like cake in general, so their taste buds have become numb to what makes each one special and unique. They’ll never appreciate the depth of flavor in homemade salted caramel, or the soft undertones of lavender in a delicate tea cake. And they will certainly never appreciate something as simple and classic as a Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.
But you, my friends. Well I know you. And I know without a doubt that you have the kind of palate that will appreciate a cake like this one. Nothing fancy. Just perfectly moist, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, pound cake that you can make for any occasion. Lovely on its own, but even better when served with berries and whipped cream.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 oz package cream cheese
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temp
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 9×5 inch loaf pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. In the blow of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, just until soft. Add the butter and sugar, and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once during the mixing process. The mixture will be very light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, all at once, and continue mixing just until combined, then use a spatula to fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Transfer the batter (which will be quite thick) to the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
Bake for 1 hour on a rack in the upper third of the oven, turning the pan once mid-way through the baking process.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the loaf pan to cool for about 45 minutes. Gently run a knife around the outside of the cake and tip it out of the pan. Allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack. My cake tends to crack and sink a little bit on top. It used to annoy me, but now I think it’s part of the charm : )
I just added the chocolate chips to Joy the Baker’s pound cake recipe in her new cookbook.
PS: The one place where you can always have your cake and eat it too? In my kitchen. Because I always have leftovers.