in addition to being a film photographer, i’ve also just began my organic lettering and calligraphy business. my little company is called, signora e mare and means “lady and the sea”. i call it that because i have a great love of water and a complete obsession with italy. i’m convinced that i was italian in another life (ha!). i got into lettering when i was planning my own wedding, but it actually peaked my interest when i found a chest of my grandfather’s letters to my grandmother. he wrote her almost every day for four years. is that not just the most romantic thing you’ve heard? i never thought in my wildest dreams that people would take to my style and lettering. i feel truly blessed-i wake every morning excited to work, letter, paint and dream.
this cake is filled with so many memories for me. one in particular stands out in my mind, i was in fifth grade and we were doing projects on our last names, their meanings and where they derived from. Part of our undertaking was to bring an item of food that represented where we descended from. Since my last name is (was) German, I brought German Chocolate Cake.
On my way home, I was evaluating the contents of the leftovers when a blonde head popped up and said, “is that cake? do you mind if i have some?” the voice belonged to a girl with a pair of bright blue eyes. She proceeded to sit next to me on the bus all the way home and devour the cake remains, while asking me all sorts of personal information. Like she’d known me forever… she became on of my best friends up through high-school and beyond.
I love how food can make you recall the past out of the blue.
“Friendship begins with a piece of cake. “
THE ICING ::Chocolate Buttercream
2 sticks of room temperature butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
THE CAKE ::
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons good quality Dutch process cocoa powder (such as Valhrona or Cocoa Barry)
1 1/2 cups muscavado light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups strongly brewed black coffee, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cajeta filling, recipe above
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay. Icing recipe is my own concoction. Cake is made by my super talented mother, Lupe Decker.
A wonderfully organic family and baby portrait of one of my sweetest friends. She’s the true definition of a great friend and is filling her mother role beautifully. Can’t wait to see what little Reid has in store for us all.
Calligraphy and Paper :: Signora e Mare
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.” – Audrey Hepburn.