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Squaring the Circle

Robert Irwin’s recent installation at the Hirshhorn entitled Square the Circle, turns a rounded exhibition gallery rectilinear by using amorphous fabric walls to give a sense of order and infinity. After experiencing the space in person, it got me thinking. How can we make the familiar new, just by changing our perception of a simple shape?

Here, I’ve applied this concept to cake! One of my favorite recipes, Classic Plum Torte, has recently been republished in the NY Times, as the all-time most requested recipe. I came to it through friends and have been making it for years (not knowing the source), substituting any and all types of fruit, or even fruit and chocolate. Some of my favorites are: pear & chocolate chip, plum, apple, cherries, and fresh fig with candied ginger. When I saw the recent article in the NYT, I instantly recognized the recipe and felt like I had found an old friend. In celebration, I made the classic torte with Italian plums, in season from the farmer’s market. The larger the cake form, the thinner and drier the cake will be. I like a thin square cake when using plums so that each square slice has a self-contained, oozable plum center.

Happy baking!

The Square

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