I used to be someone who would turn around and run the minute a relationship appeared to be turning sour. That dreaded feeling of failure would well up in the pit of my stomach and the thought of uncertainty scared me. Rather than try and fix things, I would choose to instead give up.
Then I ended up with someone who turned out to be highly intelligent, highly manipulative, and highly (emotionally) abusive. I stayed not because I wanted to, but because he made me feel so weak, so undesirable, and so unworthy of being with anyone better. In his words, he was the best. I stayed because I feared starting all over again. But most of all, I stayed because he told me that my trail of failed relationships that never seemed to last past a year was a sign that there was something wrong with me. I wanted to prove him wrong. And in a scary way almost, I look back and realise now that he knew that all along. (I’ll save this story for one day.)
But see, love isn’t possessive. Neither is love about moulding a person to fit the ideal that’s in your head. For sure, love takes work but mostly, it is a lovely, wonderful thing. No doubt, there are days where Flo and I both feel like strangling each other, but more often than not, I believe that we love each other in a way that makes us want to grow with each other in years, in heart, and in mind.
I think that we have layers and layers of love. Love for strangers that may be born out of compassion. Love for friends that begins with empathy and shared interests. Love for family because we’re stuck with them. Haha. Just kidding. Love for family because a lot of life’s lessons, values and beliefs are taught through our interactions with our family members. Because they never give up on us. Because they’re love is unconditional. Then there’s Love for that special someone that develops from mutual attraction.
The beauty about having layers and layers of love is that you experience them all differently in different ways. Yet, all forms of love when given and received create a warm buzz that wraps around you like a snug blanket on a cold, wet night.
This layered cake I made the other day had a Red Azuki Bean layer below, and on top is the Earl Grey layer. The floral notes of the tea gave way to the earthy flavour of the beans below. It tasted comforting yet new, exciting and unexpected. A little of the East mixed with a little of the West, each holding up its own while complementing the other. I’d like to think that Flo’s and my relationship is like this Earl Grey Azuki Bean layered cake. At least, most of the time.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today though, is a little more familiar but just as comforting to the soul. I baked up this Chocolate Cheesecake Loaf the other day and while reminiscent of my Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake bars that I shared only a few days ago, they aren’t the same! As we like to say here in Singapore – They’re ‘Same same but different’.
This cake yielded a moist, fluffy, tender crumb. Smack in the middle we have a rich, gooey layer of vanilla cheesecake. I loved how they textures played against each other to create a marriage of sheer decadence. That being said, it didn’t feel too indulgent as the cake was light and the cheesecake wasn’t cloying and heavy.
Chocolate Cheesecake Loaf (Yields 2 small loaves):
250g Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
Chocolate Cake Layer:
30g Cocoa Powder
5g Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line baking tins.
For Cheesecake Layer:
- Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and cream.
- Whisk in the egg and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
For Chocolate Cake:
- Cream butter with sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla then add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- Pour half the chocolate cake batter into the two tins and spread as evenly as you can.
- Top with cream cheese layer.
- Pour the rest of the chocolate batter on top and level off.
- Bake for 35-40min before removing to cool. Let chill 3 hours of overnight before removing the cake from tins.
The layers in this cake speak of comfort, tenderness and pleasure. It is the tale of two classic cakes – Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake, each mouthwatering on their own, merging together and learning to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to become one awesome, flavour-packed, loaf of deliciousness. Which, I believe, is exactly what every relationship should aspire to be – two individuals who are stronger together I mean, not so much to gratify gastronomically.