Posts tagged ‘coffee’

Vanilla and Coffee Marble Cake with Chocolate Glaze

I was taking my IB History test. There’s this feeling I can’t fully explain that only happens during testing season, when you tug on the metal handle of the gym door and step inside. It’s sort of like deja vu meets utter dread.

It’s the feeling you get when you walk into the room and desks have been set up, spaced neatly and equally apart, and your stomach lurches. You know that one of the chairs in this room is for you. There’s a packet with your name on it. And as you find your table and sit at it, a little part of your heart breaks. A bit of you dies. There is no escape.

There is a traditional one last stab at happiness – the whole room does a giant wave, starting with the first desk and ending in the opposite corner. Everyone laughs, then the tests are unwrapped and passed out by whichever parents or teachers volunteered to help. Absolute silence falls as the IB supervisor booms, “The tests have been opened. There is to be absolutely no talking at this point.” And the feeling settles on everything again, even more heavily than before.

All you can hear is the rustling of papers, light footsteps, and maybe the pounding of your heart, depending on how little you studied. I was watching the proctor work her way down the row, handing out papers. I never know quite how to react when the proctors reach me. It’s never pleasant. But that day something completely unexpected happened. My proctor spoke.

She handed me my test booklet, then very quickly leaned in and surreptitiously whispered, “I love your blog!” Then she flashed me a quick smile – another strange first in the IB test room – and continued down the line.

I was left feeling completely shocked! My thoughts were sent completely off balance – I went from trying to remember the causes of the Civil War to wondering how in the world she knew about 17 and Baking. I almost laughed out loud! (Which would have been bad.)

And then something equally bizarre happened – the heavy knotted feeling in my stomach straightened itself out, and I began my test still smiling.

And when I got home? I made vanilla and coffee marble pound cake.

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May 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm 24 comments

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Elissa Bernstein



I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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I want to read everything. #TheStrand Mmmmm... Green tea chocolate lava cake! #spotdessertbar Last night I sat in @StephenColbert's chair. My life is now complete. AHHHHHHHHH! #ColbertAudience Yay! Spontaneous mid afternoon macaron break. @bouchonbakeryrc Ohmygosh! Strawberry and tarragon gelato! FAO Schwartz is equal parts chaos, commercialization, and crazy happy joy About to eat my first Pink Lady apple! (More like Red Red Red Lady.)

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