Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’mma do this “about” thing Q&A style, if you don’t mind.
How to Philosoph—what? Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a play on the book by a certain German philosopher named Nietzsche, entitled Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer. I’ve not read the book, nor do I know much about Nietzsche or his ideals—rather, I was going for a clever-ish title that would echo both my love of cake and penchant for waxing philosophical. Here’s hoping not too many of you have serious beef with Nietzsche.
Who are you, anyway? My name here is June Burns, as you can see. You can refer to me as Miss Burns. Or just June. Or fat pimple-faced bitch, or angelic icon of holiness. Or all of the above.
What is this little blog thing supposed to be about? It is an ode to my love for cake and dessert and all things sweet. I specialize in vegan baking, so you will see that all of the recipes I share here are completely free of animal products.
Wait. You’re vegan? I thought vegans were all sickly, stuck-up orthorexics! First of all, no, I’m not 100% vegan. I’m vegetarian but I try to minimize the amount of animal products I consume. My baked goods are vegan, however. Secondly, if you’re not very supportive of veganism or its ideals, I recommend you use the power of Google to dispel any anti-vegan notions that may be lingering in your mind.
But if you don’t use animal products in baking, how do you make cakes taste good? That’s exactly the challenge of vegan baking. The standard cake is primarily composed of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Veganism (and allergies or religious restrictions!) strips us of two of those ingredients and leaves us searching for replacements, from fake butters like Earth Balance to fats like coconut oil to egg substitutes like tofu, flaxseed, and more. In the wrong combinations, these ingredients can make vegan cakes taste downright shitty. My job is to find ways to make vegan cakes taste good—not precisely like a non-vegan cake, which is impossible, but good on their own, in their own way.
Why are you so obsessed with baking? And cake? It’s my kitchen and I’ll bake if I want to, goddamit! Baking is my hobby. I just love baking up delicious confections and sharing them on the internet and eating them in obscene quantities on a regular basis.
Isn’t that unhealthy? Are you my doctor?
How did you get into this whole baking thing? Blame my mother. I was raised on cookie dough and scratch-made pancakes the occasional cake. Naturally, as I grew older, I became interested in making my own desserts, building up to ever more extravagant pastries and cakes. My mother helped me along the way, but I also learned a lot from reading food blogs and cookbooks.
Okay, you like baking. That’s cool. But why do you blog about it? I just love sharing my baked goods with people. There is something incredibly satisfying about watching another person’s face light up with delight as they bite into something you made with your own hands. With food blogging, I discovered, you can reach even more people than just giving away cookies at work or school. So in January of 2014, I opened up this little blog and started writing. I’ve learned tons since then, not only about baking but about food photography and styling and web design and such. With encouragement from hundreds, even thousands, of people online, I’ve managed to improve my baking too—take a look at this cake from June of 2014 and compare it to this cake from May 2015.
How old are you, anyway? Shouldn’t you be doing your homework? I’m old enough to operate an oven and an electric stand mixer. And my homework is between me and the gods of procrastination.
Hey, do you know where I could buy organic unsalted pistachios in Phoenix, Arizona? No, because I live in New England. You know, the strip of land on the northeast coast of the ‘Murican States. It’s pretty chill (in the winter, at least). Maybe try Whole Foods?
Good lord, June, what a shitty blog you have. Mind if I leave a comment saying so? Not at all! Go right ahead! In fact, I will never delete a comment unless it is spammy or contains some blatantly offensive slurs and / or bigoted comments (the latter of which never happens anyway, although I’ve deleted my fair share of spam). I am eager to hear your feedback, positive or negative. And I’ll have you know I respond to every single goddamn comment. Try to get past me. I will find your comment, and I will reply the hell out of it.
If I don’t feel like leaving a comment, can I email you? Yes, of course! Hit me up at philosophyandcake @ mail.com.