I like to win. I am a competitive person. I am probably even more competitive than you (see what I just did there?) At a basketball game recently, Andrew was in the middle of shooting a free throw and someone yelled “your shoe is untied.” I looked around to see if Spike Lee or Drake, well-known sideline hecklers for the NBA, were attending, but no, it was just a dad of a player from the other team. So that makes me mad and David has to remind me to keep my retaliation commentaries in check. Is this a healthy, necessary level of competitiveness for an 8th grade basketball game? Is this what we need to be competitive about? It is highly unlikely that my kid is going into the NBA and I am ok with that. My self worth isn’t diminished by that fact. Let’s push our kids to find the cure for cancer or teenage anxiety and depression or hunger or inequality. Or heck, let’s just push our kids to be decent human beings who balance their own drive to be the best with the wisdom of building up a team around them. "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." --Michael Jordan
My brother and I are competitive with each other. You know, who is mom and dad’s favorite? This is one of his favorite cakes – it’s the “uncake” with no flour and it’s oh-so-good. Is this cake my attempt to get in his good graces as the favorite child? Or is it a consolation prize? You decide.
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate bar, grated
- 1.75oz (or similar) container of chocolate sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an 8-inch cake pan and a pencil, outline the cake pan to form circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. Transfer the meringue into a gallon sized plastic bag (insert the bag into a sturdy container, like a quart size measuring cup and fold the edges of the plastic bag over the container. After you fill and seal the plastic bag, snip off a corner so you can pipe the meringue. Pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle.
Bake the 3 meringue layers at 200 degrees for 2 hours until meringues, or until they are dry and crisp but not brown. Turn off the heat and leave meringues in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
To make the whipped cream “icing”, beat 3 cups of whipping cream with 6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar. As it thickens, add in 1/3 cup of sugar.
When the meringue is cooled, peel it off the parchment paper. Carefully spread some of the whipped cream on top of the first meringue layer and then sprinkle with grated chocolate. Repeat 2 more layers. Spread whipped cream on the top and on the sides. Sprinkle the top with the grated chocolate bar and pour the chocolate sprinkles on the sides.