Eternal Hostess: Jenn Pallian, the Foodess.
Some people you know will be as good in-person as they are online. Jenn Pallian is one of those people. The Foodess writer and recipe developer has been writing and cooking since her days in university, where she studied nutrition sciences. What began as a distraction from the most dense parts of her degree became a full-time job.
Jenn uses her technical food training to infuse her recipes with balance and ingenuity. She’s not a health-blogger, she’s a mom of two toddlers. A woman trying to feed her family without sacrificing her love for flavor, and her desire to keep exploring the cultural insights of food. Jenn’s recipes are globally inspired, but comforting and approachable. She’s also one of those rare people that is as talented a cook as she is a baker. Also: very nice hair. Get outta here, Jenn.
The Pallians recently moved house. After living in downtown Vancouver for nearly 10 years, they’ve relocated to a small, seaside town 45 minutes away. Suddenly, a whole new world of possibility opened up. Namely: a backyard. After being condo-bound for so long, access to private green space was a revelation to Jenn and her family. As was the opportunity to grow her own veggies.
“Getting my hands (bare feet?) on a piece of land to plant food and flowers in, to lounge in, to host friends in, and feed people in is an actual dream come true,” says Jenn of her new space. And what better way to celebrate your newfound oasis than to trick it out and bake a cake? When you’re the Foodess, there is no better way.
Jenn knows what’s good: she outfitted her deck with a mix of playful and industrial picks from the Article outdoor catalogue. Cheerful yellow Dot Chairs keep the sleek Mira dining table grounded. Imagine being at Jenn’s house while she lays out platter after platter of gorgeously composed food. Her extremely cute kids play in the yard chasing fireflies while the adults retire to the sitting area (yes, that is an Ora sectional) for one more glass of wine and a slice (or two) of cake. Because there’s always cake.
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 50 minutes
1/2 cup butter softened, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
9 oz/2 cups (lightly spooned into measuring cup and levelled off) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup buttermilk
8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp buttermilk
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9″ round springform pan with parchment paper, and grease sides well with butter.
Combine the ½ cup butter and the sugar in bowl of standing mixer and beat until fluffy and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda. With mixer speed on low, gradually incorporate about 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat, beating to combine between each addition, and ending with final third of flour.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, then cover the surface with strawberry slices. Bake in centre of oven for about 50 minutes, or until top is golden and centre feels slightly springy when gently pressed. Cool in pan set on wire rack. Remove ring from springform pan when cake is cool.
To make icing, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Drizzle over cooled cake.