I have a kind of strange cake for the blog today, as well as a kind of strange topic.
We shall start with the strange topic: spam comments. I’ve recently experienced a deluge of spam comments. It started this month, and it’s really quite something.
If you’re not familiar with Akismet stats, the green represents “ham” or actual comments from individual readers, whereas the yellow represents the spam.
And the spam is simply bizarre–lately I’ve received a batch of seemingly sincere yet rather awkward and broken sentences, combined with strange urls that seem to lead to nowhere (try assortment of 6 random letters:______.com). At least it made sense when the post content heavily endorsed certain SEO services or the author’s url lead to youtube videos about erectile dysfunction medications.
Sometimes I feel rather touched by this impersonal, mass-produced anonymous spam–isn’t this one sweet? A bit creepy because of the weird URL and everything but…
Thanks for your personal maoelvrus[sic] posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and may come back at some point. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice weekend!
And then there’s some nonsensical comments such as this:
Pin my tail and call me a dokyne,[sic] that really helped.
There’s also some abnormally coherent posts without any discernible spelling or grammar mistakes…yet they’re also completely irrelevant to anything at all that I’ve posted. And so strangely specific as well! At least the generic comments would apply pretty equally to just about anyone’s blog…but this?
Looks fabulous! I’m a big fan of the stripes and the woven pinboard looks perfect in that space. I’m totally green with jealously because we don’t have a mudroom. You walk in from the garage right into the living room. Carpeted living room. Argh! The one thing about our house that drives me up the wall!
Stripes and woven pinboards is a pretty serious thing for mudroom fanatics these days.
I also receive some spam that are rather critical:
Write more, thats[sic] all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre[sic] talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?
I would be convinced if only there was actually a video and the poster’s name was not “where to buy …”.
Some searching on the internet helped clear up some of my confusion as to how leaving a comment either a) obviously promoting a product or b) simply bizarre could be at all useful. If you’re curious, I’d really recommend this read. It’s a matter of links and clicks–and the numbers are only significant when the number of spam comments are a several degrees of magnitude higher. And with so many spam comments, sometimes not too much care goes into how they’re written. The article also provided some explanation for all comments with curious word choice and bizarre diction and syntax, as well as the urls that lead nowhere.
Initially, from I poured through the spam folder with bewilderment, some amusement, and a bit of annoyance; spam seemed like an undeniable frustration and trespass. While I’ve received comments that are clearly spam by the nonsense and the product-peddling, reading more about the spam comment industry did make me realize it’s not always that clear of a distinction. There could be grey areas–I wonder if mass-produced spam comments became a bit more targeted and relevant to my post, whether I would still view them as spam. Or what about if someone actually did read your post, but then commented solely to promote their product?I have similar ambivalent and conflicted feelings about this cake!
The cake was quite yummy, but it had a strange sort of texture; it was a bit spongey actually. Altogether this cake also suffered from the same problem of too much acidity with the mascarpone and orange combination as did this cake I posted last time. Will I ever learn?
cardamom coffee cake with blood oranges
rye coffee and cardamom cake
150 g butter at room temperature
50 g brown sugar
30 g granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs, divided
75 g dark rye flour
75 g all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground anise
1 tsp baking powder
100 mL cooled coffee with a splash of heavy cream
1 blood orange
60 g mascarpone
120 g yoghurt
icing sugar, to taste
Cream butter with brown sugar and 20 g of the granulated sugar until light. Continue creaming away as you add the vanilla and salt until everything is very light and fluffy. Beat in 3 egg yolks one at a time and 1 egg white. Set aside the remaining two egg whites.
Whisk together the flours, spices and baking powder and set aside.
Whip the two egg whites with the remaining 10 g granulated sugar to soft peaks.
Alternate mixing the flour and coffee into the butter mixture. Lastly, fold in the egg whites, first lightening by completely folding in one dollop and then mixing in the remaining. Scrape into a prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 350F for or until an inserted skewer is removed with only a few crumbs clinging to it.
Let cool for a few moments before pouring over a few spoonfuls of coffee liqueur if desired (I think this may have made my cake collapse a little bit).
Mix together the mascarpone and yoghurt until smooth. Sweeten to taste with icing sugar. Add zest of 1 blood orange.
Cut the peel from the blood orange and slice into rounds. Once the cake is cooled completely, spread the mascarpone on top followed with the orange slices.