Okay, so maybe I do have a little bit of a chocolate lover hidden somewhere- deep down inside. She's rather small, this inner chocolate-loving stranger, but when she meets the right cake, at just the right time, she's quite willing to make a midnight run and leave her lemon obsession at home for a few hours.
I made this cake for my mom's birthday- she adores chocolate in a way that most people adore chocolate. Due an apparent selfish streak, I wanted to find a recipe that strayed from my dislike for the mundane chocolate-on-chocolate repertoire. Half-eaten cake slices on dainty, flowered plates should never happen.
Thanks to this recipe, everyone (including me) devoured every last fork-clinging morsel.
Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
As I'm writing this post, my tooth (the very one which cracked on an errant popcorn kernel last year) is throbbing with a ferocious determination- as though it's only wish is to make every bone on the left side of my face suffer along with it (so spiteful, these chewing contraptions!). I used to think that a migraine was the worst form of torment a body could inflict upon itself, now I'm convinced that tooth pain should bear that cantankerous crown.
Adding insult to injury- it was my Beloved lemon who procured this intolerable pain- although I'd like to look at it from an uncharacteristically optimistic point of view and think that it was lemon's way of telling me the dentist didn't properly patch things up last time. A bit of tough love, lemon, but thank you all the same.
Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie
The other night I dreamt that I was locked up in an attic. My room was in the tower of a sprawling mansion with one small oval window overlooking the sea, and I remember watching a storm roll in from the west- I had to keep wiping the window with a stiff, lacy sleeve because the room was humid and cold at the same time. All of a sudden the door, which was rounded and hobbit size (even in my dreams I'm short), opened and about 17 cats walked in- each with a tiny cake strapped to it's back. A vintage yellow-coloured refrigerator materialized out of nowhere and I fed them fresh tuna from the sea below, along with some buttermilk. As they happily ate, the cakes fell off and the crumbs turned into butterflies upon hitting the wood floor...
Very V.C. Andrews meets David Lynch.
Anyway, I woke up craving buttermilk. Buttermilk and pie. Not cake.
Sweet & Salty Brownies
"An opaque, gentle, vulnerable day,
as if it had been making love all night,
a day when the past has no bitter taste,
when the future retreats without a fight…" ~Vera Pavlova, If There Is Something To Desire
I used to loathe mid-January - with it's stark, almost-industrial ambiance and icy fingers that reach through every exposed crack in my drafty house. Now, little by little, we are starting to develop a mutual respect for each other. It's a tentative relationship- we're still both tiptoeing on egg shells during my chilly morning showers and windy three blanket nights- but I think we are ready to sit down and have a cup of bittersweet snow tea.
January ignites my love for cosy comfort food- all things laden with butter, and cream, and salt, and yes, even chocolate. To return January's aloof favour, I promised to not complain about it's frigidity- too much. And to bake decadent, dramatic brownies that are so sinfully rich, you have to squeeze your eyes shut *tightly now* whilst biting into one.
Nutella Toffee Scones
Sometimes, especially on weekends (and especially in winter), I like to stay in my grey and yellow-striped flannel pajamas well past what is considered acceptable and/or appropriate. When this happens someone almost always knocks on the door. Refusing to be seen in my nighttime garb with tousled hair standing at attention- giving me the appearance of a walking q-tip, I hide. There is a rather large window that people can easily squint into during the day, so I quickly crawl to the safety of my kitchen, artfully weaving between chairs and a coffee table that seems to be in love with my knees and ankles.