There are a bunch of foods that are perfect blank canvases, that you can make over and over again using the same base recipe and technique and it never gets old. I am sure that applies to a lot of dishes, but when I think of that blank canvas, I think of ice cream and bread. It’s not like I have an endless supply of homemade ice cream and bread on hand, but when I am in a creative rut and I think of random flavor combinations (particularly ones that lend themselves to sweet dishes), I can usually turn them into an ice cream or bread creation. So, when I couldn’t get apricots and almonds out of my head for the past couple of weeks, I decided it was time to take the plunge and make something already. Here it is: Apricot Almond Bread.
I have had a revelation. If you add cocoa powder AND chunks of chocolate to baked goods, you can make anything double chocolate! This may sound ridiculous to all of you experienced bakers but it never occurred to me to add cocoa powder to things, even though I never forget to add chocolate chunks. The impetus of this revelation was a combination of two amazing recipes. First, this chocolate granola, and second, this chocolate banana bread. For any chocolate lovers out there, both of these recipes are a must. Now, so are these scones.
I’m always on the lookout for fresh carbs that come together quickly. You obviously can’t bake a loaf of bread on a whim, so I was on the lookout for some good tea or soup-dunking fare (sweet or savoury is always a dilemma, am I right?). While I’ve never had them before, biscuits seemed like a pretty good idea. They are very appealing with their crunchy looking golden brown exterior and soft-pillowy insides. I could only imagine the number of varieties of biscuits one could make once you have a solid base recipe in your repertoire, so I was off on a mission to find one.
Before my food blogging days when having people over for dinner required tried and true recipes rather than an excuse to test new recipes on other people, this apple cake was my go-to desert. Unsurprisingly, it is a Smitten Kitchen recipe. Surprisingly, the first time I made it, I was convinced that I had done something horribly wrong. The original recipe instructs you to pour the batter into the tin, and there is no way (in the half a dozen times I have made this) to pour this batter. It is thick. Most of the time, I spread the batter with a wooden spoon, sometimes even using my fingers to distribute it evenly. Anyway, I should have trusted the Smitten because despite my initial doubts, this cake is absolutely delicious time and time again. It’s a total crowd pleaser.