I was invited over to someone’s house for dinner this past weekend. One of my first thoughts upon being invited was, “Yes, I get to bake something!” After spending a few days thinking about what I could bring as a ‘thank you’, I decided that these chocolate hazelnut biscotti were the perfect option. I took a few things into consideration to make this assessment:
-First, everyone loves chocolate and hazelnut (right?!).
-Second, the biscotti are super easy to pack up and transport. Avoiding a mess on the subway (and in my purse) is essential.
-Third, I am confident that most people can eat these every day, with a cup of their favourite hot beverage, and never get sick of them.
-Last, they freeze super well, which means you aren’t forcing someone to eat tons of dessert if that’s not in their regular routine (although I would have no trouble finishing them off).
This past week, I got married. It was last minute and unceremonious but I wanted to mark the day with some cake. Many years ago, when my partner worked at a German bakery, he loved a pear and chocolate cake that they made. For someone who claims not to like cake, this is a big deal. So, when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (probably 5 years ago), I thought it looked very promising. I think at the time, I couldn’t make it right away because it is one of those recipes that really requires an electronic mixer, so I was patient, and came back to it after I finally got a handheld electric whisk. All of these years later, it’s one of the most delicious cakes that I have made. So, when I saw that I had some overripe pears, I knew immediately what cake I wanted to make.
I’ve been on a bit of a baking spree lately. I actually really enjoy baking but I have very little self-control and try to limit the availability of sweet treats hanging around the house. The other day I was looking for a super healthy cookie recipe and I found this recipe, which was great as a snack, but it did not resemble a cookie in the slightest. It was more of an oat bar. While I appreciated that there were tons of whole, hearty ingredients in them, they didn’t taste like a dessert at all and would never satisfy my mid-afternoon sweet tooth (in retrospect, I think that the “cookie” referred more to the shape of the bar than anything else). Although, on a side note, I did find it hilarious that my boyfriend was enjoying crumbling them into his breakfast cereal until I told him there were beans in them, at which point he was less keen on the “bean cookies”. Needless to say, I was still on the lookout for a healthy-ish cookie. I eventually came across a version of these vegan chocolate almond cookies on My Darling Lemon Thyme. Of course, the chocolate and almond combination immediately caught my eye: they are a match made in heaven. On top of that, I liked how the only non-vegan ingredient in the original recipe was an egg, which is pretty easy to replace. Even though I’m not vegan, I like to have a few vegan desserts in my arsenal to share with friends that are or bring to potlucks.
Tonight I have a surprise baby shower to go to. It’s a potluck and at first I thought I would make a salad but a few hours later, I changed my mind. I decided I wanted to make some cupcakes. As always, I love making desserts for potlucks because it is the perfect excuse to share something that I don’t really want to (well, I want to, I just shouldn’t) eat a whole batch of. On the hunt for a cupcake recipe, I went straight to one of my favourite blogs: My Name is Yeh. I have been a fan of Molly’s food photography and writing for a long time now but surprisingly, I have never actually made anything for her website. After trawling through her recipes to learn as much as I could about cupcakes, I noticed that there was a lot of consistency in the base recipe, which must mean it’s awesome right? The only other thing to figure out was some exciting flavours to use and today I’m sharing the black sesame chocolate cupcakes, later this week I’ll also share the earl grey vanilla cupcakes that I made to go with them.