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).
For the past few weeks we’ve been living with our friend in Calgary. We’re moving away at the end of this month but we got rid of our apartment a month too early so we were lucky enough to have a place to stay. One of the great perks of living in this house is the outdoor space. I’ve never even had a balcony, so being able to sit and work on the porch or the backyard has been amazing. Nothing beats fresh air and the neighbourhood cats that come to visit every once in a while. There was even a small family of red robins that build a nest in her tree and I got to sit and watch the babies take their first flight. Basically, the outdoors is filled with the best distractions. To top it all off, she has a small garden with some herbs and rhubarb. The rhubarb wasn’t being used, so our friend suggested that I make some rhubarb muffins so that it wouldn’t go to waste.
It’s birthday time! Every year since I started this blog, I’ve posted the sweet treat that I make for my partner’s birthday (apparently I also use the exact same candle in the photos every year). He’s not into traditional birthday cake, so I always try to make something different, especially delicious and a little over the top. It needs to be special. Normally, I make something that has a nostalgic feel to it. Two years ago it was a bienenstich cake that harkened back to his days working at a German bakery and last year I made chocolate babka, which was something that we both loved growing up. This year, I decided to go with ice cream. Without a doubt, it is his favourite sweet food. Of course, since I was making it from scratch, everything was possible in terms of the flavours and add-ins. I decided to play around with chocolate and hazelnut and ended up with this triple hazelnut ice cream.
I acknowledge that this is the second loaf cake that I have posted here in less than a month. The last one, a pear and dark chocolate gem, is perfect as a special occasion treat. While it might look understated, it is a knockout filled with chunks of dark chocolate nestled in a brown butter cake batter. This blackberry apple cake, on the other hand, is for snacking. It’s amazing how two cakes that look so similar can be made up of such different ingredients. While I certainly love making indulgent desserts every once in a while, it’s way more essential for me to have somewhat healthy, homemade snacks that I can eat throughout the day. Every day between meals, I may eat some pickles, nuts, or squares of dark chocolate (sometimes all within the same snacking session). But, the best weeks are when I have prepared something like this blackberry apple snacking cake. It’s a perfect sweet treat that feels extra special and indulgent but that I know is actually made up of pretty great ingredients.