The last week has been amongst the most stressful ones I’ve been through this year. It had started to reach a point where I felt like the stress was starting to have an actual, physical impact on me, making me listless and unwell, like I had a hangover, except with zero alcohol consumption.
The Pineapple Upside-down cake was never my favourite sort of cake. Most of the time it’d be dry or overtly sweet, and somehow, cooked pineapple was never something I was a really big fan of (case in point, Hawaiian pizzas). I do remember growing up with picture of this cake in magazines and cookbooks with its perfectly circular rings of pineapple with bright red cherries in the middle as a symbol of a ‘higher’ culinary artform that I never expected to achieve.
I’ve been looking for a recipe for a good boozy chocolate cake for a while now. Not the ones with a ‘hint’ of brandy or vodka or rum, but one that punches you in the face like a tequila shot (while not necessarily having to be tequila), while still being delicious enough to want to finish the rest of the slice that booze-punched you in the face.
I bought a bag of hazelnuts last month, and I’ve been looking for things to do with them ever since. I’d bookmarked this recipe for chocolate hazelnut biscotti a while back, but only recently did I realise that this recipe used ingredients (other than the hazelnuts) that would already be in the home of anyone who bakes.
Almond biscotti is a deceptively simple thing to make. While you’re mixing up the batter, you’re thinking, “well, this is all very easy, it barely calls for any special technique or wrist action, hand skills or wild hand-eye coordination”. It starts getting complicated right after this. The initial assembly takes about half an hour, but at the end of a 134 baking minutes (a loose 150 counting the spaces between sticking things in the oven, taking them out and rearranging) I figured that this didn’t qualify for the “easy” category anymore.
This recipe is a little off season at the moment. It’s best made when you find Delhi carrots in the markets and they’re usually a winter (or early year) phenomenon. Delhi carrots (the really red ones) lend themselves to a far more vividly orange cupcake than the regular orange carrots.