Tag Archives: chocolate

Pumpkin Olive Oil Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Chocolate Olive Oil Cake collage_pumpkinchococakePumpkin Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Pumpkin Chocolate Olive Oil CakePumpkin Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

I’m writing about this lovely pumpkin olive oil chocolate cake from my new kitchen in London. Now, if I lift my head from the computer screen and glimpse at the little back garden just outside the kitchen door I see a quintessentially English photogram. The weather is cloudy, a bit gloomy, chilly but not cold. There’s a mild wind that makes the vine growing along the wooden fence bounce and dance – a slow waltz, maybe. Earlier I saw a squirrel jumping over onto our portion of pebbles. I suspect it’s hiding its acorns in our yard, but I might need to investigate further.

It feels good to be here. This autumn feeling has a soothing effect on me – it slows my pace, makes me more focused. I have skipped this season twice this year. Now I realise that I missed wishing for the comfort of a woollen blanket, of a pot of stew bubbling on the stove for the good part of an afternoon. I now have many such days to look forward to here. Which is why, so as not to arrive unprepared, with me I brought a few recipes to match the spirit of the upcoming season. Long braises and spiced cakes I am eager to try.

But first, this cake.

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Salt-Kissed Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange, Almonds and Pistachios

This new year started slow and relaxed as it ended. After the final mad rush that built up to Christmas Eve, everything assumed a more natural pace as soon as we landed in Venice to spend the holidays with my family.

I write this as the Christmas tree sparkles in front of me, a clear morning sky and a bright sun in the background. The air is cold and pungent, perfect to wake you up after a long sleep. One more day off before we get back, a few more hours of festive celebrations. We haven’t quite given up sweets and rich foods for the January detox regime just yet…there is still some panettone left for breakfast, good for dipping into a steamy cup of coffee. There is still Epiphany today, the last day of the holiday season when stockings are filled with sweets and citrus and nuts.

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Ottolenghi’s Chocolate Babka (Krantz)

We have been lucky this year, they say. Two full months and more of really good weather. It has been indeed a marvellous season. Perhaps exactly for this reason, or maybe because I
spent most of it working or having a good time, it literally slipped from my hands.

These empty hands I have, I am trying to fill with something which feels like a project. I try to line up thoughts, ideas, and bits of inspiration that only idle time outdoor could give me, and finally sit down to build something new. More than January and the actual start of the year, it is autumn the perfect time to give me purpose; September the month which marks a new beginning.

As the days become considerably shorter, and the mist and the wind and the rain awake me from my midsummer dream, I retire back in the cosy warmth of a home heated by an oven. Weekends are no longer occasions for spending time outside – being it playing tourists at home, or lounging in the park, going to a festival or crossing town to enjoy some street food at one of the many amazing markets. Rather, free days are consumed inside, giving time to long-neglected activities which required more attention than the summer version of myself could possibly give. One of these is baking – the other, writing.

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Chocolate Pistachio Cake

If there’s something my husband really loves, that’s chocolate cake. I don’t bake it often, but I did promise him one for his belated 30th birthday celebrations, ready to welcome him upon his return from a working trip abroad.

The night he came back, we feasted on Prosecco, cheese, carpaccio and salad. Then, we chatted the night away between a bit of gorgonzola and a sip of Nebbiolo. Then, the lights went off, and only two candles lightened the room. He finally got his chocolate cake.

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