Brown Butter and Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Brown Butter and Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I burn, I shiver; out of the sun, and into this shadow.” – Virginia Woolf, ‘The Waves’

It’s the little things that bring joy. Entanglements of flowers. Cookies wrapped in bows, shared or devoured alone. Details and thoughts that last for longer than just instantaneous pleasure. I’ve always managed to live between two extremes. Living in a catatonic state of violence or softness. And, it took me years to realise how to balance out both the light and dark aspects of my personality. My life was once withered, and now, it’s coated in roses. Kind of like these blooms. More precious the light than the all-consuming darkness. The shadows in these images, the shadows in myself, wear darkness so beautifully. Meant for me, and me alone. The suffocating entanglement of wild, so beautiful, so abandoned, so delicate. Choking everything that comes close. Strangulations of floral, ivy, vines and opalescent blossoms. Each strand, competing for breath. Intimately engulfed within each other. Both beauty and ugliness, light and darkness, existing in all aspects of life.

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Apple and Rose Pie & Buttermilk Honey Custard Pie with Lavender and Crème Chantilly

Apple and Rose Pie & Buttermilk Honey Custard Pie with Lavender and Crème Chantilly

“June and I have paid with our souls for taking fantasies seriously, for living life as a theatre, for loving costumes and changes of selves, for wearing masks and disguises. But I know always what is real. Does June?” – Anaïs Nin, December 30, 1931

The past few weeks have been spent in a turbulent state of desire and upheaval. My mind is thriving elsewhere. That’s for sure. I doubt it will ever arrive. I’ve never felt whole in any one place. It’s like this hybrid, this disassociated fragment of myself that I never could quite control, exists in an entirely different world. And then comes the night.

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Italian Orange Blossom and Almond Cake with Orange Curd, Mascarpone Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Salted Caramel

Italian Orange Blossom and Almond Cake with Orange Curd, Mascarpone Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Salted Caramel

But spring is mine. In the heat trapped between our cupped palms, I hold every spring on earth.” – Dulce Mariá Loynaz, from ‘Absolute Solitude: Selected Poems.’

The writer lives two lives. The first self, the living, the experience, the pure impulse and instinct. The second self, the creative, the slowed psychoanalysis, the agitation for heightened living, the poetic madness. Each fragment of identity, culminating into prose destined for written page. Dissolving into atmosphere, blossoming into illusion. And loving. Loving everything. The point of loving being pure, unadulterated ecstasy. The modern romantic infatuated with all that blooms, engulfed with literature, with song, with poetry, with people, with cities, with jazz. The many faces of light, darkness, agony and pain. An unwavering passion for life, and all its mysticism.

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Black Plum, Fig and Berry Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel

Black Plum, Fig and Berry Pie with Brown Butter Oat Streusel

“I elect something I can love and absorb myself in it.” – Anaïs Nin, Winter, 1931

February, my month of thwarted longing and despair. The dark days, the rainy days. The lucid dreams and wild silence. It felt like an eternity of feelings abandoned. Unwillingly becoming serenaded whilst the nocturnal melodies of mind trembled with the longing for somewhere else, someone else. You see, I fall easily. Feel easily. I’ve forged an entire career out of feeling too much. And in that moment, all needs become secondary. I lose, lose, lose myself. I have no desire for anything other than the thing that has it’s knuckles to my throat. And I accept it. And I live with it. And I wait for it pass. Until the next thing comes.

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Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cake with Earl Grey Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cake with Earl Grey Swiss Meringue Buttercream

“Between my sleeping and dreaming, Between me and the one in me who I suppose I am, A river flows without end.” – Fernando Pessoa, from ‘A Little Larger Than The Entire Universe: Selected Poems.’ 

A Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cake with Earl Grey Swiss Meringue Buttercream for Valentine’s Day. As much as I love to create sweet things for the aforementioned date, I have never been one to celebrate the exhausted tradition. Probably because my beliefs on love and intimacy are so far removed from the ideals that the corporate world stemmed. But, here I am. Once again. The same fragmented girl as the one several moons ago, white-hot with exuberant gilded swan song. Like the most precious thing, untainted thing. Again, smoking with desire. But a desire no longer for the bitterness of exterior flesh, rather an endless hunger for eternal understanding of the human heart.

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Black Tahini Buns with White Chocolate and Orange

Black Tahini Buns with White Chocolate and Orange

Love is a rose. Every petal an illusion, every thorn a reality.” – Charles Baudelaire, ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’

I haven’t been in the mood to write lately. I think there’s a part of me that’s vexed by how much of myself I choose to put into each work. Writing a post requires a melangé of inspiration. And when I can, I take all that’s inside and weave it into obscure, mangled words, just as obscure and mangled as the far wailing walls of my mind. And right now, I’m coming up short. It’s never been that way with baking though. Baking is natural, just as natural as deep breath and even deeper hunger. It’s easy to dream in sweet combinations, cake layers and flavour. And when it isn’t there, I don’t force it. But to write, well, that’s a different story in its entirety

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