Black Plum and Rye Crumb Bars

Black Plum and Rye Crumb BarsNow she went blossoming over her blood, and her blood went rushing deep beneath her.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Book of Images, “The Saint” (translated by Edward Snow).

These bars came about after I had an overflow of near-spoiled plums last week. I originally wasn’t going to post them. Sometimes there are things that I want to save all for myself. Not out of selfishness or indulgence, but rather, when you bake professionally, often, and for others, it’s good to keep something solely for you and your own sacred desire once in a while. I don’t do it enough. I wonder what it tastes like.

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Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

Burnt Sugar Ice CreamEven your sweetness is a storm.” Eugenio Montale, an excerpt from Dora Markus (translated by Roberta L. Payne).

I’ve found myself gravitating towards cool, dulcet, and creamy tones these past few months. More often than not, for reasons I don’t understand. But what I do know is, that when the weather begins to deepen and darken, I find myself hungering for cold things to match the cold outside. There’s something about mirroring the strength of the season outside, inside. Forget ice cream in summer, ice cream in winter is where it’s at.

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Salted Espresso Fudge Brownies

Salted Espresso Fudge BrowniesTell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.” – Mary Oliver,  from ‘Wild Geese.’

I won’t say much here, rather, what I will say, is I know these are the ones you’ve been waiting on. Rich with dark chocolate, ultra-fudgy to the point of near molten, intense with undertones of espresso, thickly frosted, and slightly salted. I’ve made countless batches of these brownies within the last few weeks, more than I care to admit. They’re that good. And I wanted them to be perfect before I shared them with you all. Also, one of the pictures below is shot on my iPhone. Please don’t hold it against me, I loved the way the light reflected across the shiny-crackled crust. Make sure to keep an eye out on this space within the next few weeks too, there’s something more to come.

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Citrus Rose Battenberg Cake

Citrus Rose Battenberg CakeI, myself, concentrated so much on my sixth sense that I developed this vision which sees beyond facts, the better to find sensations and divinations. It is possible I never learned the names of birds in order to discover the bird of peace, the bird of paradise, the bird of the soul, the bird of desire. It is possible I avoided learning the names of composes and their music the better to close my eyes and listen to the mystery of all music as an ocean. It may be I have not learned dates in history in order to reach the essence of timelessness. It may be I never learned geography the better to map my own routes and discover my own lands. The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.’ – Anaïs Nin, an excerpt from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 4: 1944-1947.

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Sea Salt Violet Millionaire’s Shortbread

Sea Salt Violet Millionaire's ShortbreadI learned simplicity, learned slowly and with difficulty how unassuming everything is, and became mature enough to put simplicity into words. And this all happened because I was able to meet you, back when the first time I was in danger of surrendering myself to formlessness. And if this danger always finds a way to return and always returns larger and stronger, it is also true that the memory of you grows in me, the awareness of you, and it too keeps strengthening.’ – Rainer Maria Rilke, an excerpt from a letter to Lou Salomé.

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Halvah, Burnt Butter and Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Halvah, Burnt Butter and Walnut Chocolate Chunk CookiesYou have broken down the veils of flesh and all the cushions that protect the nerves – you have played on the raw nerves, the very tenderest filaments of our sense organs. The effect is delirium, ecstasy which becomes unsupportable.” – Henry Miller, an excerpt from ‘A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller: 1932-1953.’

I don’t claim to know very much. The few things I do, sleeplessness, thirst, and unfolding to the wild of your own skin. And cookies. I claim to know cookies. They’re the vice that’s forever served me best. Of all the variations that frequent this space, this rendition is by far my favourite. Filled with rich pools of bitter dark chocolate, molten chunks of vanilla bean-studded halvah, deep burnt butter undertones, toasted walnut flecks, and slight hints of salt, they’re heavenly. A little richer than the usual, but all the more delicious.

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