I have the great fortune this year of living just down the road from a renowned American baking supply store, King Arthur Flour. They sell baking utensils, equipment and ingredients, as well as running a cafe and classes. I recently attended a demo and hands-on class called Indulgences taught by guest instructor Sarah Copeland of the Food Network. The recipes she covered are from her new cookbook, The Newlywed Cookbook. At the demo class we got to see and sample four of her recipes: Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Smoked Sea Salt, Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Marmalade, Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Black and White Cookies. The next day we got to make and take home the Thousand Layer and Black and White cookies she had demonstrated, as well as a Lazy Chef’s Fruit Torte. Everything was very straightforward, made from basic, but delicious ingredients, and usually with a little something unexpected to surprise your tastebuds. For example, the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart; this is a rich and smooth chocolate tart that feels as amazing as it tastes, and it is topped with smoked sea salt to make your tastebuds go crazy with excitement at the unexpected contrast in flavour and texture. And what’s even better about this recipe (and many of the recipes she features) is that there is hardly any sugar so as not to overwhelm the natural deliciousness of the dark chocolate. Sarah’s recipes are all about bursts of flavour and how to enhance the enjoyment of an ingredient’s natural taste rather than overpowering it. I have taken several baking courses, but always learn something new when I take another. Like if you want a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie, use chopped pieces of real chocolate instead of chocolate chips, which are designed to hold their shape through baking; or that it takes a good half hour for an oven to thoroughly pre-heat for the most even baking. I love it when I learn new things about baking, and it gets me excited to take other classes, no matter how many classes I’ve already done. And the bonus is that I get to take home scrumptious things to eat!
You can find most of these recipes, and many others, on Sarah Copeland’s blog at www.edibleliving.com