Happy New Year everyone! I hope you're fully sated after Christmas and New Year and ready to kick start 2013 with a bang? We had a very relaxed and peaceful break as a family and I relished having the space to kick back with my favourite cook books and create good food.
I know that technically I'm not back now until January 7th but I couldn't resist sharing with you this sweet little chocolate cake I made to celebrate New Year's Day. Wasn't it wonderful to have a day of sunshine and blue sky?
Given that we have a little boy, going out for New Year's Eve celebrations aren't really an option these days so I was really happy to see they'd scheduled 'Julie & Julia' on TV that night instead. Needless to say I felt inspired to bake the following morning!
This has to be one of the moistest and simplest chocolate cakes I've ever had the pleasure of baking (and most definitely eating!) and it comes from my favourite food writer Tessa Kiros- are you familiar with her? Her books are utterly beautiful, all the way from the food styling to the locations and in fact it was really 'Falling Cloudberries' which turned me on to styling in the first place. One my ultimate goals in life would be to work with her on a book. Shoot for the stars, right?
I admire Tessa so much, I feel at home in myself when I open one of her books, perhaps because of the way she shares the recipes that evoke memories of her childhood and family life. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting her within a small group during a literary lunch at Books For Cooks in Notting Hill in which a selection of dishes from her latest release 'Apples For Jam' were created for us all to try. We sat round a long table with several glasses of beautiful Italian wine and soaked it all up. She had a bit of a mystical vibe about her, like Vianne Rocher in Chocolat (know what I mean?) and I could've listened to her adventures in cooking all day.
The sweet little decorations for this cake were quite spontaneous and I made them using what I had to hand - the struts for the bunting are cooking skewers wrapped in washi tape, the bunting is cut from simple kraft card and hand stamped and the paper flowers are just gold and floral card rolled up. Sweet, no?
All that's left, until next Monday now, is to wish you the sweetest new year. I've really enjoyed getting to know some of you over the past few months on our Facebook page and Twitter and I'm so looking forward to continuing to do so in the new year. I have lots to share with you!
2013 is going to be quite the year, I can taste it.