Today the weather was so nice that I took a book and went to read in the park. A lady who was walking by my bench greeted me with a smile and gave me a bag of chocolates. I was really surprised but I managed to thank her before she moved on and gave another bag of chocolates to a child strolling with her mum. I think she had many more presents for the people that were today at the park.
I felt so happy for this unexpected present, even happier to think that this woman went to the shop, bought some chocolate and went around distributing it. I feel invited to do the same, for the simple joy of seeing other people smiling. It makes me feel connected to fellow humans like I didn’t feel for so long.
We can discuss on the details of such actions, that can make a gift more or less welcome or appropriate; still, I want to think that everyone of us can be touched by one or many forms of this sincere generosity.
Yesterday I had a bit of inspiration for baking. I fancied something chocolatey and muffin-like, so I browsed my cookbooks, especially “La ciliegina sulla torta” from the famous Italian blogger Jessica Leone. This book is a present from my mum, who bought it after reading her blog, tried her recipe for Belgian waffles and adopted it as her default one. That’s huge. My mum used the same waffle recipe for decades (with unanimous approval) and went so far as swapping it for a new one. So when I found a soft chocolate cupcake recipe, I was sure it would come out great.
Moelleux is the French name for a chocolate cake with soft center (see this page [in French] for a great description). It became the favourite word of my geeky friends when we attended FOSDEM earlier this year and feasted on moelleux at our reunion dinner.
I edited the recipe a bit, because I didn’t want to use butter. I used coconut oil and coconut paste instead. I added too much flour and I compensated that with a spoonful of soya yoghurt and one of almond mousse. The recipe suggested to bake them for 15 minutes for a soft centre, or 20 for a firmer texture. They ended up in between a moelleux and a brownie, with a hint of coconut.
I’d like to share a recipe of a super simple chocolate cake I made recently. I was back from a 20-day trip abroad and I had not yet gone shopping, but this recipe asks for so few ingredients, none of them perishable, so I was able to bake this amazingly tasty and fluffy cake on the fly:
I have no other pictures, as it disappeared too fast!
Ingredients (for one cake or 12 muffins):
200 g flour
200 g sugar
100 g dark chocolate (as powder or in bar – then melt it with some butter or milk)
250 ml milk (cow milk or substitutes)
baking soda (the quantity recommended by its package)
optional: spices like cinnamon or vanilla
Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the cocoa powder or the chocolate, previously melted with some butter or milk. Add milk, baking soda and spices. Mix well. Pour the mixture in a cake pan and bake for around half an hour at 180 degrees Celsius.
I was used to bake this kind of cakes with eggs, so this eggless recipe left me initially cold. After it came out of the oven and we tasted it, I changed my mind, the texture was perfect!