|From Adriana Baking|
Much has happened these past months, from celebrating my fifteenth birthday to reacquainting myself with the familiar process of spending time baking each day. Seemingly, I’ve put my blog on hold, left it to rest on the back-burner for almost two months. But sitting patiently behind the backdrop of my blog, this post has been in the works for weeks. I visited it time and again, trying in vain to put my thoughts into words. With its stitched up sentences and half-formed ideas, it was a constant source of despair to me, a reminder of how long it had been since I last posted. I got caught up in believing that it was too late to write, and the thought dragged me in, a vacuum growing with each week that flew by.
I’ve returned in hopes of waking my dormant blog and fueling it with my words and thoughts once again. I’d like to tell you that the reason to my absence is due to a lack of time, and that I’m squeezing this post in between piles of unfinished work waiting to be completed, but that would be inaccurate: as time wore on and my work load receded, I feared that my will to write had as well. Because the truth is, I was just feeling lost. I tried getting to the heart of the matter to understand why I’ve kept my distance, but even now, back and typing out a post, the true reason eludes me.
|From Adriana Baking|
It didn’t help that my writing sessions had become short blocks of time spurting forth a few sentences at most. They consisted of trains of thought constantly being cut off by other distractions. I told myself that when I felt ready to write, sentences would come naturally; sitting down at the computer and racking my brain for words seemed too forced. Because when I’m ready, I wouldn’t be so easily distracted. Trying to piece together a tumult of phrases and thoughts into coherent passages was no way to write – it didn’t allow me to develop my thoughts and produce writing with any substance or depth. But I knew that any writing was better than none, and that it is much harder to pick it up again than it is to continue. So here I find myself again, biding goodbye to my neglectful ways in an attempt to take up writing where I’ve last left off.
During the hiatus I took from blogging, I found myself wishing time would slow its pace and allow me to live life to its fullest. I worried that managing a full schedule would squander valuable moments of simplicity I had believed to exist only in a quiet lifestyle. I wanted to fall asleep at night with a mind satiated from simple pleasures. Basking in the freedom of spring vacation last month, I took in the abundance of sunshine on my promenades walking the neighbors’ dogs in a near replica of last summer. But that was the extent of the time I spent busying myself. I thought that by allowing myself such amounts of free time I’d be able to sort through my thoughts, but I’ve realized, arguably too late, that this is the very reason I love to write. Writing allows me to organize my thoughts and relive my day at my leisure, but through words. It allows me to lead a busy life without worrying about cupping my hands in a futile attempt to keep the sands of time from slipping through my fingers. I’ve made a mistake, abandoning this blog, but it has led me to understand the hidden power of the written word and why I find myself drawn to it. Everyone writes for their own reason; I write to feel my emotions amplified through words, and to absorb every iota of life I didn’t manage to fully appreciate through the course of the day. I talk about being unable to savor life because time passes at a speed much too fast for my liking, but writing about my days organizes my thoughts. It allows me to parse my emotions and the day’s pleasures and woes, and leaves me in complete understanding of feelings I hadn’t understood at the time.
|From Adriana Baking|
Like I’ve been meaning to post for weeks, this chocolate loaf recipe was repeatedly put off making, though it was one of the first recipes I bookmarked when I received Baked Explorations last Christmas. I’ve now learned my lesson when it comes to going through with something, because the end result is so rewarding. In this case, I was met with chocolate euphoria upon taking my first bite of cake. It’s incredibly moist, and has a richness and texture I haven’t been able to acquire in other chocolate cakes.
Double Chocolate Loaf
From Baked Explorations
Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour. Place the brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Press out any lumps with the back of a large spoon. Add the cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended, then add the buttermilk,oil, and vanilla; whisk until combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly stream the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just until combined. Stir in the dark chocolate chunks by hand.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.