Sophia has spoken of her need to bake! I must meet this desire by offering her a challenge that will produce the most sensuous pleasureable and delectable sweetness that will satisfy her yet leave her imploring for more time spent beside a hot oven and in a steamy kitchen.
First, with baking in mind, my thoughts wondered to sweet breads. No, not of the you-don't-want-to-know meat variety but rather the simple, homey, friendly and sweet smell and taste of warm loaves of bread.
But we've already covered a lot of bread thus far...
Sophia is already rather skilled at baking cookies, scones and brownies might I add.
No. This challenge had to be different. New. Complex. And intriguing.
Chocolate was a must. Possibly coffee as well.
Since we drink enough coffee in this household as it is that we're all seriously going through addiction battles with caffeine, I ended up choosing this mediocre recipe turned on its head and sexied up with a little hard licor.
Ladies and Gents and my dearest Sophia, I present to you Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake.
(Courtesy of Baking Obsession)
As for my upcoming challenge, I ask that Sophia find a recipe that involves squash. Just days ago she called my attention to a long lost forgotten squash in the fruit bowl. I had purchased it to make a soup for her when she had a cold. No longer does she have a cold and no longer must this forlorn squash sit by itself.
By the way, in anticipation of Sophia's delightful chocolate challenge, I decided to make myself some hot chocolate... which transgressed to an impromptu chai tea. I had started by warming some milk in a pan over the stove. Once I had decided to make chai instead of hot chocolate I transferred the milk to a mug. I boiled water with a Yorkshire tea bag, (the strongest tea that I had in my cupboard) and proceeded to throw in odds and ends from our lazy susan spice cupboard. Cinnamon stick, cloves, a piece of lemongrass (that remained thanks to my red curry challenge!), a bay leaf, peppercorns, and a small bit of minced ginger though I'm sure throwing in a small chunk would have been better. Once, the water began to taste more like tea than water, I added sugar, which is key to chai. Lots of sugar and lots of milk. To top it off, I thought I'd add a hint of chili powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and a wee bit of coriander just for kicks. It's close but no cigar. Sufficient and delicious enough to satisfy my craving at least.