Three months living in a (shared)
bedsit studio apartment with no oven will really make you want to bake. And not just the old classics that would be impossible to mess up, but new things that might burn or explode or fuse themselves to the baking tray, because the whole ‘shared room’ aspect of the situation would make baking these things truly awkward even if you did have access to an oven.
Thankfully, while I was bereft of oven I consumed enough delicious cake and bread and other glorious baked things acquired from markets and friends and cafés that I managed to get by. Since my return from Slovakia (two months ago, wow) I have been eating far less café cake and made some lovely things for myself.
Biscotti fell under the heading of ‘new things that might explode in the oven’ and, amazingly, they turned out really good. I made these for a Christmas gift, but the recipe I followed made about a million biscuits and that is why, as the title of this post suggests, I am currently curled up on my bed eating one. I found the process of making these quite alarming at first, as I was expecting the mix to come together to form some sort of dough, although on a second reading of the recipe I realised the word ‘batter’ was actually quite apt. They taste quite similar to most biscotti I have had in coffee shops, went over well with the recipient of the gift, and have also been complimented by everyone I’ve forced them on so far. Success!
Also, giving presents of homemade food and drink was great fun and much more satisfying than buying any old tat from a shop. So my gift-giving strategy from now on is to get really good at making a small repertoire of food and drink items and try to get away without ever having to give thoughtless unnecessary presents ever again. My other gifts include dark chocolate sea salt truffles, red onion marmalade, and limoncello. All delicious, in my humble opinion. I urge everyone to make the marmalade. I followed this recipe and it was seriously good, and made enough for one gift and a tub that I could sit and eat using a hunk of cheese as a utensil. (Ahem.) Go forth, make red onion marmalade, and be happy.