recently, my days have been busy, so I’ve been reaching back into the archives for simpler recipes. in general, it seems like the pace of life is getting ever-faster and that life and world events tumble over each other at mind-numbing speed.
just these past few weeks, britain left the eu, the wuhan coronavirus death toll surpassed sars, trump was acquitted along party lines (with the notable exception of mitt romney). one of my best friends suffered through the sudden, surprising end of a long-term relationship, and another invited me to her upcoming courthouse marriage. a good family friend’s mother passed away. a cousin shared with us that after many failed relationships with cruel partners, he is finally in a healthy relationship with someone nice. and yet, in the busy blur of day to day life, I find that moments blend into each other and last monday will probably have felt very much like today.
today felt like the first day I had space to breathe in a while. I canceled my workout class, got brunch with friends, took them to see the best view of philadelphia, and then we went to see l’s new apartment. we ended up curled on her couch, chatting for a very, very long time about nothing in particular as the light slowly faded.
for me, baking has long been a form of self-care. but lately, though I have a long list of recipes I really want to try, facing the prospect of baking and clean-up has felt like a chore. yesterday evening, after such a restful day, I finally felt in the mood to bake again. and it felt right to make this chocolate orange scone loaf, which I used to make literally weekly a few years back, I loved it that much.
makes one 9•5-in loaf
15g (1 tbsp) baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
50g (1/4 cup) + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp orange zest
12 tbsp (171g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in cubes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (60g) heavy cream
1/4 cup (60g) orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
sarah kieffer. chocolate orange scone loaf. the vanilla bean blog. 9 october 2016. accessed 9 february 2020.
2 using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder, salt, 50g sugar, and orange zest. add butter cubs and mix on medium-low until butter is size of peas.
3 in a small bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, orange juice, and vanilla. with mixer on low, add wet to dry ingredients and mix, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides, until just combined. fold in chocolate chips with rubber spatula.
4 pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly. brush lightly with heavy cream, then sprinkle top with remaining 1 tbsp sugar. bake until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.
5 cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove to rack and let cool to room temperature. slice with serrated knife and serve.