I know this sounds wild, but sometimes I get nostalgic for March 2020. Lockdown (or ‘quarantine’ as we so innocently called it back then) was a novelty; we drank gross cocktails on Zoom, rewatched our comfort shows and genuinely started talking to our parents daily to check how they were going.
Sometimes when I look at my calendar, packed to the brim for weeks on end, my mind flashes to those simple days of zero expectation to do anything or exert any unnecessary energy. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for my life, but sometimes my brain, liver and wallet whisper to me in that British-TikTok accent, “Bring on another lockdown”.
If you, like me, want to revive a little bit of that era, there is something you can do — get back to work and start baking, baby!! Baking was the gorgeous emotional crutch we all leaned on during those uncertain times, and I can’t think of anything more reliable to do so again.
It’s winter, the cost of living is through the roof, and we need comfort, for heaven’s sake! So get a hold of a Kenwood MultiGo-Pro food processor to save you a whole bunch of prep and clean up and pre-heat your oven — here’s a bunch of recipes you should suss.
As an Aussie, I’m always jealous of the pumpkin spice craze that hits the States as soon as November starts. Given that you probably overdid it with banana bread in lockdown, why not try a spiced pumpkin bread moment?
All you’ll have to do is whip together pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract in a food processor until smooth, and in a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You’ll then gradually add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture in the food processor, pulsing until just combined, and top it all off by folding in any choc chips or nuts you’d like.
Chocolate and hazelnut is the most elite nut/choccy combo, and I will not hear any other arguments. Chocolate and cashews? No. Chocolate and almonds? It could simply never. Anywho. Use a food processor to blend roasted hazelnuts until finely ground, then add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt, pulsing to combine. Next, incorporate cold, cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, then add egg yolk and process until the dough comes together.
All you have to do for the filling is blend melted chocolate, heavy cream, hazelnut spread, and a splash of vanilla extract in the food processor until smooth. Pop it all together, bake it, and then serve with lashings of whipped cream. Yum.
I’ve been thinking about the 2010 cupcake craze recently and how we, as a society, have gotten worse ever since we ended that era.
If you want to revive it — look no further than lemon meringue cupcakes. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and lemon zest using a food processor, and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prep your lemon curd by mixing sugar, lemon juice, zest, butter, and egg yolks in a bowl and pop it in the fridge. To make the meringue topping, mix egg whites, sugar, and cornflour and assemble everything.
Brownies are great, but blondies are simply sublime and underrated — and these white chocolate ones are too damn easy not to make.
All you have to do is melt butter and white chocolate in a bowl, then set aside. Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl, then combine the melted mixture, flour, salt and mix. Pour the batter into a tin, add Biscoff Lotus spread, swirl, and bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool, slice, and serve warm so it’s all gooey.
Everyone loves lamingtons, so why not give them a bit of a rebrand cherry-style? First, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, and in a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Combine the whipped whites with the yolk mixture, then gently fold in sifted flour, baking powder, and melted butter. Pour the batter into a lined tin and bake until golden. While baking, warm jam and cherries, dissolve gelatine, blend until smooth, and dip the sponge squares in the mixture before rolling in coconut. Cool and serve with fresh cherries.
Feeling inspired to bake? Hungry?? Simply ready to woo your next crush with a freshly baked batch of brownies??? If you want to restart your lockdown baking journey, get your mitts on a Kenwood MultiGo Pro and get cooking.