It’s a funny thing: even though I’ve been writing, styling, and taking photos here for almost three years, it still feels a little strange to think of myself as a food blogger. For a long time, I thought that maybe this was because this isn’t my day job (i.e. I’m not blogging professionally), that meant it couldn’t be more than a little side project, one that I rarely brought up outside of my immediate circle of friends and family. I’d think about the nature of this particular type of blogging all the time, and I had so many questions — questions about tone and audience, props and styling, promotion, scheduling, sponsorship, but I was too nervous to reach out to anyone about it.
And then I stumbled across a group of fellow Canadian food bloggers (hi, FBC!) and through this group, I came across Julia and her gorgeous blog, Imagelicious. I always felt like you could really get a sense of who she was through her writing, and her recipe photos were so gorgeous, I began (wisely) to avoid looking at her site before lunchtime! And then one day, I mustered up the courage to send her an email to see if she’d be willing to collaborate on a post together.
I was thrilled when she agreed, but I knew I’d made a new friend when she typed back: “Sweets are also my favourite to photograph.” And so we did! I had such a great time baking together at Julia’s place. There is something so nice about being able to share baking — something I normally do alone — with someone who really loves it the same way I do! It was great to have someone else to bounce around ideas with, and to work toward a common goal. And since I’m the most forgetful baker on the planet, I must admit that it was also very nice to have someone double-check the ingredients and realize that we’d forgotten to add vanilla!
We made an absolutely spectacular mess together trying to assemble this cake: little exploding clouds of sugar and spice, chocolate cake batter on every surface, using a thousand times more dishes than necessary — and it was a blast. And the best part was the generous slices of cake we cut for ourselves as a reward for a ‘hard’ day’s work.
This spiced hot chocolate cake is the perfect treat for when the weather begins to cool. It’s a take on those intense shots of Mexican(ish) spiced hot chocolate, and I love the twist that the spice lends to an otherwise classic chocolate cake. The cake is unbelievably tender, and the buttermilk chocolate frosting lends a little sweetness and balances the flavours of the cake perfectly. It would pair beautifully with some hot tea or coffee, or perhaps even a hot toddy if you’re really feeling the chill. 😉
Julia’s got some of her own gorgeous photos from this adventure on her site, so please check them out here and say hello!
Are you baking up some cool-weather dessert favourites, Dear Readers? Let me know in the comments!