When it comes to making food, we often don’t think about the preparation of ingredients going into our food. Sarah Owens changes the perspective on cooking with a cookbook that takes preserving and pre-making a part of the ingredients going into your dish. This is a unique book that teaches about bread making, pickling, dehydrating, all the way to making your own oils, butters, and and flours. Her recipes are nourishing, fulfilling, and really makes you think about everything that goes into your food.
Sarah Owens emphasises on slow cooking - her recipes are very complex and will be time consuming. She has done her research on putting together all food traditions around the world and created this book. Imagine as if you never had bread, and she will teach you step by step how to create it. For most of the recipes, you need to make a key ingredient that will go into your dish. We’re talking about hand making your bread or pasta, sauces, or yogurts. To create one dish, you need to incorporate 2-4 different recipes. Pick a day where you have time, and this will teach you about the love and care that each ingredient plays into the grand masterpiece - your breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
For this recipe, I created the Chocolate Einkorn Fudge Cake with Hazelnut Streusel. This is one of the rare recipes that do not require pre-making an ingredient going into the dish. Let’s start with the texture of this cake: rich, whole-grain, and delish! Owens mentions that einkorn can be a hard substitute for recipes because it does not absorb liquids well. In her recipes, she adds HOT coffee to break down the einkorn to make it soft, moist, and tender.
One modification I made to this recipe was planning to omit the hazelnuts. We couldn’t find any in stock for us to toast and remove the skins. Sarah Owens mentions you can completely remove it, but I feel as though it would add that extra crunch the streusel needs.
This is a straight-forward and fairly simple recipe. I found bittersweet chocolate that was pre-cut, and saved a bit of time by microwaving it with the butter. Of course, you are more than welcome to use a double-boiling method to create the cake. I have never made a streusel before - and the family I created this dish with mentioned this recipe doesn’t have butter. Rather, Owens has us heavily butter the bottom of a bundt pan. This was a small setback in the recipe, because the streusel did end up sticking to the pan. My recommendation: add butter in the streusel recipe, or add A LOT more butter than I did!
When it comes to making this recipe, your best bet is finding a bundt-cake pan or one that is not as thick as a short-cake pan. It did end up taking us more than 50 minutes to cook this dish all the way through - yet in the end it was so worth it! We ended up topping this cake off with some whipped cream rather than ice cream. My opinion of the cake? Very hearty, yet chocolatey and just the right amount of sweet! The coffee used to break down the einkorn really shows in this recipe.
With a thick cake, there were plenty of leftovers for the next several days. You can keep this cake covered in a container that will last 3 days at room temperature. This was a surprising recipe that really satisfies my sweet tooth while still implementing the flavors of nutritious and hearty wheat, coffee, and chocolate. I cannot wait to try out more of her recipes and continue appreciating the ingredients that go into everything I eat!