I am somewhat obsessed with trying new kinds of flour. It began with trying to find flours suitable for making tender-chewy Asian dumpling wrappers and then carried over into tricking out grocery store flour for baking crisp and light banh mi rolls. When I’m writing my books, I limit myself to flour brands that are widely available. What’s the point of telling readers about some special flour that they can’t easily get? When a recipe isn’t for a book, I can experiment more. Last Saturday, I experimented on my husband and our friend Jeff Bareilles, a beverage expert. Anyone who eats at our house is subject to my tinkering in the kitchen.
I promised Rory a chocolate cake for July 4 and he asked if I’d make one of my easy go-to recipes: a buttermilk chocolate cake that takes 15 to 20 minutes to assemble (that includes preheating the oven). It’s light, somewhat crumbly and loaded with chocolate flavor. Perfect for the summer. The Gourmet magazine recipe by Laurie Colwin is taped into a recipe keeper kind of binder because it’s from the pre-internet era. It had been years since I made it and I’m a different cook now. This is what happened.