April Foods Day

Tomorrow is April Fools Day and, coincidentally, a significant day for SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH.

You see, SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH involves a baking contest. During copyediting, my wise editor suggested I include an original recipe as an epilogue. So I set about inventing a baked good that was not merely edible, but delicious.

Those few poor souls who years ago sampled my ill-fated vegan corn muffins, or my chocolate cake the time I forgot to add baking soda, might say inventing a dessert would be an insurmountable challenge for me. But thankfully I’ve made great baking strides since those long-ago days; the mini red velvet cupcakes I whipped up for Quick family Christmas a few years ago were a huge hit. (I also make a pretty awesome grapefruit sorbet, if I do say so myself!)

To perfect the epilogue recipe, I spent hours in the kitchen experimental baking while channeling the spirit of my fearless yet somewhat clueless narrator. (My mom was indispensable during this process. More than once I emailed her the not-quite-right recipe with the subject line, “don’t ask, just bake,” and she did, and gave me feedback — not enough pepper, lime instead of lemon, and so on.)

I’m proud to report that the end result — the epilogue recipe — is delectable, idiot-proof, and lends itself to variations.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting my editor and her colleagues in person. Another excellent suggestion was made: why not post really inviting, tempting photographs of the dessert on my website?

As luck would have it, my friend Dave Tavani is an amazing photographer. Because Dave is also a teacher, he has this week off, thanks to spring break. He and I agreed that April Fools Day is as good a day as any to have a food photo shoot.

So tonight I’ll bake the SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH recipe, and tomorrow I’ll set my kitchen counter as prettily as I can, with fresh flowers and a new tablecloth.

I’m not sure just when or how the photographs will be debuted, but … stay tuned to find out.

~Alicia Bessette

PS: For more on experimental baking, click here.

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15 thoughts on “April Foods Day

  1. Wow, Dave’s work is really *good*. Food photography is hard, so I’m happy you’re in such good hands 🙂 (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been grossed out by menu photos of meals I intellectually know I actually like.)

    I assumed from the word “baking” that this recipe was going to be a dessert, but from your mom’s suggestion of lime and pepper, I’m guessing not! Can you give us a hint?

  2. The recipe makes a delicious treat…and it’s very interesting. Dave Tavani’s work is truly impressive. Click the link above and check out his website. Gorgeous photos abound.

  3. I remember this recipe vividly from your book because it has some of my favorite things in the world as ingredients. And it’s utterly original. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  4. Alicia scores a hat trick – great writing, great baking, great photos.
    I think that when I get a copy of Simply From Scratch I’ll prepare the epilogue recipe before I start reading so I have something to eat while I read.
    You rock, girl.

  5. Yes Corey, I’m a brave soul in the kitchen! And Emily, Dave’s work is outstanding. Check out his Farming the City series. Gorgeous!

    Thanks for reading, tout le monde.

  6. I don’t know why, but knowing you and Matt live above a cheese shop somehow warms my heart. Maybe I’m hungry. I think I have a Hershey’s with almonds stashed in the pantry.

  7. I was all geared up for an April Fool’s recipe or something! I remember one newspaper columnist on my home paper being asked to contribute to a recipe collection and just sending in a made-up recipe for “potato ice cream.”

  8. The way to a reader’s heart is….through their stomach? We’re all hooked and I am sure recipe…as all you do… will not disappoint. Oh…and release party is at Scot’s.

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