On the sofa, feet up, coffee in hand, we ruminated over What Feels Good and What Needs Fixin' in life. Subject matter ranging from our marriage to our year off social media, from gratitude to whether or not we're drinking enough water (decidedly no). We figured out that we are equal but opposite when it comes to rising and resting. He needs coaxing out of bed with head scratches and hot coffee in order to wake up, and I need coaxing with conversation and activity to stay awake past 8:30. The thought was uttered that maybe a proper date would be a good idea, since neither of us could remember when the last one was, except that it was well before Winter hit in November. He taught me a bit about music, and I gave a casual lesson on European versus American buttercream frosting. The day before, I baked a coffee almond cake and dressed it up with the silkiest buttercream frosting I have ever tasted (learned from Butter: A Rich History). It was consumed in great company. We even managed a piece for the next day's breakfast. So it goes with my valentine. I will go so far as to call it our Best Ever Valentine's Day.
February's cake* is a good'n, and it comes from Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. My mother-in-law gifted me this cookbook for Christmas and I haven't stopped baking from it. Every recipe is incredibly straight-forward and prizes simple, whole ingredients. It does not shy away from sugar or butter or whole milk, but neither do I. Being that I only own four cookbooks, Fika is my companion for simple desserts and savory breakfast recipes. I think I've stained every page. This cake, hasselnötskaka med kaffe (hazelnut coffee cake in Swedish), is not especially sweet and has a wonderful texture from the ground nuts. I used almonds because I could not find hazelnuts at the grocery store and because I love almonds. Otherwise, I baked the cake exactly as described and really, really liked it.
*Psst. I began my Cake-A-Month goal in 2017. Here's January's cake!