The other day, my friend Anna asked me to head downtown with her to a 10AM event at Bloom Beauty Lounge celebrating the release of a new cookbook by Top Chef contestant Candice Kumai, Pretty Delicious. It was only when I got off the train at Union Square that I got the text from Anna telling me that there had been a miscommunication re: the time, and that we were about ten hours early. This made a lot of sense, as I had been a little confused (not sad, just confused) about the fact that they were planning to be serving us mimosas at 10AM on a Tuesday.
In any case, no harm, no foul: we had a lovely breakfast at Coffee Shop, and went back to work.
A couple of days later, I got a very sweet email from the owners expressing their apologies for the mix-up, and offering to let me sample one of their services (!). The salon offers everything from cuts to color to massage, but you know what I decided to try? A hydrating facial. Very weird for me: I’ve had maybe two in my life, and both were during my pimple-afflicted late teen years.
It was awesome. Like I said, I’ve only had a handful, so I have a very narrow basis for comparison, but…ooh. And my mother – completely unaware that I’d had a facial – offered me an (unsolicited) compliment on my skin tone the next day.
While waiting for my appointment, I flipped through a copy of Pretty Delicious that was sitting in the waiting room, and quickly decided that I had to make Kumai’s Raspberry Oat Muffins. Like, that very afternoon. (Since I don’t have a muffin pan, I adjusted the cooking time and made a loaf cake).
RASPBERRY OAT LOAF CAKE (from Pretty Delicious)
What you need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp honey
1 cup frozen raspberries
What you do:
1. Heat the oven to 400F. If making muffins, line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. If making loaf cake, spray baking dish lightly with Pam.
2. Whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, and honey.
4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring gently until completely incorporated.
5. Gently fold in the frozen raspberries. How pretty is that?!
6. For muffins: Fill each paper cup about 3/4 of the way, and bake, rotating midway through cooking, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (about 20 minutes). For loaf cake: Bake about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
I’ve been eating the cake warmed-up in the mornings with a little butter and cinnamon sprinkled over the top, and at night with a bit of whipped cream.
(That ugly first piece – you know, the one that always falls apart – is usually the most delicious one.)