I found myself in Starbucks for the first time in ages this week. Even when I was a die-hard coffee addict (oh yes, I was addicted to the stuff), the one place's brew I just couldn't stomach was the 'bucks. But it was cold, and windy, and I had just spent 3 hours fighting my way along the highway to try and make it to class. Only making it halfway there by the three hour point, I was too tired to even try thinking, and more than anything else I really needed to find a spot with a restroom and a working heater. The first spot I found to fit the criteria was... the Seattle empire of espresso. I hate to admit it, but that bitter, almost acrid smell of the dark-roasted beans and stale coffee that permeated every orfice of the café was enticing.
Come in, sit down, it called, stay awhile.
It doesn't take a genius to weigh bumper to bumper traffic against a cushy chair and a steaming mug of tea. So I did.
By the time I finally stumbled through the door (another 2 hours of traffic later), I had had more than enough time to allow the inspiration from the coffee shop to (pardon the pun) percolate. While I had been resting and warming up by the fire with my warm mug of tea, I had the privilege of people-watching the coffee break runners from the local offices. Lattes, macchiatos, steamers and frappes abounded, and there were a few harried-looking gofers who had to read from a list of specifics. One of the most appetizing sounding combinations I heard was for a "soy toffee mocha" with a side of almond biscotti. And it was that memory that I decided to play off of with this week's bread.
I wound up blending the flavours of coffee, chocolate, almonds and soy milk into a rich, sweet, half whole-wheat loaf that at first blush looked like pumpernickel. That is, until it got cut open and released that intoxicating come hither aroma. Then, if you're any kind of coffee or chocolate lover, you don't even notice what the loaf looks like. It's all about the smell, and the taste is nothing to sniff (*rolls eyes*) at either!