Chocolate chips in cakes and cookies will see you through to lunchtime
I hold great store in stopping, mid-morning, for a break. And by that I don’t mean coffee at my desk. I mean actually stopping and moving elsewhere, if only for a few minutes. The half an hour or so in which I drink coffee and eat something small and sweet probably has its heart in the communal Swedish fika, but is different in that I usually take my break alone, as I invariably write until midday.
There will be coffee, a slice of cake, a spiced bun or a soft cookie. In deepest winter there may be a crumpet, its 100-plus holes full to the brim with melted butter and the merest scattering of salt flakes. Let us not kid ourselves. This is a carb break. The essential fuel for anybody who has been working since shortly after dawn. A favourite is anything that contains a freckling of chocolate chips: a warm, butterscotch-scented cookie perhaps, or a sponge cake with nibs of dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts rippled through its crumb. I tend to prefer my chocolate chips hand-chopped rather than the perfectly round sort you can buy in cellophane bags. Size does matter. Lumps that are too generous in size will make your cookies fall to pieces.