Chocolate Party Layer Cake adds a festive presence to any party. The quick-mix cocoa batter takes 4 minutes of beating with an electric mixer and the cocoa cream frosting is ready in half that time.
I first baked “Open Sesame Pie” in 1954 soon after the recipe won the Grand Prize of $25,000 at Pillsbury’s 6th Grand National Bake-Off. As a 15-year-old, I just had to bake this pie because of two ingredients: sesame seeds and dates. I grew up living with my Arabic granny, and loved all sorts of [...]
When I haven’t made up my mind what to cook for dinner, I usually let the vegetables in the market guide me. Recently, asparagus won me over. To me, it’s the queen of vegetables, and I felt that the queen deserved to be celebrated in a quiche. Quiches are a special union between pastry [...]
I went wild over this cake when I tasted it for the first time at Bell’s, a French bistro in Los Alamos, California. Its butteriness and shortbread-like texture are what made me an instant fan. How can a cake with only four ingredients be so good? It’s the quality of the butter you use. Common [...]
The first time anyone tastes something new, the moment can become etched in memory. This is true, of course, if it’s a “Wow, I want more of that” event or possibly quite the opposite. My Wow Moment happened in Hawaii when I bit into a passion fruit bar, a riff on the classic Lemon Bars: [...]
Here’s a special dessert for Valentine’s Day. It’s a special kind of soufflé — a flourless gluten-free cake, actually — that is meant to fall before serving. How much fun is that? It’s similar to a classic soufflé batter but contains a goodly amount of extra butter, which makes it heavier than traditional soufflé formulas. [...]
When’s the last time you made ladyfingers? What? You can’t remember? And what the heck are they, anyway? Well, they’re sort of finger-shaped sponge cakes made from an airy batter of beaten egg yolks and egg whites and cake flour. I learned how to make them watching Julia Child on the French Chef episode “Introducing Charlotte Malakoff.” I get a thrill whipping up whites and yolks, and Julia made everything look so easy, I decided to try my hand at them. You can watch this episode on Amazon.com. Julia Child, The French Chef, Season 3, Episode 10.
I’m a macaroon lover from way back. I’m not talking about macarons, the French sandwich cookies made with beaten egg whites. Macaroons do contain egg whites, but they’re simply stirred into the other ingredients. Coconut macaroons are among my favorites—chewy and sweet and altogether a pleasure to eat. But what about almonds? I just adore [...]
Sometimes I want a sweet baked treat but I don’t know what it is specifically. A cookie? Cake maybe? Often a flavor or texture or both might pop into my mind and soon clarity sets in. A few days ago I found myself in this pleasant quandary when I suddenly remembered a brownie recipe I [...]
I am completely smitten with a smashing new cookbook on Russian cooking, “T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks” (2018, University of North Texas Press), written by Sharon Hudgins, a Russian scholar and former University of Maryland professor. Sharon and I have known each other for many years, and I was thrilled when she sent me a [...]