Away from the Kitchen by Dawn Blume Hawkes
Recipe by Chef Gail Gand
Much to my surprise and delight, vanilla fan and serious home baker, Sandie Rymal, created a special cake recipe then named it in my honor! I admit, this is a first for me. It’s a beauty and, although I haven’t yet baked it myself (nor even tasted it as Sandie lives in Oregon and I’m in California), it certainly looks luscious!
A great way to use up leftover egg whites, especially during the holiday season. If you have leftover candy canes or peppermint candies, use them. However, if you are making these cookies during the Christmas season, look for the miniature candy canes. They have the most pink surface area. The color contrasts well with the white of the meringues.
I admit I could never imagine Maple Sugar Pie or Maple Syrup Pie. I flat out love pure maple anything, but an entire pie made with maple sugar or syrup and nothing else to offset the sweetness — like pecans for instance — seemed like it would be cloying and a full-out sugar rush. Then a friend and I drove from Vermont to Quebec City in the early autumn of 2012. I knew that this would be my best chance to try Maple Sugar or Maple Syrup Pie. I was ready to convert — or not.
It feels like a cardinal sin to post a decadent chocolate recipe in a blog during the first week of the new year (2013).
While this recipe involves some time and dedication, it isn’t difficult. It was inspired by a recipe in Sunset magazine, which I’ve adapted. For instance, the original recipe called for two tablespoons of hazelnut liquor, such as Frangelico. The local liquor store didn’t have any “shooter” bottles and I didn’t want to invest in a large bottle, so I added some extra vanilla extract.
Recently I had dessert in a lovely café near where I live. One of their signature desserts is a lemon pudding that tastes as if it may have a cream cheese base. It was so good that I decided to go home and experiment.
This recipe is actually a classic recipe that I got off of the Baker’s unsweetened chocolate box. I use 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and I under-bake the recipe so that the brownies have a crusty topping but are moist and fudge-like inside.
This outstanding fruit dessert recipe was sent to my mother by my Aunt Maggie at least 45 years ago. For reasons lost on me, they called it “Apple Dumb.” When they used plums, it was “Plum Dumb.” This was standard with them — they loved good food and silliness in equal measure.
Isn’t it fun to look at gorgeous pastries and desserts and fantasize about making (and eating) them? When it comes down to it, though, how often do you do it? Really, except for when I want to dazzle someone with a gift or it’s a holiday, I nearly always opt for simple.
Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, Real Baking With Rose
I long resisted the charms of Rose Red Velvet Cake, believing it to be merely a layer cake tinted red with a bottle of food coloring. But when several people on my blog sang its praises, I decided to investigate it more thoroughly. It turns out that there is more to this cake than its shocking color. This beloved southern cake is traditionally prepared with oil, a mere suspicion of cocoa, and a teaspoon of white vinegar, which raises the acidity of the batter and intensifies its color. The liquid component is usually buttermilk, which is thought to raise the acidity as well, although the baking soda normally used neutralizes most of the acidity and makes the crumb more coarse and the color darker. So, when I created my
version of this classic, I used only baking powder to employ the full acidity of the buttermilk, making vinegar unnecessary. I also used half oil and half butter for the flavor-enhancing qualities of butter and the moist, softening quality of the oil. The resulting cake is as flavorful and tender as you can hope for and stays soft enough to eat even straight from the fridge. A heart-shape pan is perfect for Valentine’s Day. And the contrast of the white chocolate cream cheese buttercream against the red cake is alluring.
Whipped Cream Cake Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, www.realbakingwithrose.com
Rose says: This unusual, old-time recipe was sent to me by chef Anthony Stella, a restaurateur in Delaware, who asked if I could perform a makeover on it.
Kaese Sahne Torte
An Austrian Cheese and Cream Cake
Today I am bringing you a blog from a dear friend, Maria Reisz Springer. Maria is from Europe and grew up with incredible desserts. She now has a cooking school in Maryland and tempts those of us who don’t live nearby with incredible blogs. When I saw this blog on Facebook, I asked Maria if she would be comfortable sharing it with my readers and she said she would be happy to be a guest blogger.
The first autumn showers arrived today after two days of beautiful, billowy cumulous clouds hanging on the edges of the Santa Cruz mountains and mildly humid weather suggesting that maybe a few sprinkles would come our way.
Unfortunately, it has been just that — sprinkles. Not enough to make the air smell of fresh rain on the pavement, not even enough to register in my rain gauge. The sky grew ominous — then the clouds moved on. I will need to water tomorrow.
Teasers like the rain forecast are the proverbial “death knell” for summer fruit. For the rest of the month we’ll be pushing pumpkins and apples at the store (with a few grapes and pomegranates for good measure) and the days will grow progressively darker. Which is why I’m sneaking in one more bit of late summer goodness before I fully give in to autumn.
One of my favorite things about travel, actually about life itself, is how every so often, something both unanticipated and delightful pops up when we least expect it. You’re going along with nothing special on the horizon, and then, out of nowhere
Salty and sweet — two all-time favorites — especially when it’s for dessert. And, who doesn’t love the flavor of butterscotch? This is a great cookie recipe for a group of kids, especially after a sports event or after lunch on an all-day outing. These cookies are also idea for turning into ice cream sandwiches. Turkish Coffee and Pumpkin ice creams come to mind and vanilla always works. If salty isn’t your ideal of delicious, feel free to leave it out of the equation.
Cherries are one of life’s very special gifts, at least that’s how I view them. As a child I patiently waited for cherries to arrive in our small town’s grocery. My mother usually took me shopping with her, so when cherry season arrived, I’d beg her to buy them. I then would forfeit as much allowance as necessary to buy my own personal stash of cherries, which I hoarded in the back of the refrigerator as my brother made frequent visits to the refrigerator throughout the day and inhaled whatever he could find.
By Alice Medrich (Artisan Books, 2012)
Dessert: Who doesn’t love it? Even those of us who have sworn off of sugar or beg-off to hold at-bay another pound, secretly have illicit thoughts of a rich, warm morsel from the oven in deep winter, or an icy granita or a cone filled with buttery, creamy ice cream on a blistering day.
Okay, maybe I’m projecting a little too much. Truth is, I love dessert! Years ago I had a conversation with a five-year-old boy, and we admitted to each other that we didn’t have a sweet tooth; we had sweet teeth – a mouth full of them! My grandsons would agree that they too would walk a mile in the snow for something chocolate.
Alice’s recipes are always meticulously tested. So what have I done? Meddled with it! But only a little bit.