Beth Hensperger is an amazing baker and the go-to person for when you need to know anything that has to do with baking.
Courtesy of Pat Sinclair, Classic Scandinavian Baking
Pat says, “To Scandinavians, “tosca” means a layer of sliced almonds covered with a buttery caramel topping. The tender sponge cake is leavened mostly by air beaten into the eggs and is typical of the type of cakes popular in Scandinavia. Toasting the almonds brings out their nutty flavor and adds color to the topping.”
Courtesy of David Lebovitz from Ready for Dessert
David says that while the cakes stands well on its own, the apricots poached in Sauternes are so good, that he has included them with this recipe. This recipe is also in Room for Dessert, a compilation of David’s best/favorite desserts, sans apricots in Sauternes, so you’re getting a double treat here.
Courtesy of Susie Norris, author of Chocolate Bliss
Susie says, This is my favorite fudge cake. It is light, but also buttery, chocolaty, soft, and moist. Its texture is strong enough to hold up to butter cream, which can drag a lesser cake down. This cake works well with Sweet Bittersweet Ganache (recipe below.)
Makes 2 (8-inch) cake layers
Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes Real Baking With Rose
Creamy cheesecakes set on a gossamer base of thin sponge cake (biscuit) and topped with
lemon curd are a real favorite for a dinner party, an afternoon tea, or any special event.
Make all twelve as there will surely be calls for seconds! If you want to make a charming
flourless version, bake and serve the cheesecakes without the cake in lovely pastel silicone Sili-cups).
I always associate gingerbread as just right for a cozy evening at home when it’s chilly outside. Of course it’s terrific any time of the year, and if you’re a ginger lover, this is an especially good recipe as it has both powdered and crystalized ginger as well as complementary spices that enhance the flavor. It’s also quite moist as it contains applesauce and has a delicate lemon-vanilla glaze. Gingerbread served warm from the oven with whipped cream is hard to beat, but it’s also good lightly toasted with butter or cream cheese on a leisurely weekend morning.
Courtesy of Annaliese Keller: www.malabartradingco.com
This recipe recently won first place in a baking contest. It’s a favorite of mine for brunch or to serve with tea in the afternoon with friends.
If you have never had real churros, you are in for a treat! First, lightly sweetened fried dough is hard to beat as long as it’s prepared properly. However, what should be a delicate treat can easily become a sodden, greasy, unpalatable mess. And, if it is held under a heat lamp for very long, it can become tough. So, that’s why I say, real churros.
Persimmon Pudding is a rich, delicious cake that takes advantage of the delicate Hachiya persimmons — the orb or acorn shaped ones that must become soft to be ripe. Pudding is the classic term used for desserts in the UK. Recently, I discovered this was true here in the US into the 20th century. Served with lemon sauce and whipped cream, it’s divine! The perfect Thanksgiving dessert, it also serves well for December holidays. If you use just some at a time, I recommend wrapping the balance of the cake in a clean dish towel moistened with Brandy or rum.
Courtesy of Chef Tony Nigro
Note: This is a multi-level project. It’s not difficult, but it is time-consuming. It’s also impressive and delicious. It comes with the additional recipe for lady-fingers. These delicate sponge-cake treats are useful for tiramisu, chocolate mousse cake and other specialties. Although Tony didn’t indicate his recipe should be made this way, you could line an 8- or 9-inch spring-form pan with the lady-finger batter, then, after batter is baked, fill the pan with the pumpkin mousse. This method is less time-consuming yet maintains the beautiful flavor palette of the recipe. Decorated, it will have a dramatic presentation as well.
Courtesy of Chef Stephany Buswell: www.chefany.com
This is a good, basic vanilla cake. It becomes spectacular with the butter cream recipe that follows.
Stephany says: “This is my favorite butter cream. It is very perishable and should not be made more than a day in advance. If you are looking for a wonderful creamy and not very sweet icing that showcases the vanilla bean, I think you will love this one.
There’s something magical about desserts made with pumpkin. Maybe it’s the spices as I feel that way about carrot cake too. These brownies are perfect for a cozy evening, especially with a good cup of vanilla tea.
Courtesy of Beth Hensperger
Most coffee cake recipes, especially ones for winter, call for canned pineapple, but here the glistening fresh fruit layer is made from scratch and accented with pure vanilla, a most complementary culinary pairing. To choose a ripe pineapple, look for a strong sweet fragrance and yellow-brown skin that is not too green; the leafy crown will be a bright green and an inner leaf will detach easily when plucked from the center. Adapted from an old recipe clipped from Bon Appétit magazine decades ago, it is quite perfect in flavor and texture, and easily serves a large crowd. This is simply one of the best homemade coffeecakes.
Courtesy of Chef Stephany Buswell: www.chefany.com
Stephany says about this recipe: “When I was a child my mom made this cheesecake for every holiday or special occasion. My mom died when I was 17 and I forgot about her cooking until I became a serious baker in my 20s. I began searching for a recipe like the one my mother had made but could never duplicate the recipe.
Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum
This cake was inspired by the height of the apple season, fall of 1991. It is reminiscent of Tart Tatin with cake instead of pastry (one could call it Gâteau Tatin!). The caramelized apples and walnuts, topping a velvety tender butter cake is a fabulous combination. I brought it, hot from the oven, to my cousin Marion’s house in Westchester for dinner, along with a special treat: Glensfoot cream, which is high in butterfat and not ultra pasteurized. She whipped it in a copper bowl, right at the table, perfuming it with Jack Daniel’s bourbon, and spooned a little onto the top of each portion of cake. It was perfect to temper the sweetness of the cake. We all loved it. This is truly a dessert made in heaven.
Courtesy of Janet Johnson
Janet has a touching story about this pound cake which is a little too long to share here in its entirety. Briefly, she has a friend who was born in Austria whose father worked for the railroads. Each day he walked 12 miles, inspecting the condition of the rails. While he walked, he gathered the wild hazelnuts growing alongside the tracks, and brought them home as a treat to his family.
Courtesy of Carole Bloom
Bourbon vanilla buttercream is the perfect accompaniment to this classic American chocolate cake. Be sure to use natural — not Dutch-processed — cocoa powder, which provides deeper flavor and darker color to the cake.
Courtesy of Flo Braker
Flo Braker is a very talented baker, specializing in desserts. The author of “The Simple Art of Perfect Baking,” and one of the original members of The Baker’s Dozen, a national group of culinary professionals, Flo has assisted thousands of bakers with simple secrets that bring spectacular results. Her angel food cake has been featured in culinary magazines and newspapers as the definitive recipe. Need I say more?
Courtesy of Beth Hensperger
Coconut and vanilla are toothsome combos in this luscious quick bread. Be sure to use unsweetened coconut rather than sweetened, as the sweetened is too moist for this recipe. Serve alongside fruit or poultry salads, or toast and top with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert.